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Bibliographical Appendix
General Index

(etext transcriber's note)

S T O R Y   O F   S I E N A

All rights reserved

Madonna with Saints. by Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi.

Madonna with Saints.
by Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi.

S T O R Y   O F   S I E N A

















THIS present volume is intended to provide a popular history of the great Republic of Siena, in such a form that it can also serve as a guide-book to that most fascinating of Tuscan cities and its neighbourhood. San Gimignano has been included, because no visitor to Siena leaves the “fair town called of the Fair Towers” unvisited; I have made special reference to it in the title of the book, to lay stress upon the point that, although for administrative purposes San Gimignano is included in the province (and in the circondario) of Siena, its history is practically distinct from that of Siena and is more intimately connected with the story of Florence.

The appended list of books and authorities, needless to say, is not a complete bibliography, nor even a catalogue of those quoted in the course of this work. It only represents some of those that my readers will find most useful and helpful, or that will supply further information upon many topics which the limits of this series of Mediaeval Towns have compelled me to treat somewhat cursorily and scantily.

The lamented death of Miss Helen M. James deprived us of her assistance in the illustration of the last three chapters, more especially of the two dealing with San Gimignano. Her work has been at the service of this series from the beginning; but it is, perhaps, especially those who have had the privilege of knowing her, and who have had the opportunity of appreciating her character and her personality, that will realise the greatness of this loss. My friend and publisher, Mr. J. M. Dent, associates himself with me in dedicating this volume to her memory.

E. G. G.

October 1902.








The Republic of Siena



Saint Catherine of Siena



The People and the Petrucci



The Sculptors and Painters of Siena



The Campo of Siena and the Palace of the Commune



The Duomo and the Baptistery



In the Footsteps of Saint Catherine



The Last Days of the Republic{x}



Through the City of the Virgin



Some Famous Convents and Monasteries



San Gimignano



In the Town of the Beautiful Towers


The Family of Pope Pius the Second


Bibliographical Appendix


General Index






* The Madonna with Saints (Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi). Photogravure


* Siena from behind San Domenico


* La Castel Vecchio, the oldest part of Siena


* On the Battlefield of Montaperti

facing 17

* A street in Siena


* La Croce del Travaglio


* La Lupa


* St Catherine of Siena (Andrea di Vanni)

facing 47

* Letter from St Catherine to Stefano Maconi

facing 56

* St Catherine’s Lamp


* The Mangia Tower


The Elevation of Enea Silvio Piccolomini to the Papacy as Pius II. (Pinturicchio)

facing 73

* Via Fontebranda


* The Porta Romana


The Pulpit of the Duomo (Niccolò Pisano and his Pupils). Photogravure

facing 100

The Font of San Giovanni of Siena (Giacomo della Quercia)

facing 104

* The Madonna and Child (detail from Duccio’s Altarpiece). Photogravure

facing 112

* Bastion outside the Porta Pispini, erected by Baldassare Peruzzi{xii}


* Via Giovanni Duprè


* The Palazzo Pubblico


* The Market-Place


* The Duomo


* Interior of the Duomo


The Canonisation of Saint Catherine, from Pinturicchio’s fresco. Photogravure

facing 174

The Crucifixion, by Duccio di Buoninsegna. Photogravure

facing 178

* Steps beside the Baptistery


* Fontebranda


* House of St Catherine


* Via della Galluzza


The Ecstasy of St Catherine. Detail from Bazzi’s fresco. Photogravure

facing 204

* A suburban Chapel


* Banner-holder in the Piazza Postierla


* An old fanale in the Piazza San Giusto


* Via dei Termini


* Porta Ovile


* Remains of a Mural Tower


* Palazzo Saracini


* The Tower of Sant’ Ansano


* Pozzo della Diana


* Via delle Sperandie


* Via della Fonte


* Fonte San Maurizio


* Piazza and Palazzo Tolomei


* At the older circuit of the walls{xiii}


* Fountain outside Posta Ovile


Coronation of Virgin (Andrea della Robbia)

facing 304

* A Miracle of St Benedict (Bazzi)

facing 314

* Maurus and Placidus (Bazzi)

facing 320

* San Gimignano

facing 325

Apparition of St Gregory. (Domenico Ghirlandaio)

facing 330

* In the Town of the Fair Towers

facing 340

The Funeral of Santa Fina (Domenico Ghirlandaio)

facing 349

Heads of Choristers (Domenico Ghirlandaio)

facing 352

St Augustine at School. (Benozzo Gozzoli)

facing 358

* Map of Siena

facing 372


* These illustrations are reproduced, with permission, from photographs by Messrs Alinari of Florence.

These illustrations are reproduced, with permission, from photographs by Messrs Lombardi of Siena.

We are indebted to Signor Enrico Torrini of Siena for permission to make use of his map.

The remaining illustrations are all from drawings by Helen M. James.


The   Story   of   Siena
San   Gimignano


The Republic of Siena

SIENA remains the most perfectly mediaeval of all the larger cities of Tuscany. Its narrow streets, its spacious Gothic palaces and churches, the three hills upon which it rises enthroned, with the curiously picturesque valleys between them, are still inclosed in frowning walls of the fourteenth century. The Renaissance came to it late, gave it its enduring epithet of “soft Siena,” and blended harmoniously, almost imperceptibly, with its mediaeval spirit.

According to the more picturesque of the traditions respecting its origin, Siena was founded by Senius, the son of Remus, who brought with him the image of the Lupa, the she-wolf suckling the twins, which still remains the city’s badge. When he offered sacrifice to his gods, a dense black smoke arose from the altar of Apollo and a pure white smoke from that of Diana—in commemoration of which was made the balzana, the black and white{2} shield of the Commune that we still see upon Siena’s gates and public buildings. There are two other shields associated with it: a blue shield with the word Libertas in gold letters; a red shield with a white lion rampant. According to other traditions, scarcely more historical, the first was granted to Siena by Charlemagne, the second (the arms of the People) by the Emperor Otto.

Siena was a place of very small importance during the dark ages. As in the case of its neighbour and rival, Florence, its epoch of greatness begins with the earlier decades of the twelfth century, in the confused period that followed the death of the Countess Matilda of Tuscany. Throughout the greater part of the twelfth century and at the beginning of the thirteenth, the Republic of Siena was nominally ruled by Consuls, who up to the middle of the twelfth century shared their authority with the Bishop. They were men of noble rank, usually three or sometimes six in number, elected by the people in the parliament that met either before the then Romanesque Duomo or in the Piazza di San Cristofano, to hold office for one year. At first the nobles were the greater power in the State; some at least were the descendants of the foreign invaders, the counts and barons of the Frankish and German Emperors, and the result of their prepotency was naturally combined with the territorial rivalry with Florence to make Siena throw in its lot with the Ghibellines, when the great struggle between Papacy and Empire, between republican ideals and feudal traditions, divided Italy. Gradually five noble families came to stand out pre-eminently as the schiatte maggiori, with special privileges from the Republic and a predominating influence in the State, names that we shall meet with again and again in Siena’s story; the Piccolomini, the Tolomei, the Malavolti, the Salimbeni and the Saracini. The Salimbeni were{3}






the richest and exercised considerable territorial sway in the contado; the Piccolomini claimed to be of pure Latin descent, and were undoubtedly of more democratic tendencies. These nobles were divided against themselves; there was bitter feud between the Salimbeni and the Tolomei, between the Malavolti and the Piccolomini. And presently the people took advantage of this to rise and claim their share in the administration of the city, and in the reformation of 1147 they obtained a third part of the government.

Gradually the Republic of Siena extended its sway over the neighbouring townlets and over the castelle of the contado, whose feudal lords were forced to reside in the city for some months in the year, to fight for the Commune in war. In spite of internal factions and dissensions, the city increased in wealth and prosperity; its commerce was largely extended; fugitives from Milan, flying from the Teutonic arms of Frederick Barbarossa, introduced the Art of Wool; Sienese gentlemen, led by Filippo Malavolti—a noble whom we dimly discern as a great figure in those far-off republican days—sailed to Syria in Pisan galleys and shared in the capture of Acre. Notwithstanding its traditional support of the imperial cause, it was in this century that Siena gave to the Church the “great Pope of the Lombard League”—Orlando Bandinelli, who during his long pontificate as Alexander III. (from 1159 to 1181) knew how to uphold the rights of Italy no less than the claims of the Papacy against the mightiest of the Kaisers. And, indeed, the Ghibellinism of the Sienese was always of a patriotic Italian type. In 1186 they closed their gates in the face of Barbarossa, believing that he meant to deprive them of their contado, and hurled back his son Henry discomfited from the Porta Camollia. At the close of the century, Siena began to have a Podestà as{6} chief magistrate, like the other cities of Tuscany, who was probably at the outset an imperial nominee, and the consular government appears to have ceased by about 1212; while the people became associated into Arts or Guilds, somewhat resembling the more famous Florentine associations, whose representatives sat in the councils of the Republic and had their voice in the affairs of State.[1] Already the glorious Duomo, though needless to say not in its present form, had been consecrated by Pope Alexander, and the Dogana stood on the site of the present Palazzo Comunale, a sign of increasing commercial prosperity. A great part of the public authority was now in the hands of the Camarlingo and the four Provveditori di Biccherna, the officials who presided over the finances of the Republic. Though for a few years we still find the names of consuls, the Podestà was from 1199 onwards the chief officer of the State; we find in 1200 and in 1201 that Filippo Malavolti held this office, but after 1211 it was invariably assigned to a foreigner. In 1208 the oldest of the Sienese palaces, the Palazzo Tolomei, was built; although burned by the people on at least two occasions, it still retains not a little of its early mediaeval aspect.

Throughout the greater part of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Siena—usually more or less allied with Pisa, Pistoia and the Conti Guidi—was engaged in a series of wars with Florence, an intermittent struggle alternating with hollow, insincere treaties of peace. This was due to the antagonistic ideals of Guelf and Ghibelline, to the growing commercial rivalry between the two republics, each especially striving to get into the{7} hands of its own merchants and noble bankers all the increasingly lucrative affairs of the Roman Curia, and, perhaps, more immediately to the fact that each was striving to extend its contado at the expense of the other. Poggibonsi, Colle di Val d’Elsa, Montalcino and Montepulciano—in which right was probably with Siena and might with Florence—were perpetual sources of contention, and the Sienese suffered severe defeats time after time. “Do not forget through eternity those that deny thee, that withdraw themselves from the homage they owe thee, that plot against thee and that bring shame to thee.” So runs the black book of the Commune, the Memoriale delle Offese, in which these things were recorded. “Be mindful of Montepulciano, that, though it be of thy contado, most proudly endeavours to withdraw itself therefrom.”[2] Grosseto was the first place of importance that, in 1224, fell permanently into the hands of the Sienese, a town previously swayed by the Counts Aldobrandeschi of Santa Fiora, those most potent nobles of the Sienese contado whose pride and whose imperialistic tendencies are recorded by Dante.

Within the city the factions raged furiously. The power of the nobles or gentiluomini was waning, even in Ghibelline Siena. It was laid to their charge that the wars with Florence had taken so unfavourable a turn, that the Florentines were ravaging the contado, had hurled donkeys into Siena with their catapults, and on one occasion had even penetrated into the city itself. By what appears to have been a comparatively peaceful revolution in 1233, the people obtained an increased share in the government; a supreme magistracy of Twenty-four was created, elected annually by the General{8}

In Castel Vecchio, the oldest part of Siena

In Castel Vecchio,
the oldest part of Siena

Council, eight from each terzo of the city, half from each order.[3] But their rule became irksome to the more conservative section of the nobles, who formed a rival party and strove to oust the popolani from power. In 1240 it came to blood, to adopt the Dantesque phrase. The opponents of the new regime, headed by the Podestà, Manfredi da Sassuolo, rose in arms; the people, led by a certain Aldobrandino di Guido Cacciaconti, who is described as one of the “grandi del popolo di Siena,” and who was of an old feudal family, rallied round the Twenty-four. The battle began in three places in the city.{9} There was fighting up and down the narrow streets; there was flaming of torches and clashing of weapons round the palaces and towers. The Palazzo Tolomei and the Palazzo Malavolti were burned, and after much devastation and bloodshed, when many had fallen on either side, the Twenty-four got the upper-hand, drove out a certain number of the nobles, and appointed Aldobrandino Podestà. He was a strong and prudent man, who put down disorder with a firm hand, and reconciled many of the leaders of either party. In the comparative tranquillity that followed, the streets and squares of Siena were paved for the first time. But the struggle with Florence proved disastrous. The Sienese were forced to make a disadvantageous peace, and, in 1255, there was an alliance concluded between the rival republics, in the epoch of Guelf predominance that followed the deaths of Frederick II. and King Conrad.

