WANDERING AROUND SIENA MUSEUMS

When wandering around the old narrow roads of Siena, we will find splendid ancient palazzos that conserve great pictorial witness of the renaissance period behind their imposing walls.

There are several places where we can admire the paintings and frescoes of some of the most important Masters of the Siena Renaissance School: for example, the Museum of Santa Maria della Scala in Piazza Duomo, which, until 19th February 2006 housed a multi-discipline exhibition on assistance at birth from Medieval through to modern times, organised by Siena University, the History of Medicine department, in cooperation with the municipality. The exhibition had a wide selection of works of art depicting birth scenes over the centuries, calling on the iconography of the Nativity of the Virgin and John the Baptist. 
We must also remember the Siena Picture Gallery, that contains a very important collection of paintings of the town since its origins through to the 18th century; since the Twenties it has been situated in the sumptuous Buonsignori and Brigidi Palazzo, where numerous works of art by the Masters and other paintings of less known artists, but very interesting just the same, are on show. We should mention: the Madonna of the Franciscans by Duccio di Buoninsegna (1255-1388), Madonna and Child by Simone Martini (1280-1344), the Annunciation by Jacopo della Quercia (1374-1438) and the Carmine Altar Piece by Pietro Lorenzetti (1280-1348). Also, among the 16th century works of art, there are some very precious paintings by the Vercelli painter Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (nicknamed Sodoma) and Domenico Beccafumi. 
A small world to be explored, that is ready to welcome visitors during the week from 8.15 to 19.15 and on Sundays and holidays from 8.15 to 13.15. 
The artistic museum of Siena Cathedral is also extremely beautiful, open every day from 9 to 19.30. Inside there are some splendid paintings and works dating between the 13th and 17th centuries, by the greatest Masters of the town. There are some interesting sacred paraments, relics and the liturgical gold items, including the 10 sculptures by Giovanni Pisano (1245-1314) which ornated the facade of the Cathedral; we must also mention the famous “Majesty” by Duccio di Buoninsegna.