It was in this brief breathing space, of external peace and internal tranquillity, that a knight of Siena, Messer Folcacchiero de’ Folcacchieri, wrote what was once thought to be the earliest extant example of a regular canzone, describing his own hapless plight through love: Tutto lo mondo vive senza guerra: “All the world is living without war, yet I can find no peace.” The constitution at this time shows the usual bewildering number of separate councils that we find in mediaeval Italian republics. The four Provveditori di Biccherna with their Camarlingo still administered the revenues of the State, the executive was in the hands of the Podestà and Captain. Laws were discussed and approved in the General Council of the Campana, composed of “three hundred good Catholics, not excommunicated nor suspected of heresy.” There was nominally a Parliament, which the Podestà and Captain could not summon without the consent of two-thirds of the Council of the Campana, and without previously explaining what they intended to propose. But{10} “the Twenty-four were the informing soul of the constitution, and once a month they met in secret council without the Podestà and Captain.”[4]

But it was not for long that the Lion shook hands with the Wolf, as we see them at a later epoch on the pavement of the Duomo. Florence was now the predominant power in Tuscany, fiercely democratic and strenuously Guelf; while Pisa and Siena alone clung to the discredited cause of the Ghibellines, the latter thirsting to recover Montalcino which had been lost in the last war. Away in the south, Frederick’s heroic son, King Manfred, was upholding the claims of the imperial house of Suabia, and Siena looked to him. A band of exiled Florentines came to Siena in 1258, led by that tremendous Ghibelline noble whom Dante was afterwards to see rising from his fiery tomb as though he held all Hell in scorn, the man whom the triumph of the Guelfs would torture more than all the torments of his burning bed: Farinata degli Uberti. In spite of the express terms of the treaty, Siena turned a deaf ear to the remonstrance of her nominal ally, and refused to expel the fugitives. War being now inevitable, ambassadors were sent to Manfred to obtain his aid. The price of the royal assistance was that the Sienese should swear fidelity and obedience to him. This was done, and in May 1259, from Lucera, the King received the Commune under his protection. To a second embassy, praying him to take the imperial crown and to send a captain with an army into Tuscany, Manfred answered that he loved Siena above all the cities of Italy, and that he would shortly send to those parts such a captain of his own blood and so great a force of armed men with him “that he shall make the rough ways smooth, and rule that province in peace.”[5] And in{11} December the Count Giordano d’Anglano, the King’s near kinsman, appeared in Siena, with a small force of Germans. He at once took the field in the Maremma, where Grosseto and Montemassi had rebelled from Siena, and forced the former town to surrender in February. Hearing that the Florentines were making huge preparations, and were sending supplies to Montepulciano and Montalcino, another embassy was sent to Manfred in March, headed by the most influential citizen of Siena, Provenzano Salvani.

No sooner had spring come than the Florentine army, headed by their Podesta, Jacopino Rangoni of Modena, entered the territory of the republic and advanced upon Siena by way of Colle and Montereggioni, forcing the Sienese to raise the siege of Montemassi, and to withdraw all their troops for the defence of the city. On the morning of May 18th, there was a smart engagement at Santa Petronilla outside the Porta Camollia. A small force of Germans and Sienese made a vigorous sortie, in which the Germans bore the brunt of the fighting, lost the greater part of their number killed, and the royal banner fell into the hands of the Florentines, who retired to their encampment, having suffered severely in killed and wounded. They broke up their camp and retreated on the 20th, almost simultaneously with the return of Provenzano and his colleagues to Siena followed by a strong force of German and Italian mercenaries from the King.[6] The war was at once renewed with activity, Provenzano Salvani being the leading spirit throughout.{12} Montemassi was taken and Montalcino rigorously blockaded.

The critical condition of Montalcino combined with Ghibelline intrigues to bring the Florentines again into the field. Farinata and his fellow exiles gave the anziani, who then ruled in Florence, to understand that Siena was thirsting for a change of government, for the overthrow of the Twenty-four, and the banishment of Provenzano, “who was the greatest popolano of Siena,” and that the nobles were prepared to sell the city to the Florentines. In spite of the strenuous opposition of Tegghiaio Aldobrandino and the Conte Guidoguerra, the Florentines decided instantly to resume hostilities—nominally to relieve Montalcino, in reality to destroy Siena. They called the people to arms to follow the standards of their companies, summoned aid from Lucca and Bologna and all the Guelf cities of their league. At the beginning of September the army of Florence with the Carroccio or battle car of the Republic, over which floated the red and white standard of the Commune, entered the Sienese contado, where it was joined by the men of Perugia and Orvieto. Without counting these, there were at least 3000 horsemen and more than 30,000 infantry; but there were traitors in the army, in secret understanding with the enemy. From their camp beyond the Arbia, the captain and commissaries of the Florentines sent ambassadors to the Sienese, to demand their instant and absolute submission. “Straightway throw down your walls,” they began, “in order that we may enter your city at whatever place likes us best.”

Forthwith the Twenty-four of Siena summoned the council to meet in the church of San Cristofano. There was some wavering at first. The worthy burghers knew nothing of the secret dealings of the Florentine exiles (to which, probably, Provenzano alone was privy), but had heard much of the might and fierceness of the invading{13} forces, and several of the council urged a compromise. At once Provenzano Salvani sprang to his feet and bade them summon the Count Giordano. The Count came and, with the sixteen German constables, his seneschal and an interpreter, stood before the council. There was no thought of surrender then; the Germans shouted with delight at the prospect of double pay and speedy fighting, and Salimbene Salimbeni at once hurried to his palace and returned with the money, driving through the piazza in a cart covered with scarlet and decked with olive. Through his mouth the Twenty-four gave their reply to the Florentine herald: “Go back to your captain and the commissaries, and tell them that we shall answer them by word of mouth on the field.” The whole city was arming; before the church, the piazza of the Tolomei and all the streets leading to it were packed with a wildly expectant and ever increasing crowd. While away in the Duomo the Bishop assembled the clergy and religious, with bare feet moving in solemn procession to implore the divine aid against “the impious appetites of the Florentines,” the Twenty-four had elected Buonaguida Lucari sindaco with full powers—practically Dictator.

“Men of Siena,” cried Buonaguida from the steps of San Cristofano, “ye all know how we have recommended ourselves to the protection of King Manfred; let us now surrender ourselves, our goods and persons, our city and our contado with all our rights, to the Queen of Eternal Life, to our Lady and Mother, the Virgin Mary. Follow me now, all of you, with purity of faith and freedom of will, to make this offering.”

Bareheaded and barefooted, clad like a beggar with a halter round his neck, the Dictator solemnly carried the keys of the city to the Duomo, followed by the people, barefooted too, and crying continually, misericordia, misericordia. There all the clergy met them, and at{14} the foot of the choir the Bishop and Dictator solemnly embraced, in pledge of the complete union of Church and State, while hereditary foes fell into each other’s arms. Then after silent prayer, prostrate before the altar, the Dictator in an impassioned harangue formally made over the city and contado of Siena to the Mother of Heaven, while the Bishop mounted the pulpit and solemnly exhorted the people to mutual forgiveness and to approach the sacraments. The next day there was a long procession through the streets, the keys were blessed and given over to the keeping of the Gonfalonieri (the elected heads of the three terzi). All night the churches had been thronged by crowds approaching the confessionals, by enemies seeking reconciliation with each other, and at daybreak the Twenty-four sent three heralds with the banners of each terzo to call the people to arms in the name of God and of the Virgin Mary.

It was Friday, September 3rd. The whole army consisted of a little more than 20,000 men. There were 800 Germans and other royal horsemen with the imperial banner, under Count Giordano and the Count of Arras; 400 more horsemen, partly Germans and partly noble Sienese, under the Count Aldobrandino degli Aldobrandeschi of Santa Fiora and Niccolò de’ Bigozzi, seneschal of the Commune. The Florentine and other Ghibelline exiles, under the Count Guido Novello and Farinata, were partly with Giordano, partly with Count Aldobrandino. There were 19,000 citizen infantry from the three terzi of the city and the contado, under the Podestà, Francesco Troghisio, and their three Gonfalonieri, with the Carroccio of the Republic over which floated a white standard “that gave right good comfort, for it seemed the mantle of the Virgin Mary.” A number of priests, some of them armed, accompanied the army; the rest with the Bishop, old men and women,{15} spent the day fasting, going in procession from church to church throughout the city reciting litanies and the like. They marched out of the Porta Pispini and occupied the hill of Monteropoli beyond which, in the plain of the Cortine between the Biena and the Malena (little streams that join the Arbia), and on the opposite hill of Monteselvoli, lay the Guelf army—its leaders confidently expecting a revolution in Siena in their favour and the speedy surrender of one of the gates of the city. All during the night the Sienese harassed the Florentine camp, and on Saturday morning, September 4th, the battle began.

The Count of Arras, with some 400 horse and foot, advancing along the Biena, moved round Monteselvoli to fall upon the Florentine left flank; while the rest of the army left their hill, crossed the Arbia and approached the enemies’ position—the Florentines in the valley hastening up their own side of Monteselvoli to join the main body. The German heavy cavalry commenced the assault, dashing like dragons into the ranks of the men of Prato, Arezzo and Lucca, horse and men falling in heaps before their terrible lances. The Count Giordano led his tedeschi straight for the centre of the Guelfic army, where the “martinella” rang continuously over the Carroccio of Florence, round which the flower of the burgher army stood. The Count Aldobrandino with his cavalry and the eager Sienese followed up the German onslaught; but the resistance was long and stubborn. At last Bocca degli Abati, the traitor in the troop of Florentine nobles, hostis e cive factus as Leonardo Bruni puts it, struck Jacopo Pazzi with his sword on the arm that upheld one of the standards of the Republic; a portion of the cavalry went over to the enemy; the rest, seeing themselves betrayed, took to flight. Simultaneously the Count of Arras with the reserve, shouting “San Giorgio! San Giorgio!” burst{16} furiously upon the Florentine flank. Then came, in Dante’s immortal phrase, “the havoc and the great slaughter that dyed the Arbia red.” The Sienese, writes the chronicler Niccolò di Giovanni Ventura, “seemed like unchained lions rushing upon their foes; little did it avail these to call on San Zanobi or Santa Liperata for aid, for they made a greater slaughter of them than do the butchers of their beasts on Good Friday.” The infantry were driven from their position down into the valley, only to be ruthlessly massacred. A band of Florentine burghers—the flower of the Primo Popolo—stood to the end in heroic desperation round the Carroccio and the standards, and fell in their places, resisting to the last, embracing and kissing the blood-stained wood of the car as they died. A number of the fugitives took refuge in the little castle of Montaperto and held out there till later in the day, when it was stormed and they were all put to the sword. It was not until evening had come that the Count Giordano and the Gonfalonieri of the Sienese bade that quarter should be given and prisoners accepted. The number of the slain Guelfs probably lies somewhere between 10,000, which is the Sienese estimate, and the 2500 given by Villani. The Carroccio had been taken; the popolo vecchio of Florence was “broken and annihilated,” in Villani’s terribly expressive phrase; every house in Florence had lost members, and the allied cities suffered only slightly less. Twelve thousand prisoners are said to have been taken.[7]



Lombardi, Siena

We should visit the battle-field to-day, for the walk or drive is one of the pleasantest in the neighbourhood of Siena. About four miles beyond the Porta Pispini we cross the Bozzone, and then, to the left, ascend the long, low hill of Monteropoli. This was the Sienese position before the battle. Opposite is Monteselvoli, and at our feet the Arbia, and between the two long hills the valley. The contadini take an uncanny pleasure in showing us the way, in pointing out and naming the various sites that witnessed the struggle. Away to the left, above the Malena—nearly an hour’s walk from the small railway station of Arbia—is the spot where the battle ended. A steep little hill, the lower part of which is a vineyard, is crowned with olive trees and cypresses, surrounding a pyramid of rough brown stone. The view that it commands is grand and sweeping; the black and barren hills to the south east; Santafiore hid in clouds to the south; and westwards the blood-stained valley of the battle-field, beyond which rises Siena itself with its towers, behind which the sun was already sinking when the Florentines made their last stand.

From the tower of the Marescotti (now of the Palazzo Saracini), Cerreto Ceccolini had watched the whole fight, beating his drum in signal to the people in the streets below, telling them of the course of the struggle, bidding them cry to God and the Madonna while the event hung in doubt, to shout in exultation when the day was won.

The victorious army rested that night on Monteropoli, with their prisoners and booty. They made their solemn entry into Siena the next day by the same gate through which they had passed out to the war, the{18} German nobles and soldiers crowned with garlands of olive, singing songs in their own tongue as they made their way in triumphant procession to the Duomo. Three days of general supplication and thanksgiving followed; to the title Sena vetus was added by solemn decree Civitas Virginis, to the litany an Advocata Senensium. According to Malavolti, not more than 600 Sienese had fallen on the field of battle, but among them were many young men of the noblest families in the city. It is needless to re-tell in this place the familiar story of the triumphant entry of the Count Giordano with the Ghibelline exiles and his German mercenaries into the desolate Florence, and how that short-lived despotism was set up which the people themselves—those strenuous burghers and artisans of the Florentine Guilds—overthrew six years later. Montalcino, the original cause of the war, had surrendered to Siena a few days after the battle, and had been cruelly humiliated. According to the Sienese chroniclers, the people of Montalcino came through the Porta Romana in penitential robes, with halters round their necks, crying misericordia, and were forced to go to the field of battle to bury all the abandoned dead. A similar fate befell Montepulciano, which Manfred granted to the Commune of Siena on November 20th. In the following year Provenzano was made Podestà of Montepulciano, and with him went Don Ugo, the Camarlingo di Biccherna, to arrange for the building of a fortress there.

But this epoch of Ghibelline prepotency in Tuscany was brief. The victory of Charles of Anjou over Manfred at Benevento, in February 1266, was followed by the restoration of the Guelf supremacy in Florence. Siena and Pisa now stood alone.

Siena had not long remained united. There was still a Guelf faction within the walls, headed by the{19} Tolomei, and the nobles were daily growing more estranged from the people. There was fighting in the Piazza Tolomei in 1265, when the people fired the palace; and again, in 1267, when, after the fall of Manfred, the Guelfs commenced to raise their heads anew. It was in these years that Provenzano Salvani became the ruling spirit of the State, and, in Dante’s words, “in his presumption thought to bring all Siena into his own hands.” It was mainly through his influence that Siena joined with Pisa in aiding Corradino, the youthful grandson of the great Frederick, in his designs upon Italy. Corradino came, a victim marked for the slaughter; and in August 1268 he rode into Siena with his army, and was received with the utmost joy as true Caesar. It was during his stay here that his troops, united with the Sienese, gained a slight victory in the Valdarno, and the prisoners brought into the city seemed to the exulting Ghibellines an augury of the complete triumph of the imperial cause. In the utter overthrow of these aspirations on the disastrous field of Tagliacozzo, “where without arms the old Alardo conquered,” a friend of Provenzano’s had fallen into the hands of the Angevin victor, who set a heavy ransom as the price of his life. Then was it that Provenzano appeared in the guise of a supplicant in the Campo, as Dante tells us in the Purgatorio, begging money of all that passed by, till the sum was made up “to deliver his friend from the torment that he was suffering in Charles’ prison.”

In the very next year a more bitter fate was Provenzano’s own. With Florentine aid, the Guelf exiles were threatening the Sienese frontier, and Provenzano Salvani, with Count Guido Novello, led a mixed force of Tuscan Ghibellines and Spanish and German mercenaries to attack Colle di Val d’Elsa. Here, in June 1269, they were surprised by a smaller force of French{20} cavalry under Guy de Montfort, “routed and rolled back in the bitter paces of flight,” the Florentines and Guelf exiles taking ample vengeance for the slaughter of Montaperti. More than a thousand Sienese fell. Provenzano himself, to whom before the battle it had been foretold that his head should be the highest in the field, was taken prisoner, and murdered in cold blood by Cavolino Tolomei, who rode through the host with his head upon the point of his lance. Among the Guelf exiles in Colle was a noble lady named Sapia—the wife, it is said, of Ghinibaldo Saracini—who waited in agonised suspense in a tower near the field, declaring that she would hurl herself down from the window if her countrymen were victorious. When she saw them routed, and watched the furious Guelf pursuit, she broke out into the paroxysm of delight recorded by Dante, “crying to God, Henceforth I fear thee no more.”[8]

The battle of Colle di Val d’Elsa closes the period of Ghibelline supremacy in Siena. In the following year Guy de Montfort, as vicar of King Charles, forced the Sienese to take back their Guelf exiles, who soon drove out the Ghibellines. Instead of the Twenty-four, the chief power was now vested in a Thirty-six, who included both nobles and popolani. The long struggle with Florence was over for the present, Siena being forced to join her rival in the Guelf League under the suzerainty of the Angevin king. And as was inevitable when the Guelfs got the upper hand in an Italian state, in 1280 the nobles, or gentiluomini, were excluded from the Government, which was now put into the hands of the “Fifteen Governors and Defenders of the Commune and People of Siena.” A daring, but unsuccessful attempt of the Ghibelline exiles and their adherents within the walls to recapture the city in 1281{21} only resulted in strengthening the new democratic government. In 1285 the Fifteen were reduced to Nine, the famous magistracy of the Signori Nove, “the Lords Nine, the Defenders of the Commune and People of the city and district of Siena, and of the jurisdiction of the same,” in which no members of noble houses could sit (though still eligible for the other offices of the State, such as those of the Provveditori di Biccherna). Their term of office was two months, during which they lived at the expense of the State in one or other of the palaces of the city, rented for the purpose, until the present Palazzo Pubblico was built. The Nine were chosen from the popolo di mezzo, the rich and enlightened merchant class, that came between the nobles and the plebeians. Throughout the story of Siena we find the word Monte used to denote the faction or order that held sway, and this was the beginning of the Monte dei Nove, whose adherents were afterwards known as the Noveschi. The order that had previously held the supremacy is henceforth known as the Monte de’ Gentiluomini.

The Siena of this epoch of Guelf predominance is that luxurious city of the gente vana, the “vain folk,” that Dante knew, the city whose paths he trod in the early days of his exile. Senseless extravagance reigned side by side with hectic devotion and mystic enthusiasm. Typical, indeed, of this time are two figures of whom we read in the Divina Commedia; the young nobleman, Lano Maconi, who, having squandered all his substance in riotous living, joined in the unsuccessful expedition of the Sienese and Florentines against Arezzo in 1288, and, when the Sienese fell into an ambush at the ford of Pieve del Toppo, instead of saving his life by flight, dashed into the middle of the Aretines and found the death he sought; Pietro Pettignano, Franciscan tertiary and combseller of the Terzo di Camollia, who saved{22} the soul of Monna Sapia by his prayers, saw visions and wrought miracles, and after a life of humility and righteousness died in 1289, and was venerated as a saint.[9] Magnificent processions, gorgeous ceremonies of church and state, sumptuous balls and banquets, celebrated the bestowing of the order of knighthood upon the nobles of city and contado—each aristocratic house striving to eclipse the other in lavish hospitality and brilliant display. Amidst it all we hear the voice of that realist of the Trecento—Cecco degli Angiolieri, who “anticipates Villon from afar”[10]—singing of the three things for which he cares, la donna, la taverna, e’ l dado, celebrating his sordid passion for Becchina, the shoemaker’s daughter, pouring venomous abuse upon his own father, who persisted in living on and thus keeping him out of his heritage, railing against all mankind in half furious, half humorous style, daring to break a lyric lance even with the divine Florentine, Dante Alighieri himself. More characteristic of Siena is Cecco’s contemporary; Folgore da San Gimignano, in his corona of fourteen sonnets addressed to the brigata nobile e cortese, a club of twelve extravagant young Sienese nobles. Month by month through the year he sets forth a round of pleasures of every kind, feasting and hunting, music and jousting (the latter, in spite of a reference to Camelot, of a very harmless, carpet-knight description), dallying in pleasant places with lovely women. Nowhere else shall you find so perfect a picture of the splendid life and delicate living of courtly circles in “soft Siena”—Siena l’amorosa madre di dolcezza, as another poet called her—with her gay young gallants—

“Who as King Priam’s sons might surely stand,
Valiant and courteous more than Lancelot,{23}
Each one, if need should be, with lance in hand,
Would fight in tournament at Camelot.”

It was from these glittering, luxurious scenes that one of Siena’s proudest nobles, Bernardo Tolomei, fled to the desert, in 1313, to found the great convent of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, and to return to the city in 1348 with his white-robed companions, to lay down his life for his fellow-countrymen during the pestilence.

Until the advent of that terrible pestilence of 1348, the epoch of the supremacy of the Nine is the brightest in the history of Siena. “In that time,” wrote Fra Filippo Agazzari, a few years later, “the city of Siena was in such great peace, and in such great abundance of every earthly good, that almost every feast day innumerable weddings of young women were celebrated in the city.”[11] It is the epoch in which most of Siena’s noblest buildings were reared, the epoch in which its three supreme painters—Duccio di Buoninsegna, Simone Martini, Ambrogio Lorenzetti—for a brief while raised the school of their native city to an equality with that of Florence. Trade flourished, the university prospered; the Republic remained Guelf, though it retained a certain Ghibelline element within its core that kept it from an aggressive policy, and led the more strenuous Florentines to a proverb touching their neighbour: La lupa puttaneggia, “the she-wolf plays the harlot.” In 1303 the Sienese purchased Talamone—which they fondly hoped to make into a valuable sea-port whereby they might become a great maritime power to rival Genoa or even Venice—from the Abbot of San Salvadore. Henceforth, to their mocking neighbours, they became the “vain folk that hopes in Talamone,” upon which they spent enormous sums of money with no result, owing to the unhealthiness of the situation and the impossibility of keeping the harbour clear. They{24} joined the Italian league against Henry of Luxemburg, sent men and money to the defence of Brescia, and, by their prompt assistance to the Florentines, helped in forcing the Emperor to raise the siege of Florence in 1312, when his army wasted their contado. A little later, when Uguccione della Faggiuola was upholding the imperial cause, 400 Sienese cavalry and 3000 infantry were in the Guelf army that was annihilated at Montecatini in 1315. But in 1326, when Duke Charles of Calabria came to Siena on his way to Florence, and demanded the lordship of the former city as well, they rose in arms against him, barricaded the streets with chains, and forced the proud Guelf prince to accept their terms. The Duke of Athens, in 1343, having made himself tyrant of Florence, attempted to get Siena into his hands, by stirring up the nobles against the Nine; the Nine retaliated by arranging the conspiracy that caused his overthrow and his expulsion from Florence. “For three days,” writes Bindino da Travale, “the balzana floated over the Tower of the Commune of Florence, alone, without any other banner.”

A Street in Siena

A Street in Siena

The external wars of this epoch, mainly against Pisa, were unimportant. Within Siena itself the harmony was by no means unintermittent. A passage that we read in the Cronica Senese under the year 1314 is only too typical: “On the sixteenth day of April there was{25} great tumult and battle in Siena, between the Tolomei and the Salimbeni, and all the city was up in arms.” And, in addition to the never ending feud between these two great houses, there were political interests at stake. The Tolomei, with whom were other houses of the magnates, were opposed to the Nine, and adopted the cause of the lower classes of the people, the popolo minuto, who were excluded from the Government by the burgher oligarchy. In 1318 the Tolomei, with certain of the Forteguerri and other nobles, plotted with the notaries and butchers and a number of artisans, to overthrow the Nine; but the attempt was easily repressed. A prolonged vendetta between Salimbeni and Tolomei kept the whole city disturbed between 1320 and 1326, while similar feuds, accompanied by ferocious murders and sanguinary riots, between the Malavolti and Piccolomini, Saracini and Scotti, enlivened the two following decades of the century. In 1346, a section of the Tolomei, allied with the popolo minuto, attempted a rising in the contrada of the Porta Ovile; several of their plebeian adherents were hanged, but the Captain of War was afraid to lay hands upon the nobles. In 1347, the Pope’s legate and the Nine succeeded in reconciling the Piccolomini and the Malavolti.

The terrible pestilence, known as the Black Death, that swept over Europe in 1348, devastated Siena for nearly six months. Even when we remember Boccaccio’s pages, we still read the account in the Cronica Senese with a fresh thrill of horror.[12] It raged from May to October. Men and women felt the fatal swelling, “and suddenly, crying out, they died. The father hardly stayed to see his son; one brother fled the other; the wife abandoned her husband; for it was said that this disease was caught by looking, and in the breath.” So great was the mortality that none could be hired to bury{26} the dead. No sooner was a man’s breath out of his body, than his friends took him to the church and buried him, without any funeral service, as best they could. Huge trenches were dug in different parts of the city, and the dead thrown in, indiscriminately, in great heaps. “And I, Agnolo di Tura called Grasso, buried five of my sons in one trench with my own hands; and many others did the like. And also there were some that were so badly covered up that the dogs dragged them out, and ate many bodies in the city. No bells tolled, and no one wept at any misfortune that befel, for almost every person expected death; and the thing went in such wise that folk thought that no one would remain on live, and many men believed and said: This is the end of the world. Here no physician availed, nor medicine, nor any defence; rather it seemed that the more precaution a man took, the sooner he died.” About three quarters of the inhabitants of city and contado perished, though the “more than 80,000 persons” of Agnolo di Tura must be an exaggeration. While the pestilence raged most fiercely, Bernardo Tolomei and his white robed Olivetani came down from their cloistered retreat to tend the stricken people of their native city, and almost all, including Bernardo, died with them. In the following year the Sienese who survived gave themselves up to feasting and riotous living. They all behaved for a while like brothers and relations, says the chronicler; each one felt as though he had won back the world, and no one could settle down to doing anything. And for a long while Siena seemed uninhabited, per Siena non pareva che fusse persona.

The order of the Nine fell in 1355, and thirteen years of tumultuous, perpetual change followed. The Emperor elect, Charles IV.—“di Lusimburgo ignominioso Carlo,” as Fazio degli Uberti calls him—was on his way from Pisa to be crowned at Rome; the Sienese ambassadors,{27} headed by Guccio Tolomei and Giovanni di Agnolino Salimbeni, had sworn fidelity to him at Pisa on behalf of the Nine, and he had sworn in return to preserve the liberties of Siena, and to make the Nine his vicars. With a thousand knights and barons, the Emperor and Empress entered Siena on March 25th, each under a baldacchino gorgeous with gold, with music playing and banners flying, and were greeted with enthusiasm. No sooner had the Caesar dismounted at the palace of the Salimbeni, than a cry arose throughout the city: “Long live the Emperor and death to the Nine!” The Piccolomini with the consent of the other magnates (excepting only Giovanni di Agnolino Salimbeni) began the rising, and the popolo minuto on the following day rose in arms at their call. When night fell, on the 26th, the chains of the city were cut, and the keys brought to the Emperor; the Nine, helpless and terrified, lurked in the Palace of the Commune, while the people sacked and burned their houses. The next day all Siena was in arms. The Emperor rode through vast acclaiming throngs in the Campo to confer with the Nine in the Palace, while louder and louder rose the deafening roar, “Long live the Emperor and death to the Nine!”—the nobles instigating the populace to further efforts. In the Palace the Caesar received the abdication of the Nine, forced them to renounce all the privileges he had granted them, to annul the oath he had sworn to their ambassadors—while the younger nobles, shouting and cheering, led the populace to sack the palaces of the Provveditori di Biccherna and Consoli di Mercanzia, and the houses of the wool merchants, to release the prisoners, to hunt out the luckless Podestà and War-Captain. The books of condemnation, the papers of the Nine, were burnt before the Emperor’s eyes in the piazza, and their official chest was dragged through the city at the tail of an ass. Though Charles had sufficient decency to refuse to surrender{28} the persons of the Nine to the fury of the mob outside, he let the nobles and populace avenge themselves on their houses and property, and it was not until the evening had come that he sent his soldiers to guard the Dogana del Sale, and to order every one to lay down their arms. But such was the general alarm that no one would receive any of the adherents of the luckless Nine; their servants deserted them, the very priests and religious shrank from them as though they had the plague. The Emperor caused a certain number of citizens to be elected—twelve nobles and eighteen of the popolo minuto to “reform the government,” and went on his way leaving his vicar, the Patriarch of Aquileia, in charge. A supreme magistracy of twelve popolani was elected, henceforth known as the Signori Dodici, four from each terzo of the city, holding office for two months, one of them to serve as Captain of the People; there was further to be a kind of subsidiary council of six gentiluomini, who were not to reside with the Signoria in the Palazzo, but without whom the Twelve could undertake nothing of importance nor open letters that concerned the state. When the Emperor returned from Rome at the beginning of May and passed through Siena again, he was received with great honours and renewed acclamations, as the Deliverer of the People, and made about sixty knights, nobles of Siena and plebeians alike—many of the latter carried bodily to him on the shoulders of the populace and knighted, amidst the wildest clamour and confusion, against their own will and to the great disgust of the imperial barons.

Hardly had the Emperor left the city than the six nobles—with the consent of their leader, Giovanni di Agnolino Salimbeni, who appears prominently during these years as a powerful influence in the Republic on the side of peace and moderation—were forced to lay down their office. The whole government now remained in the{29} hands of the Twelve, who were mostly petty tradesmen and notaries, and whose rule was corrupt and incapable. A number of the subject towns refused to acknowledge them; Montepulciano gave itself to Perugia, and the Sienese, in revenge, persuaded the governor of Cortona to revolt against the Perugians. A fierce war between Siena and Perugia followed. The Sienese gained a creditable victory outside the walls of Cortona. The light armed cavalry of Perugia harried the Sienese contado, and even approached the gates of the city itself, and the Sienese retaliated by taking the mercenaries of Conrad of Landau into their pay—who were, however, intercepted and severely cut up by the Florentine mountaineers of the Val di Lamone—and ravaged the Perugian territories up to the walls of Perugia. Peace was made at the end of 1358, much to the advantage of Siena, who kept Cortona, while the Perugians had to set Montepulciano free at the end of five years. At the beginning of 1365 the latter town made Messer Giovanni di Agnolino their Podestà, and returned to the obedience of Siena.

During these years of the rule of the Twelve, the contado was perpetually threatened by wandering bands of mercenaries—the Compagnia Bianca, mainly Englishmen, but led by German captains; the Compagnia della Stella; the Compagnia del Cappello of Italians, under Niccolò da Montefeltro; the Compagnia di San Giorgio, which is associated with the great name of John Hawkwood. These had to be compounded with, to be guarded against by enrolling other mercenaries, to be played off against each other. In October 1363, the Sienese, led by their Conservatore or War-Captain, Ceccolo di Giordano Orsini, and stiffened by a strong force of Germans and Hungarians, overtook the Compagnia del Cappello, which was devastating the contado, in the Valdichiana, and gained a complete victory, taking its{30} captain and other leaders prisoners. But when, in March 1367, they tried to play the same game with John Hawkwood and his company of Englishmen, near Montalcinello, there was a very different tale to tell; the Sienese were driven back to Siena in headlong rout, their Conservatore was taken prisoner, and peace had to be purchased at a goodly rate of golden florins. Within the city there was restless plotting against the Twelve, followed by banishments and executions—for this government was by no means so reluctant to lay hands upon the nobles as the Nine had been. Realising that the feeling of the city was turning against them, the Twelve sent a splendid embassy to receive Pope Urban V. when he landed at the Port of Talamone (on his way to Rome in that ineffectual, because premature, attempt to heal the leprosy of Avignon), entered into league with him, sent horsemen under Sozzo Bandinelli and Piero Piccolomini to support the cause of the Church at Viterbo and Bologna. This was good so far as it went, but it did not avert the storm that burst upon Siena in 1368.

The Twelve had split into two factions—the “Canischi” and the “Grasselli.” The Canischi sided with the Tolomei, with whom were Piccolomini, Saracini, and Cerretani; the Grasselli were allied with the Salimbeni. The Emperor was expected in Tuscany, and the most honoured citizen of Siena, Giovanni di Agnolino Salimbeni, had come from Montepulciano to head the embassy that went from Siena to greet Caesar in Lombardy. Although even the magistrates in the Signoria were at daggers drawn, Giovanni’s influence had delayed the catastrophe; but, on his return from the Emperor, he was killed by a fall from his horse on the way from Siena to Rocca d’Orcia. The nobles rose in mass, united with the adherents of the Nine, and senza colpo di spada, at the beginning of September, forced{31} the Twelve to surrender the Palace and the entire control of the State. A new magistracy of thirteen consuls was established; one from each of the five Greater Families, five representatives of the lesser nobles, three to represent the Nine. An embassy was dispatched by this new government to the Emperor; but, in the meanwhile, the Salimbeni had made common cause with the adherents of the Twelve, and sent ambassadors on their own account. On September 24th the Salimbeni, shouting for the People and the Emperor, rushed out of their palace and gardens in arms, joined forces with the Twelve, broke open the Porta di San Prospero, and admitted Malatesta de’ Malatesta, the imperial vicar, who with 800 horse had been lying in wait. From street to street the people and nobles struggled desperately with each other; during the three weeks of their rule, the latter had fortified their houses and enrolled soldiers for this emergency, which enabled them to hold their own at first even against the trained cavalry of the imperial vicar, while their overbearing and tyrannous conduct had exasperated the people to madness. A last stand was made in the Campo round the Palazzo, where there was a grim struggle, grande e aspra battaglia, until Malatesta carried the place by storm, and the populace, rushing in after the imperial soldiery, sacked it. The nobles fled from the city with their families, carrying with them all the goods that they could save from the wreck. Malatesta fortified himself in the Poggio Malavolti, from which, until the following January, he practically ruled the city as imperial vicar; while in the Palazzo a popular council of 124 plebeians met, which was called the Consiglio de Riformatori, and created a new supreme magistracy of twelve, composed of five of the popolo minuto, four of the Twelve, three of the order of the Nine; the Signori Dodici Difensori del Popolo Senese. The same proportion of the three{32} ordini or Monti was to hold in the general council of 650 popolani. To reward the Salimbeni for their services to the People, or, as Malavolti, the aristocratic historian of Siena, puts it, “for the perfidy they had used against the other nobles,” they were given five castles in the Sienese contado and declared popolani, so as to be eligible for the chief magistracy.

The Emperor came back to Siena on October 12th, with the Empress. He entered at the Porta Tufi, where the Twelve and the Salimbeni met him, all crowned with flowers and bearing olive branches. He alighted at the Salimbeni palace, while his followers were quartered in the deserted houses of the exiled nobles. The next day, after Mass in the Duomo, he knighted Reame and Niccolò Salimbeni—“and very little pleasure did any one take in that,” says the Sienese Chronicle grimly. An enormous present of money was made to him and the Empress, as also to Malatesta, and when the Emperor left on the 14th, the Empress remained behind for some days to induce Siena to redeem the imperial crown which had been pawned in Florence. In the meanwhile the nobles were making alarms and excursions in the contado, almost up to the gates of the city. There was another revolution in December. The lowest portion of the populace, or at least lower than those hitherto represented in the administration—“verily plebeians and entirely new men,” as Malavolti has it—assailed the Palazzo, forced their way in, hunted out the representatives of the Twelve and Nine alike. Finally by a sort of general compromise a council of 150 riformatori was appointed, who reformed the State by the creation of a supreme magistracy of Fifteen Defenders, composed of eight of the popolo minuto, four of the Twelve, three of the Nine. This was the origin of the Monte dei Riformatori, because the name was retained in the families of those popolani who took a part in this regime, the names{33} of Nine and Twelve (Nove and Dodici) being retained in those families who belonged to these two orders and shared their fortunes. The Monti of Riformatori, Dodicini, and Noveschi were likewise known as the People of the Greater Number, the People of the Middle Number, and the People of the Lesser Number respectively.[13]

The Emperor rode again into Siena, with the Empress and a long train of knights and nobles, on December 22nd. He dismounted as before at the Palace of the Salimbeni. The nobles were still ravaging the contado and, by means of the Marquis of Montferrat, Charles made some sort of attempt to effect a reconciliation between them and the people, which was cut short by the intrigues of the Salimbeni and Dodicini, who had gained the shallow Caesar’s ear. The arrival of a papal legate, the Cardinal of Bologna, with armed men at the end of the month increased the general alarm: it was rumoured that Charles intended to sell Siena to the Pope. The Emperor demanded the surrender of the fortresses of Massa, Montalcino, Grosseto, Talamone and Casole, and implied that he meant to reform the State; the Fifteen summoned a general council of more than 800 citizens, and returned an absolute refusal. Then the Salimbeni thought that the time had come to strike. On January 18th, Niccolò Salimbeni rode furiously through the street with armed followers, shouting “Long live the People! Down with the traitors who want the nobles back!” Malatesta with his cavalry entered the Campo, drew up in front of the Palace, calling upon the Signoria in the name of Caesar to surrender, and to expel the three representatives of the Nine. Instantly the alarm was sounded from the Mangia Tower. The armed forces of the people poured into the Campo, and their captain, Matteino di Ventura Menzani, with the gonfalone in his hand, led them against the foreign cavalry. The{34} bells were ringing a stormo from churches and palaces, clashing and clanging over the heads of republicans and imperialists, when Caesar himself, his royal helmet crowned with a garland, appeared upon the scenes. With the Salimbeni and a long train of horsemen he was making his way to the Palazzo, when the victorious people, having routed Malatesta, burst upon him at the Croce del Travaglio. The imperial banner was struck down and the imperial forces broken. At the Palazzo Tolomei “there was an incredible battle,” the imperial escort fighting desperately to cover the Caesar’s retreat. One of the Salimbeni, with an olive branch in his hand, came into the Campo in the name of Caesar to implore the Captain to grant a cessation of hostilities, but was promptly sent about his business. By the time that the unfortunate Emperor got back to the Salimbeni Palace, he had lost more than 400 killed—including two of his nephews—and all the hospitals were full of his wounded.

Before the fight had ended the Defenders sent a solemn procession to bring back the three of the Nine who had left the Palace; “with a goodly company, preceded by the trumpets, with garlands on their heads and with olive branches in their hands; they put them back in the Palace in their place, embracing them and kissing them with the greatest tenderness and craving pardon.” The Captain of the People issued a proclamation that no one should sell nor give any food to the Emperor and his folk. “The Emperor remained alone with the greatest fear that any rascal ever had. The people stared at him; he wept and made excuses, embraced and kissed every person that went to him, and said: ‘I have been betrayed by Messer Malatesta and by Messer Giovanni and by the Salimbeni and by the Twelve.’”[14] Half starved and altogether terrified, the unfortunate man promised anything the Sienese wanted, in order to get away from the{35}






dreadful city. He made the Defenders his vicars in perpetuity, granted the Sienese all conceivable privileges, pardoned everybody everything, accepted a handsome sum of money, and went. Many of the Salimbeni and others tried to escape disguised among the knights of his train, but several were detected and handed over to the Captain of the People. It was said that there had been a conspiracy to make over the lordship of Siena to Malatesta with an annual tribute to the Emperor, to give the Salimbeni and the Dodicini two days of complete vengeance over their foes, to allow the soldiers three days’ sack of the city. But the matter was hushed up and the prisoners released, to the indignation of the populace.

A few months of anarchy followed. The Salimbeni and the Dodicini were at the throats of the Noveschi in the city, while the banished nobles maintained a state of war in the contado. The Defenders and the Council of the Riformatori appointed an esecutore to maintain order and execute justice, and formed a new association known as the Casata Grande del Popolo, with the white lion for arms, to preserve the popular constitution of the State. In July, 1369, by arbitration of the Florentine Republic, peace was at last made, and the six exiled families—Piccolomini, Malavolti, Saracini, Tolomei, Forteguerri, Cerretani—were reconciled with the Republic and restored to their country, with the right of sitting in all the magistracies of the State, saving only those of the fifteen Defenders, the three Gonfalonieri, and the Councils of the Riformatori. The treaty was received with universal satisfaction—but the peace was of brief duration. Although the Salimbeni had previously made terms with the other nobles, they continued to hang the banner of the People out of their windows “come consorti del Popolo.”

Among the lowest degrees of the popolo minuto—men of the infima plebe, workers and carders of the Art{38} of Wool, who lived in the narrow lanes up and down the Costa di Porta Ovile—an association had been formed which afterwards came to be known as the Compagnia del Bruco, from the badge of the contrada. In July 1371, induced partly by hunger, partly by the oppression of the Masters of the Arte della Lana, a number of them rose, took grain by force from the houses where it was stored, and made a disturbance in the Campo. The Senator (as the Conservatore and Capitano di Guerra was now called) arrested three of their ringleaders, put them to the torture and sentenced them to death. They were wool-combers of the Art, all belonging to the association. At once the whole Compagnia rose in arms, and with tremendous uproar, on July 14th, assailed the Palace of the Senator, demanding that the three should be released or else they would burn the place down. Hearing this, the Captain of the People, Francesco di Naddo, left the Palazzo del Commune with the gonfalone and the trumpets before him, and forced his way up to the Senator’s Palace. He induced the Senator to surrender the three prisoners—with the sole result that the whole Compagnia, roaring “Out with the Nine and the Twelve,” “Long life to the People,” led by a certain Ferraccio swept through the streets, tore down the banner of the People from the Salimbeni palace, seized the gonfaloni of the terzi, drove headlong before them a band of nobles who had tried to stay their march, and finally—with the aid of the greater part of the populace—captured the Palazzo and expelled the four of the Twelve and the three of the Nine from the Signoria, substituting seven of the “Popolo del Maggior Numero.” There was a short breathing space in which the Council of the Riformatori attempted a sort of compromise. But in the meanwhile the leaders of the Dodicini, with some of the Salimbeni and others of the people who misliked what had happened, gained over the Captain{39} and the three Gonfalonieri to their side. It was arranged that the Captain should secretly introduce armed men into the Palazzo, that each Gonfaloniere should secure his own terzo, and that the Salimbeni should march in from the contado with all their forces and seize the city gates, after which there should be a general massacre of all their opponents and the whole State should be reformed. The plot was to take effect on August 1st; but some inkling of what was intended reached the Signoria. Many arrests were made, and the conspirators resolved to precipitate matters. But on the night of the 29th, hearing the clash of arms in the Captain’s apartments, the Defenders were put upon the alert, and succeeded in taking the Captain red-handed in the act of opening the gate. When day broke, the whole city was in an uproar. The three Gonfalonieri and the Dodicini had armed their adherents to the number of nearly two thousand men; they had occupied the mouths of the Campo and the Croce del Travaglio. A horrible massacre commenced in the quarters of the carders’ association. The conspirators, armed with crossbows, lances and swords fell upon the unarmed populace, hunting them up and down the narrow lanes along the Costa d’Ovile, breaking into the houses, murdering men, women and children alike. Then they turned to assail the Palace. But the shrieks and the cries for aid of the fugitives had roused the nobles and certain of the Noveschi, who armed themselves and moved to the support of the Signoria. There was fierce fighting in the Campo and at the foot of the Palace, and in each terzo; but at last the victory was complete on the side of the government, and the soldiery of the Salimbeni only moved up from the contado to find that all was over. There was a large number of executions. On the 1st of August, the day on which the conspiracy was to have taken effect, the Captain of the People himself, dressed in scarlet, was led out into the Campo and{40} solemnly beheaded upon a scaffold covered with scarlet cloth. The Gonfaloniere of the Terzo di Città was taken in hiding near San Domenico, and executed at the Porta Salaia; his two colleagues, who had escaped, were declared rebels, with many others. In the new reformation of the State, the popolani of the Middle Number (Dodicini) were excluded, the Fifteen being composed of twelve popolani of the Greater Number (Riformatori) and three of the Minor Number (Noveschi), while almost all the artisans, minori artifici, were added to the number of the Riformatori.

The government of the Riformatori lasted till 1385. It was practically a government of artisans; though patriotic and energetic, their rule was extremely oppressive, and burghers and nobles alike murmured. There were continual plots, followed by banishments, torturings, executions. The Salimbeni were expelled in 1374, their houses and possessions wasted; but they gathered together in the contado, captured many castles, and carried on a formidable war against the State. In the stormy years that followed the return of the Popes from Avignon and the consequent schism in the Church, Siena suffered greatly from the bands of mercenaries who appeared at intervals in the territory of the Republic, ravaging the country with great damage. In June 1384 the army of the Sienese, engaged in a war in the Papal States against the Prefetto di Vico and Hawkwood, was completely defeated, and the Riformatori compelled to purchase an ignominious peace. This shook their power. Shortly afterwards a futile attempt to get possession of Arezzo by purchase from Enguerrand de Courcy, who had occupied it for Louis of Anjou—in which they were forestalled by the diplomatic skill of the Florentines—brought things to a climax. The Malavolti with the Piccolomini, Cerretani, and other nobles joined the Salimbeni in arms, and made war upon the Republic,{41} cruel reprisals being committed on either side, men’s tempers embittered; the Riformatori, in despair, were ready to admit the Dodicini and Noveschi and all the people into their order. The Florentines secretly fanned the flames. By the beginning of March the Riformatori no longer dared to leave the city, while the nobles threatened the gates of Siena itself. “Although I am not one of the Riformatori,” says the chronicler,[15] “yet do I say that the Riformatori were more thoroughly artisan than any other government ever was, and also the most loyal men towards their Commune; and they were more courageous against their neighbours than any other government.” According to him they were undone by Florentine intrigue, and by the fault of a few bad men among them. On March 23rd, 1385, certain of the Dodicini forced the Bargello to release a prisoner whom he had arrested near the Porta Salaia. This was the occasion of the rising. The Riformatori called their partisans to arms, while the Dodicini and Noveschi, led by the Saracini and Scotti, assailed them furiously in the Campo. For the greater part of the day the struggle raged through Siena. The masses of the people were desperately excited, but divided and disposed to support the Riformatori. Then said a Jew to one of the Saracini: “Do you wish to conquer? Now cry, Viva la Pace! And at that word all the people will hold with you.” The rabble, tutta la gente minuta, at once turned upon the Riformatori, and the rout was complete; and on the following day the nobles and their allies entered Siena in triumph. “Thus,” writes our chronicler,[16] “the city was despoiled of all the Arts, and the Kingdom benefited thereby and all the Marches and the Patrimony, and Pisa grew populous with them.{42} And I, the writer, who am not one of the Riformatori, judged that it was ill done; for the city of Siena was ruined and wasted, seeing that successively more than four thousand good artisans, citizens of the city, were driven out, of whom not the sixth part ever returned.”





Saint Catherine of Siena

THE closing years of this great republican epoch are lit up by the genius and the inspiration of one of the most wonderful women in the history of Italy: Caterina Benincasa, now more generally known as St Catherine of Siena. She was born on March 25th, 1347, the youngest of a large family of sons and daughters that Monna Lapa bore to her husband, Giacomo Benincasa, a dyer of the contrada of Fontebranda. The family of the Benincasa belonged to the Monte de’ Dodici. Until the death of Giacomo in 1368, his children all lived together with him in the house still shown—one of the most revered sanctuaries of Siena—in the valley below San Domenico.

In her childhood Catherine began to see visions, to practise almost incredible austerities. Her talk already seemed full of a wisdom and a prudence not her own. “It would have been enough,” writes one of the friars of San Domenico, who frequented Giacomo’s house, “for any of the wisest servants of God.” For a long while her family opposed her abnormal mode of life; but they were at last overcome by her sweetness and perseverance. Her father especially, who had seen a white dove hovering over her head while she knelt at prayer, was convinced that she was acting in accordance with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and bade the others leave her in perfect liberty to live as she chose. At the age of sixteen or seventeen she took the habit of the Dominican Sisters of Penance—the{44} white robe of purity and the black mantle of humility in which we still see her clad on the walls of so many of Siena’s churches and palaces. She still remained in her father’s house, though for the next three years she lived apart from her family and utterly severed from the outer world: “Within her own house she found the desert, and a solitude in the midst of people.” She never left the house save to go into San Domenico—especially that chapel known as the Cappella delle Volte, so full still of the aroma of her sweet spirit. Wondrous revelations came to her of the Divine Beauty; she smelt the fragrance of unearthly lilies, and heard the celestial music of Paradise, led by Mary Magdalene, singing con voce alta e con grazia di singolar dolcezza. In her visions Christ stood continually by her side; with Him she walked familiarly; with Him she talked as friend to friend, or recited the psalms in her little room, as one religious is wont to do with another. At last the divine voice spoke in her heart: “I will espouse thee to Myself in perfect faith.” On the last day of the carnival, while all Siena was riotously feasting and making merry, Christ appeared to her as she knelt in prayer in her cell, and the voice in her heart spoke again: “Now will I wed thy soul, which shall ever be conjoined and united to Me with most sincere faith, as I promised thee before.” Then seemed it to her that the Blessed Virgin came, gloriously attended, to give her in mystical marriage to her Divine Son, who, “gladly accepting, espoused her on the finger with a most noble ring, which had a right wondrous diamond set in the midst of four goodly pearls.” “When this most certain vision passed away, the virgin saw continually this ring when she looked at her finger, albeit to us it was invisible.”[17]

After this vision, Catherine, being now about twenty{45} years old, joined once more in the family life of her home, and began to mix with men and women of the outer world. She chose for herself all the menial offices of the house, was assiduous in the service of the poor and in tending the sick. She became, to adopt her own phrase, serva e schiava de’ servi di Gesù Cristo. “Catherine,” writes the best of her modern biographers, “possessed of that magnificent gift, the perfection of faith, beheld in each poor sufferer to whom she ministered nothing less than the person of her Lord. She sought Him then in the streets and broadways of her native city, and she found Him in the hospitals of the lepers, and wherever sickness had assumed its most terrible and repulsive forms.”[18] Her ecstatic trances grew more prolonged, her wondrous visions more continuous; she suffered intolerable pains in all her frame, and appears gradually to have come to live without nourishment of ordinary food and drink. All that approached her were struck by her mirthfulness and never-failing bright spirits; “ella è sempre lieta e ridente,” wrote one that saw her. The Benincasa were prosperous then, and her father allowed Catherine to dispense to the poor, at her own discretion, all that was in his house. But Giacomo died in 1368, and in the revolution of the following year his family suffered heavily. The three sons only saved their lives by the intervention of their sister, who led them in safety, through an armed mob of their enemies, to take refuge in the Spedale on the opposite hill. Shortly after, the three left Siena for Florence, where they became Florentine citizens.{46}

The same year that her brothers left Siena, 1370, marks an epoch in Catherine’s life. “Do you not see, father,” she said to Frate Tommaso della Fonte, “that I am no longer she who I was, but that I am changed into another?” Praying as usual in the Cappella delle Volte in San Domenico, her Divine Spouse had appeared to her in vision, and drawn forth her heart from her side, placing His own, uno cuore rubicundo e lucidissimo, therein instead. Meditating upon the Passion, she began to endure in her body and in her soul what Christ had endured for man. A little later she seemed to be dying, or actually dead. In this suspension of her life or mystical death—call it what you will—she beheld the spiritual lives of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, and was bidden to return to the world, to convince it of sin and error, to warn it of impending peril. “The salvation of many souls demands thy return,” said the voice of the Divine Spouse in her heart, “nor shalt thou any longer keep that way of life that up to now thou hast kept. No longer shalt thou have thy cell for dwelling-place; nay, thou shalt go forth from thy own city for the utility of souls. I shall be ever with thee: I shall guide thee, and lead thee. Thou shalt bear the honour of My name, and shalt give spiritual teaching to small and great, to the laity no less than to clerics and religious; for I shall give thee such speech and wisdom that no one shall be able to resist. I shall bring thee even before Pontiffs and before the rulers of the Church and of the Christian people, to the end that, as is my wont, I may by means of the weak confound the pride of the strong.”[19]

Henceforth her work was done in the light of the world. Incorrigible sinners, like that singolare ribaldo Andrea di Naddino Bellanti, were moved to repentance by her prayers; felons, dying in torments under the{47}

Lombardi, Siena ST CATHERINE OF SIENA (Andrea Di Vanni)

(Andrea Di Vanni)
Lombardi, Siena

red-hot pincers of the executioners (attanagliati in the horrible phrase of the epoch), turned their despairing blasphemies to words of joy and comfort; fierce faction leaders, like Giacomo Tolomei, laid aside their fury and went humbly to confession. When the pestilence raged in Siena in 1374 and many fled the city, Catherine was foremost in tending the stricken, in encouraging the dying, preparing them for death, even burying them with her own hands. “Never,” writes one of her friends, “did she appear more admirable than at this time.”

Gradually a little band of followers and disciples, of both sexes, gathered round her. At first these were mainly Dominican friars, headed by Frate Tommaso della Fonte, her confessor and a friend of her father’s family, and Frate Tommaso Nacci Caffarini, who wrote the beautiful book known as the Leggenda minore; and, a little later, the famous Frate Raimondo delle Vigne da Capua, a strenuous labourer in God’s vineyard and a man of apostolic spirit, who succeeded Frate Tommaso della Fonte as her confessor, and wrote the famous life of her, the Leggenda, of which Caffarini’s book is in the main an abridgement. There were devout women too, who robed themselves in the same black and white habit of penance, some of them from the noblest families of Siena: Alessia Saracini and Francesca Gori, the two whom we see with her in Bazzi’s frescoes; several of the Tolomei; and, later, Lisa, the widow of Catherine’s brother Bartolommeo. Presently there were added to these several young men of noble birth, who acted as her secretaries and legates, united to her by what seems a wonderful blending of religious enthusiasm and spiritualised affection: Neri di Landoccio de’ Pagliaresi, a scholar and poet; Francesco Malavolti, a somewhat unstable youth who at first relapsed at times into his former worldly life, and whom she recalled to herself in one of her sweetest and most affectionate epistles, addressing him{48} as “carissimo e sopracarissimo figliuolo in Cristo dolce Gesù;” Stefano Maconi, who headed a furious feud of his family against the Tolomei and Rinaldini, until converted by her to be the most beloved son of all her spiritual family, and ultimately the sainted prior of the Certosa of Pavia.

One famous episode of this epoch in her life has been perpetuated in a letter of Catherine’s own, that is one of the masterpieces of Italian literature, and in a famous fresco of Bazzi’s. A young nobleman of Perugia, Niccolò di Toldo, attached to the household of the Senator of Siena, was sentenced to be beheaded for some rash words against the government of the Riformatori. In his prison he abandoned himself to desperation and despair—he was a mere youth, thus doomed to death in the flower of his age—refused to see priest or friar, would make no preparation for his end. Then Catherine came to him in his dungeon. Let her own words that she wrote to Frate Raimondo tell what followed:—

“I went to visit him of whom you know; whereby he received so great comfort and consolation that he confessed and disposed himself right well. And he made me promise by the love of God that, when the time for the execution came, I would be with him. And so I promised and did. Then, in the morning, before the bell tolled, I went to him; and he received great consolation. I took him to hear Mass; and he received the Holy Communion, which he had never received again.[20] His will was attuned and subjected to the will of God; and there alone remained a fear of not being brave at the last moment. But the boundless and flaming bounty of God passed his expectation, creating in him so great affection and love in the desire of God, that he could not stay without Him, saying: ‘Stay with me, and{49} do not leave me. So shall I fare not otherwise than well; and I die content.’ And he laid his head upon my breast. Then I felt an exultation and an odour of his blood and of mine too, which I desired to shed for the sweet spouse Jesus. And as the desire increased in my soul and I felt his fear, I said: ‘Take comfort, my sweet brother; for soon shall we come to the nuptials. Thither shalt thou go, bathed in the sweet blood of the Son of God, with the sweet name of Jesus, the which I would not that it ever leave thy memory. And I am waiting for thee at the place of execution.’ Now, think, father and son, that his heart then lost all fear, and his face was transformed from sadness into joy; and he rejoiced, exulted and said: ‘Whence cometh to me so great grace, that the sweetness of my soul will await me at the holy place of execution?’ See how he had come to such light that he called the place of execution holy! And he said, ‘I shall go all joyous and strong; and it will seem to me a thousand years before I come there, when I think that you are awaiting me there.’ And he uttered words of such sweetness of the bounty of God, that one might scarce endure it.”

She waited for him at the place of execution, with continual prayer, in the spiritual presence of Mary and of the virgin martyr Catherine. She knelt down and laid her own head upon the block, either dreaming of martyrdom or to make herself one in spirit with him at the dread moment. She besought Mary to give him light and peace of heart, and that she herself might see him return to God. Her soul, she says, was so full that, although there was a multitude of the people there, she could not see a creature.

“Then he came, like a meek lamb; and, when he saw me, he began to smile; and he would have me make the sign of the Cross over him. When he had received the sign, I said: ‘Up to the nuptials, sweet brother{50} mine! for soon shalt thou be in the eternal life.’ He placed himself down with great meekness; and I stretched out his neck and bent down over him, and reminded him of the Blood of the Lamb. His mouth said nought, save Jesus and Catherine. And, as he spoke so, I received his head into my hands, fixing my eyes upon the Divine Goodness and saying, ‘I am willing.’”

As she knelt with the severed head in her hands, her white robe all crimsoned over with his blood, Catherine had one of those mystical visions which she can only tell in terms of blood and fire. She saw the soul received by its Maker, and saw it, in the first tasting of the divine sweetness, turn back to thank her. “Then did my soul repose in peace and in quiet, in so great an odour of blood, that I could not bear to free myself from the blood that had come upon me from him. Alas! wretched miserable woman that I am, I will say no more. I remained upon the earth with very great envy.”[21]

Gradually we find Catherine becoming a power in her own city, a factor in the turbulent politics of Italy, a counsellor in what a sixteenth century Pope was to call the Game of the World. She dictates epistles, full of wise counsels, to the rulers of the Republic—to her “dearest brothers and temporal lords,” the Fifteen, Lords Defenders of the city of Siena, to her “most reverend and most dear father and son” the Podestà, or to her “dearest brother in Christ sweet Jesus,” the Senator. At Rocca d’Orcia—the chief fortress of the Salimbeni—she reconciles the rival branches of that great clan with each other, makes peace between the head of the House, her friend Agnolino (the son of the great Giovanni di Agnolino Salimbeni) and his factious kinsman Cione. While staying at the Rocca, she appears to have learnt to write—it is said by a miracle.[22] Be that as it may, the greater part at least of her extant{51} letters (and, so far as the knowledge of the present writer extends, all those of which the original autographs have been preserved), were dictated to her secretaries. We possess nearly four hundred of them, these epistles “al nome di Gesù Cristo crocifisso e di Maria dolce,” written—to use her own phrase—“in the precious blood of Christ” to persons of both sexes, and of every condition of life from the King of France and the Roman Pontiff to a humble Florentine tailor, from the Queens of Naples and Hungary to a courtesan in Perugia. Her philosophy is simple, but profound: strip yourself of self-love, enter into the Cell of Self-Knowledge—that is the key to it. And all alike, in appearance at least, pause to listen to her inspired voice, bow before her virginal will.

There is grim war preparing between Pope Gregory XI., in his luxurious exile at Avignon, and the tyrant of Milan, Bernabò Visconti. To the Cardinal Legate of Bologna, who is to direct the campaign, she writes: “Strive to the utmost of your power to bring about the peace and the union of all the country. And in this holy work, if it were necessary to give up the life of the body, it should be given a thousand times, if it were possible. Peace, peace, peace, dearest father! Do you and the others consider, and make the Holy Father think of the loss of souls rather than the loss of cities; for God requires souls rather than cities.”[23] Bernabò and his wife Beatrice each send ambassadors on their own account to gain her ear. To the tyrant she writes of the law of love, of the vanity of earthly lordship in comparison with the lordship of the city of the soul, of the necessity of submission to the Head of the Church, “the Vicar who holds the keys of the blood of Christ crucified.”[24] She bids the proud lady of Lombardy robe herself with the robe of burning Charity and make herself{52} the means and instrument to reconcile her husband “with Christ sweet Jesus, and with His Vicar, Christ on earth.”[25] Her prayers are effectual, and a truce is proclaimed. The Vicar Apostolic in the Papal States writes to her for counsel in the name of the Pope. She bids him destroy the nepotism and luxury that are ruining the Church. Better than labouring for the temporalities of the Church would it be to strive to put down “the wolves and incarnate demons of pastors, who attend to nought else save eating and fine palaces and stout horses. Alas! that what Christ won upon the wood of the Cross should be squandered with harlots.”[26] Then comes the news that the Sovereign Pontiff is meditating a crusade. She throws herself heart and soul into the undertaking. She addresses Queen Giovanna of Naples, the Queen Regent of Hungary and many other princes, all of whom answer favourably and promise men and money. She cherishes the design of freeing Italy from the mercenary companies, and sends Frate Raimondo to the camp of Sir John Hawkwood, with a letter urging the great English condottiere and his soldiers to leave the service and the pay of the devil, to fight no more against Christians but “take the pay and the Cross of Christ crucified, with all your followers and companions, so that you may be a company of Christ to go against those infidel dogs who possess our holy place, where the first sweet Verity reposed and sustained death and torment for us.”[27] It is said that Hawkwood and his captains, before the Friar left them, swore upon the Sacrament and gave him a signed declaration that, when once the crusade was actually started, they would go.

In February 1375, Catherine left Siena for Pisa, charged with negotiations on the Pope’s behalf with the latter republic. Here she stayed, with a band of her{53} disciples, some months, so enfeebled with continual ecstasies that they thought her at the point of death. Here, on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, she is said to have received the Stigmata—the wounds of Christ’s Passion—in her body, in the little church of Santa Cristina on the Lungarno. Be this as it may, a new epoch in her life begins at this date—the epoch of her two great struggles for the Church and for Italy.

Since Clement V. removed the papal chair to France in 1305, the Popes had resided at Avignon. Their court had become a scandal to Christendom; Rome was abandoned to ruin and ravage. Previously to this date, the temporal sovereignty of the Popes had been little more than a nominal suzerainty over the cities of the Papal States, many of which were either swayed by petty despots or governed themselves as free republics. But now things were changing. While the Roman Pontiffs remained beyond the Alps, their legates were attempting to fuse these various elements into a modern State. At the head of foreign mercenaries they were subjugating city after city, and building fortresses to secure their hold. Florence, though forming no part of the Papal States, saw her liberties threatened. The refusal of the Legate of Bologna, although he had letters to the contrary from the Pope, to allow corn to be sent from his province into Tuscany in time of famine—followed, as it was, by the appearance of Hawkwood in the territories of the Republic—precipitated matters. War broke out in the latter part of 1375. The Florentines appointed a new magistracy, the Eight of the War, to carry it on, and sent a banner, upon which was Libertas in white letters on a red field, round to all the cities, offering aid in men and money to any who would rise against the Church. Città di Castello began; Perugia followed; and in a few days all central Italy was in arms against the Temporal Power. “It seemed,” wrote{54} a contemporary, “that the Papal States were like a wall built without mortar; when one stone was taken away, almost all the rest fell in ruins.” The republics of Siena and Arezzo promptly entered the league; Pisa and Lucca wavered. Conciliatory overtures from the Pope, who offered to leave Città di Castello and Perugia in liberty and to make further concessions for the sake of peace, were cut short by the expulsion of the Papal Legate from Bologna. Florence was solemnly placed under the interdict, and an army of ferocious Breton soldiers taken into the pay of the Church, under the command of the Cardinal Robert of Geneva, for the reconquest of the Papal States.

Even at this moment the more moderate spirits on either side looked to the dyer’s daughter of Siena for light and guidance. Her eloquent appeal—which has fortunately been preserved to us—secured the neutrality of Lucca and Pisa.[28] Her whole heart was set upon the reconciliation of the Pope with Italy, to be followed by the return of the Holy See to Rome, and a complete reformation of the Church. She addressed letter after letter to the Sovereign Pontiff, calling him dolcissimo babbo mio, claiming to write “to the most sweet Christ on earth on behalf of the Christ in Heaven.” The wickedness and cruel oppression of evil pastors and governors have caused this war. Let him win back his little rebellious sheep by love and benignity to the fold of the Church. Let him uplift the gonfalone of the most holy Cross, and he will see the wolves become lambs. Let him utterly extirpate these pastors and rulers, these poisonous flowers in the garden of the Church, full of impurity and cupidity, puffed up with pride, and reform her with good pastors and governors “who shall be true servants of Jesus Christ, who shall look to nought but the honour of God and the salvation of souls, and shall{55} be fathers of the poor.” The Divine Providence has permitted the loss of states and worldly goods, “as though to show that He wished that Holy Church should return to its primal state of poverty, humility, and meekness, as she was in that holy time, when they attended to nought save to the honour of God and the salvation of souls, caring only for spiritual things and not for temporal.” Let him come straightway to Rome, “like a meek lamb, using only the arms of the virtue of love, thinking only of the care of spiritual things;” for God calls him “to come to hold and possess the place of the glorious shepherd St Peter.” He may claim that he is bound to recover and preserve the treasure and the lordships of the cities that the Church has lost; far more greatly is he bound to win back so many “little sheep, who are a treasure in the Church.” Let him choose between the temporal power and the salvation of souls; let him win back his children in peace, and he will surely have what is due to him. He can conquer only with benignity and mildness, humility and patience. “Keep back the soldiers that you have hired, and suffer them not to come.” Let him come as soon as possible, come uomo virile e senza alcun timore; but “look to it that you come not with a power of armed men, but with the Cross in your hand, like a meek lamb.”[29] But to the Signoria of Florence she wrote in another strain: “You know well that Christ left us His vicar, and He left him for the cure of our souls; for in nought else can we have salvation, save in the mystical body of Holy Church, whose head is Christ and we are the members. And whoso shall be disobedient to Christ on earth, who is in the place of Christ in Heaven, shareth not in the fruit of the blood of the Son of God; for God hath ordained that from his hands we have communion, and are given this blood{56} and all the sacraments of Holy Church, which receive life from that blood. And we cannot go by another way nor enter by another gate.” “I tell you that God wills and has commanded so, that even if Christ on earth were an incarnate demon, much less a good and benign father, we must be subject and obedient to him, not for his own sake, but in obedience to God, as he is the vicar of Christ.” Let them hasten to the arms of their father, who will receive them benignly, and there will be peace and repose, spiritually and temporally for all Tuscany, and the war will be directed against the Infidels under the banner of the Cross. “If anything can be done through me that may be to the honour of God and the union of yourselves with the holy Church, I am prepared to give my life, if need be.”[30]

Catherine had already sent first Neri di Landoccio and then Frate Raimondo to the Pope, and she herself was summoned to Florence. This was in May 1376. This pale estatica, who was believed to live solely upon the consecrated Host of the Blessed Sacrament, and who seemed already of the other world, was bidden by the Signoria and the Eight to plead their cause before the Sovereign Pontiff. In June she reached Avignon—that city of luxury and corruption, that nido di tradimenti upon which Petrarch had invoked the rain of fire from heaven. The Pope received her graciously. “In order that thou mayest see clearly that I desire peace,” he said, “I put it absolutely into thy hands; but be careful of the honour of the Church.” The embassy was a complete failure; the Florentines threw her over contemptuously. No trace of personal resentment was seen in the saint, and she continued to intercede for them with the Pope, to whom she spoke plainly concerning the infamy of the place in which he stayed, and the corruption of the Roman Curia, until even Frate Raimondo was astounded{57}

Lombardi, Siena LETTER FROM ST CATHERINE TO STEFANO MACONI (Dictated by her to Barduccio Canigiani)

(Dictated by her to Barduccio Canigiani)
Lombardi, Siena

at her temerity. In one respect she was more successful. Her impassioned pleading overcame the pusillanimity of Gregory, and in September he left Avignon for Rome. Catherine—in spite of the paintings that you may still see in Rome and Siena—did not accompany him to the Eternal City. She met him again at Genoa, where her indomitable will prevailed over the counsels of the Cardinals, and prevented him from turning back. Then he went on his way, and she saw him no more.

At Genoa, many of her company fell sick. Neri di Landoccio was despaired of by the physicians and Stefano Maconi seemed dying. Both believed that their spiritual mistress and mother healed them miraculously. Seldom did Catherine seem sweeter and more loving than at this time, watching by the bedside of her young disciples, comforting Monna Lapa by letter for her delay, for “with desire have I desired to see you my true mother, not only of my body but also of my soul.”[31] And to her “dearest sister and daughter in Christ Jesus,” Monna Giovanna Maconi, the mother of her Stefano, she writes: “Take comfort sweetly and be patient, and do not be troubled, because I have kept Stefano too long; for I have taken good care of him. Through love and affection I have become one thing with him, and therefore have I taken what is yours as though it were mine. I am certain that you have not really been distressed at it. For you and for him I would fain labour even unto death, in all that I shall be able. You, mother, have given birth to him once; and I would fain give birth to him and you and all your family in tears and in toil, by continual prayers and desire of your salvation.”[32] She was back at Siena in November, sending another of her flaming letters to Gregory, who had reached Corneto on his way to Rome, exhorting him to constancy, fortitude and patience, urging him to obtain peace by making concessions,{58} recommending her native city to him. “I have no other desire in this life save to see the honour of God, your peace and the reformation of Holy Church, and to see the life of grace in every creature that hath reason in itself.”[33]

In January 1377, the Pope made his solemn entry into the Eternal City, received with a perfect delirium of joy by nobles and people alike. Then a thrill of horror ran through Italy. The papal forces—the Breton mercenaries of the Cardinal Robert, with the English companies of Hawkwood—burst into Cesena, butchering men, women, and children, committing hideous atrocities of every kind that cannot be set down in this place. The Pope is said to have kept silence. One more affectionate letter did St Catherine write to him in her own familiar style, pleading for peace and the reformation of the Church. Then he turned against her. “Most holy Father,” she wrote to him through Raimondo, “to whom shall I have recourse, if you abandon me? Who will aid me? to whom shall I fly, if you drive me away? If you abandon me, conceiving displeasure and indignation against me, I will hide myself in the wounds of Christ crucified, whose vicar you are, and I know that He will receive me, because He wills not the death of the sinner. And if He receives me, you will not drive me away; rather shall we stay in our place to fight manfully with the arms of virtue for the sweet Spouse of Christ.”[34] Her last extant letter to Gregory, pleading for peace with the Italians and for the punishment “of the pastors and officers of the Church when they do what they should not do,” recommending to him the ambassadors of Siena who came to treat for the restitution of Talamone, which the papal troops had occupied, is in a colder and{59} more formal tone.[35] Other sorrows came upon her. The Sienese distrusted her intimacy with the Salimbeni, accusing her and Frate Raimondo (poverello calunniato, as she called him) of plotting, whereas she declared that the only conspiracy in which she was engaged was for the discomfiture and overthrow of the devil. One of her own disciples conceived a guilty passion for her and fled from her circle, writing that he had become a vessel of contumely, that he was now “cut off, extinguished and blotted out of the book in which I felt myself so sweetly fed.”

Once more, early in 1378, did Catherine go to Florence to labour in the cause of peace. She addressed the Signoria in a solemn meeting in the Palazzo Vecchio, and induced them to meet the Pope half way by respecting the interdict. “The dawn is come at last,” she cried exultingly: l’aurora è venuta. And she prevailed upon the captains of the Parte Guelfa to offer a firm resistance to the war policy of the Eight, while endeavouring, through Stefano Maconi, to prevent them from abusing the power that their right of “admonishing” put into their hands. She was still in Florence when Gregory died, and the Archbishop of Bari, Bartolommeo Prignani, was elected Pope amidst the furious clamours of the Roman populace, as Urban VI. To him Catherine wrote at once, in the same way as she had done to Gregory, urging him to check the corruption and wickedness of the clergy, to make good Cardinals, to receive the Florentines back into the fold of the Church, and above all (for she knew something of the character of the man with whom she had now to deal) to take his stand upon true and perfect Charity.[36] A few weeks later the terrible rising of the populace, known as the Tumult of the Ciompi, burst over Florence. The adherents of St Catherine, as associated with the{60} hated Parte Guelfa, were specially obnoxious to the mob, and her own life was threatened. A band of armed men came into the garden where she knelt in prayer, crying out that they would cut her to pieces. She prepared for martyrdom as for a joyous feast, and wept bitterly when she was left unharmed, declaring that the multitude of her sins had prevented her from being suffered to shed her blood for Christ. She wrote in this strain to Frate Raimondo, saying that she would begin a new life that day, in order that these sins of hers might no longer withdraw her from the grace of martyrdom; her only fear was lest what had happened might in some way influence the Pope against a speedy peace.[37] At the end of July peace was signed; Florence and the other cities of Tuscany were to be reconciled to the Holy See, and Catherine returned to Siena. “Oh, dearest children,” she wrote, “God has heard the cry and the voice of His servants, that for so long a time have cried out in His sight, and the wailing that for so long they have raised over their children dead. Now are they risen again; from death are they come to life, and from blindness to light. Oh, dearest children, the lame walk and the deaf hear, the blind eye sees, and the dumb speak, crying with loudest voice: Peace, peace, peace! with great gladness, seeing those children returning to the obedience and favour of the father, and their minds pacified. And, even as persons who now begin to see, they say: Thanks be to Thee, Lord, who hast reconciled us with our holy Father. Now is the Lamb called holy, the sweet Christ on earth, where before he was called heretic and patarin. Now do they accept him as father, where hitherto they rejected him. I wonder not thereat; for the cloud has passed away and the serene weather has come.”[38]

Not long did il tempo sereno hold. While it lasted{61} Catherine remained quietly at Siena, dictating to her secretaries, Neri, Stefano, and a certain Barduccio Canigiani (a young nobleman who had joined her spiritual family at Florence), her book—the famous Dialogue. It consists of four mystical treatises on Discretion, Prayer, Divine Providence, and Obedience, in the form of a dialogue between God and a soul “panting with greatest desire for the honour of God and the salvation of souls.” This Dialogue and her Letters represent St Catherine’s literary work.[39] It was finished in October. Already the tempest had burst upon the Church, of which the first rumblings had been heard during her stay at Florence, and Catherine was now to be summoned to Rome to fight her last great battle.

Urban VI. had a high reputation for zeal and virtue; he was, in addition, a good Italian. From the outset he announced his intention of reforming the Roman Court, of extirpating simony and luxury in the Church. “They say,” the Prior of the Certosa of Gorgona had written to Catherine on the first news of his elevation, “that this our Holy Father is a terrible man, and frightens people exceedingly with his acts and his words.” The abrupt violence with which he began his work enraged and alarmed all the Curia, and within a few months of his election he was left alone. The French Cardinals fled to Anagni, and took the Breton mercenaries into their pay. When the Pope nominated twenty-six new cardinals, they held a conclave at Fondi, and, on the plea that the election of Urban had been extorted by force and fear of the Roman mob, and was{62} therefore invalid, they raised the infamous Cardinal Robert of Geneva to the Popedom as Clement VII. All Christendom was now divided in its spiritual allegiance between two men, each claiming to be the Vicar of the Prince of Peace; any earthly prince would have dismissed the one with ignominy from his service, the other was soon to fall hopelessly and shamefully from his fair beginning.

But Catherine believed passionately in Urban, threw herself heart and soul into the struggle. “I have heard,” she wrote to him, “that the incarnate demons have raised up an Antichrist against you, Christ on earth; but I confess and do not deny that you are the Vicar of Christ, that you hold the keys of the cellar of Holy Church, where the blood of the Immaculate Lamb is kept.”[40] And in the twenty months of life that remained to her she battled for him to the death. Letter after letter did she send to him, full of evangelic counsels, urging him—in the boldest possible language—to begin the reform of the Church in his own person. Savonarola himself hardly surpasses the passion of her invective against the corruption of the ecclesiastical world. Urban is at first offended by her frankness, rebukes her messengers, and will not listen to her. Then his heart is touched, and he summons her to Rome. “Pray for me,” she writes to Suor Daniella, a nun of Orvieto, “to the supreme eternal goodness of God, that He may do with me what shall be to His honour and the salvation of souls; and especially now that I am to go to Rome, to accomplish the will of Christ crucified and of His Vicar.”

Catherine reached the Eternal City at the end of November 1378, with a band of her disciples of both sexes, including Alessia, Francesca and Lisa, Neri di Landoccio and Barduccio Canigiani. Stefano Maconi remained at Siena, but Frate Raimondo was already in{63} Rome. The city was in a parlous state. Sant’ Angelo was held by the soldiery of the Antipope, who kept Urban out of the Vatican; the Breton mercenaries threatened the gates, and there were savage tumults in the streets. Urban would have Catherine address his new cardinals assembled in the Consistory, after which he “praised her much in the Lord.” In these first few months of his pontificate, while she yet lived, he seemed an utterly different man to what he afterwards became. He realised to the full the moral value of her support, and would not suffer her to leave Rome. On his behalf she dispatched fiery epistles all over Europe, declaring that he alone was the true Pope, the Vicar of Christ. To simple nuns she wrote imploring them to storm Heaven with prayers for his cause; to monks and hermits, bidding them leave their cells and convents, rally round the Sovereign Pontiff in the Eternal City, or do battle for him in the haunts and abodes of men. “Ye fools,” she wrote to the three Italian Cardinals who were striving to remain neutral, “fools, worthy of a thousand deaths”—but the epistle must be read in its entirety, for it is one of the most amazing documents of the epoch.[41] Other epistles secured the adhesion of the Republics of Siena and Florence, of Venice and Perugia. To the Queen of Naples, as chief supporter of Clement (whom she presently received as Sovereign Pontiff on his way to Avignon), she pleads Urban’s cause with calm reason, turning off the arrows of her words to strike the hostile Cardinals; and in like manner to Onorato Gaetani, Count of Fondi, who had protected the schismatic conclave with his hired troops. “Where is the just man that they have elected for Antipope,” she writes again to the Queen of Naples, “if in very sooth our supreme pontiff, Pope Urban VI., were not true Vicar of Christ? What man have they chosen? A man of holy life?{64} No: a man of iniquity, a demon; and therefore he does the office of the devils.”[42] In December the adherents of the Antipope were lying in wait to take Frate Raimondo, whom the Pope was sending on a dangerous mission to France, and the good friar’s courage failed him. Catherine, with her mystic longings for shedding her blood for the cause, was amazed at his pusillanimity, and sent him letters of characteristic remonstrance, reminding him that he need have no fear, because he was not worthy of the grace of martyrdom, exhorting him to be a man and not a woman, laying all the blame on herself (as she invariably does in her severest letters), pleading love as her excuse for rebuking him.

In the meanwhile Urban had hired the Italian mercenaries of the Company of St George, commanded by Count Alberico da Balbiano. On April 29th Alberico gained a complete victory over the Breton and Gascon soldiery of the Clementines at Marino, and the French governor of Sant’ Angelo surrendered to the Senator of Rome, Giovanni Cenci. Catherine is said—and a passage in one of her letters seems to confirm it—to have been the means of effecting the surrender. At her instigation the Pope went barefooted from Santa Maria in Trastevere to San Pietro in solemn procession, to give thanks before returning to take up his abode in the Vatican—an act of humility that aroused astonishment (strange reflection on the pomp of the Curia!) as something that had not been seen for ages. To the magistrates of the Roman Republic she wrote a letter on behalf of the victorious soldiery, which Tommaseo characterises as “worthy of the name of Rome.”[43] Then, flushed with victory, she addresses the King of France, in hopes that he may still be won over; she makes one more flaming, impassioned appeal to the Queen of Naples, and then—sole blot, I think, in all this blameless life—co-operates with Urban,{65} in her letters to the King Louis and his cousin, Charles of Durazzo, in his attempt to raise the power of Hungary and Poland upon Giovanna’s head.[44] Her last extant letter to Urban himself is to urge him to adopt a mild and generous policy towards the Roman People. “You must surely know,” she says, “the character of your Roman children, how they are drawn and bound more by gentleness than by any violence or by harshness of words; and you know, too, the great necessity that is yours and Holy Church’s, of preserving this people in obedience and reverence to your Holiness; for here is the head and the beginning of our faith.”[45] A furious riot broke out at the beginning of 1380. The Roman populace rose in arms and assailed the Vatican, threatening the Pope’s life. Catherine interposed and stilled the tumult. This was her last public action.

St Catherine’s Lamp

St Catherine’s Lamp

She was spared the sight of Urban’s fall, and was not doomed to witness the shame, the blood and the madness in which “her most sweet Christ on earth” ended his unhappy pontificate. Fearful visions of demons began to assail her, mingling with the celestial visitations of her Divine Spouse. Her bodily sufferings became unendurable. She cried to God to receive the sacrifice of her life in the mystical body of the Church. Praying in San Pietro on Sexagesima Sunday, it seemed to her that the Navicella—the Ship of the Church—was laid upon her shoulders, and that it crushed her to death. The few{66} weeks of life that remained to her were one prolonged martyrdom, out of which we have her last letter[46]—written on February 15th, 1380—her farewell to Frate Raimondo, full of mystical exultation in her own sufferings, tanti dolci tormenti corporali. But all who approached her wondered at the tranquillity and the sweetness with which she spoke, and “albeit she was excessively afflicted in her body, her face remained always angelical and devout with a holy gladness.”

At last on April 29th, 1380, the Sunday before the Ascension, she passed away, surrounded by her spiritual family and leaning upon Alessia Saracini, uttering “certain most profound things,” writes Barduccio, “which because of my sins I was not worthy to understand.”[47] To Stefano Maconi, who had hastened from Siena to stand by her side; to Monna Lapa, who had taken the habit like her daughter and daughter-in-law; and to each of the others, she gave a separate charge as to their mode of life after she should be dead. “And she prayed with such great affection that not only our hearts as we listened, but the very stones could have been broken. Finally, making the sign of the Cross, she blessed us all; and so to the last and most desired end of life she drew near, persevering in continual prayer and saying: ‘Thou, Lord, dost call me, and I come to Thee; I come not through my own merits, but through Thy mercy alone, the which mercy I ask from Thee in virtue of Thy blood.’ And then, many times, she cried: Sangue, sangue! At last, after the example of the Saviour, she said: ‘Father, into Thy hands I commend my soul and spirit.’ And so, sweetly, with her face all angelical and glowing, she bowed her head and gave up her spirit.”{67}


The People and the Petrucci

AFTER the expulsion of the Riformatori in March 1385, a new supreme magistracy was instituted to rule the Republic. It was composed of ten citizens—the “Signori Priori, Governatori della Città di Siena”—who held office for two months. Four of these priors were of the Nine, four of the Twelve, and two of the People. A new order—the Monte del Popolo—was formed to include those plebeians, or Popolani of the Greater Number, who had not shared in the government of the Riformatori; and it gradually rose in importance, reinforced in later years by families of nobles who became popolani and by others of the lower classes who had come to Siena from elsewhere.

A turbulent and unsettled period followed, of incessant plots against the new government and of disastrous wars. In November 1385, Siena joined in a league, offensive and defensive, with the Communes of Bologna, Florence, Pisa and Lucca, against the wandering companies of mercenaries. But presently that never-healed wound, the question of Montepulciano, opened again, and a prolonged war with Florence followed in consequence. Both Cortona and Montepulciano were lost to Siena. In 1389 the Sienese allied themselves for ten years with Giovanni Galeazzo Visconti, who had dethroned his uncle Bernabò and was now manifestly intending to conquer all northern and central Italy. A Sienese poet, Simone di Ser Dino Forestani (“il Saviozzo”) hailed{68} him as the coming deliverer of the Italian nation in a noted canzone, which Carducci has called the last cry of Ghibellinism. A number of the Malavolti and Tolomei, headed by Messer Orlando Malavolti, chose exile in the following years rather than see their country fall into servitude. Giovanni Galeazzo was created Duke of Milan by the Emperor Wenceslaus in 1395; and, when the end of the term of the alliance drew near, the Sienese found themselves so exhausted with war, famine and pestilence that in 1399 they formally surrendered the independence of their city, with its contado and district, to the Duke and his successors, swore obedience and fidelity to him in the persons of his ambassadors, and hailed their new yoke with wild festivities. The Duke died in 1402; he had just taken Bologna and intended, as soon as Florence fell into his hands, to be crowned King of Italy. His newly acquired dominions fell to pieces. In November 1403, the Salimbeni (who, in opposition to the Malavolti and Tolomei, had been among the foremost in introducing the ducal sovereignty into Siena) and the heads of the Dodicini, probably instigated by the Florentines, called the Sienese to arms to recover their liberty. The Noveschi and People opposed them. There was a struggle in the Campo, an attempt to capture the Palazzo; but Francesco Salimbeni was killed and the Dodicini expelled from the government. In the following year the liberation of Siena was peaceably effected. Peace was made with Florence in April, and, the ducal lieutenant having left the city, the Sienese annulled the suzerainty and all the authority that had been given to the Duke of Milan and his successors, and commanded that his arms, wherever they had been set up in the dominions of the Republic, should be completely obliterated. But Orlando Malavolti returned to his native city only to die. On his way to salute the Signoria he was treacherously murdered in the streets by the hirelings of{69} those who had seized upon his possessions, which they hoped thus to keep in their hands.



In the meantime the form of the chief magistracy had undergone various alterations. Not only had the Dodicini been expelled, but the Riformatori had been readmitted. It now consisted of nine Priors, three of the Monte del Popolo, three of the Monte de’ Nove, and three of the{70} Monte de’ Riformatori; with a tenth, the Captain of the People and Gonfaloniere of Justice, chosen from each Monte and from each terzo of the city in turn. But throughout the period that follows, and indeed down to the end of the Republic, we shall find the real authority vested in what was known as the Balìa. This originally simply meant the power or authority committed to certain citizens for some special purpose; but it gradually became converted into an ordinary magistracy, distinct from the Signoria or Concistoro. From 1455—when it was specially instituted in this form to superintend a prolonged and dangerous war—until the fall of the Republic, the Collegio di Balìa had the supreme control of the State, with authority over the laws and government of Siena, although the outward appearances of supremacy were left to the Signoria, the members of which (the Signori) were still, nominally, the chief magistrates of the Republic.

The first three-quarters of the fifteenth century in the history of Siena are a medley of somewhat inglorious wars with incessant faction. We find Siena allied with Florence against King Ladislaus of Naples (the son of Charles of Durazzo), then at war with Florence again, then allied with Pope Calixtus III. against the great condottiere Jacopo Piccinino, in a war more famous for the stern penalty that the Republic knew how to exact from a treacherous general than for any action in the field.[48] There were alarms and excursions from the fuorusciti in the contado; there were conspiracies within Siena itself, especially one most formidable in 1456 to subject the Republic to King Alfonso of Naples (who had substituted an Aragonese dynasty for the House of Anjou in that kingdom), in which certain families of the Monte de’ Nove—headed by Antonio Petrucci, Ghino di Pietro Bellanti and Marino Bargagli—were deeply{71} involved. But, all the while, great personalities are moving across the Sienese stage.

San Bernardino Albizzeschi, born of a noble family in 1380, the year of St Catherine’s death, may be said to have carried on, in part, her work during the first half of this century. A zealous reformer of morals, for forty years this Franciscan friar wandered over Italy from city to city, preaching repentance, healing schisms, rebuking tyrants, stilling the bloody tumults of political factions, reconciling peoples and princes. “He converted and changed the minds and spirits of men marvellously,” writes a contemporary, Vespasiano da Bisticci, “a wondrous power he had in persuading men to lay aside their mortal hatreds.” He has left his mark upon almost every street of his native city, of which he refused the bishopric. In a place where he had wrought many conversions, a maker of dice represented to the saint that he and his fellow-craftsmen were being reduced to beggary, by reason of his denunciation of gambling. Bernardino bade him make tablets with the letters I.H.S. instead. This devotion to the Divine Name grew apace, above all in Ferrara and Siena; and when, worn out with his apostolic labours, Bernardino died in 1444 at Aquila, there was hardly a town through which he had passed that had not placed upon its gates and palaces, no less than on the private houses of its citizens, the sacred sign of the Name in which he had overcome the world.

A young nobleman stood listening in the Campo when Bernardino preached there in 1427. “He moved me so much,” he wrote in after years, “that I, too, very nearly entered his order.” This was Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who, born at Corsignano in 1405, was then a student in the city and a rising poet. Two imperial visits during this epoch have left their mark in Sienese art. Sigismund III. came to Siena in 1432,{72} on his way to be crowned in Rome, and stayed some while in the city that then, as ever, professed unalterable loyalty to the Holy Roman Empire. Memorials of his visit are the curious graffito picture of him enthroned, on the pavement of the Duomo, and a most unedifying love story, De Duobus Amantibus, describing an intrigue between one of his barons and a lady of Siena—written a little later by this same Enea Silvio, who had left his native city to seek his fortune elsewhere, and was now poet laureate. Frederick III. came at the beginning of 1452 to meet his bride, Leonora of Portugal. A fresco in the library of the Duomo and a pillar outside the Porta Camollia still record the event; and “all the resources of that festive art in which the Italy of the Renaissance so excelled were displayed for the entertainment of the noble pair during their stay in Siena.”[49] Our poet laureate was now the Emperor’s secretary and the Bishop of Siena itself. Six years later Enea Silvio Piccolomini was elected Pope in 1458, to succeed to Calixtus III., and took the title of Pius II. “Shall we raise a poet to the Chair of St Peter?” asked a rival cardinal, “and let the Church be governed on pagan principles?”

It will be better to speak of the character and deeds of Pope Pius II. when we stand before the frescoed story of his life in the Duomo. Suffice it now to say that there was great festivity and rejoicing when the news of his elevation reached Siena, but coupled with some mistrust. The Pope was suspected of being a partisan of the gentiluomini, who were still rigorously excluded from the Signoria, the Balìa, the Council of the People and all the chief offices of State. To please him, the Piccolomini were qualified to enter the government (messi nel Reggimento), by being distributed among the three ruling Monti; while Nanni Todeschini, the{73}


Alinari, Florence

husband of the Pope’s sister Laodamia, together with his four sons, Antonio, Francesco, Andrea and Giacomo (to whom Pius had given the arms and name of Piccolomini), was similarly qualified for the Signoria and Council of the People, and received into the Monte del Popolo. The Pope, however, demanded that all the nobles should be made eligible to all posts in the government; he told the Sienese envoys that, unless his request were granted, he would withhold the favours that he had intended to confer upon his native city. In spite of the intervention of the Duke of Milan, the Sienese remained obstinate, until the Pope threatened to go to Florence without passing through Siena. Then the Balìa yielded in part, and Pius came to the city in February 1459. He had a magnificent reception from all orders in the State; but Malavolti tells us that on the part of the chief men of the Republic the rejoicing was more simulated than real, for that they bitterly resented his attempted insertion of the nobles into the popular government of the city. Nevertheless, during his stay Pius loaded the Sienese with favours, gave the Golden Rose to the Commune, and raised the See to the rank of an archbishopric. His attempts to allay the factions and to obtain the admission of the nobles were only partly successful; and what little share in the government had been granted to the latter was taken away from them (exception being still made for the Piccolomini), after his death in 1464. To this day Siena bears more of the stamp of Pius II. than of any other single man. Everywhere in her streets the arms of the Piccolomini are as much in evidence as the sacred monogram that San Bernardino had set up. The Loggia that Pius raised to his family, the palaces that his kinsfolk built, still stand, while the Library of the Duomo gleams still with the gorgeous frescoed pageant of his life. And away to the south, in the district of Montepulciano,{74} the little village of Corsignano, where he had been born in 1405, and was transformed by him into a city, is still called from his name Pienza, and still bears the imprint of his genial and splendid spirit in the noble buildings, secular and religious alike, that his munificence reared.

A potentate of a very different character now for a while overshadows the Republic—Alfonso, Duke of Calabria, son of King Ferrante of Naples. The Duke meditated the acquisition of all Tuscany, and between 1468 and 1480 he made Siena the basis of his operations. The Republic joined the King and Pope Sixtus IV. in the war against Lorenzo de’ Medici, and had the one real battle of the campaign of 1479 depicted in fresco in the Palace of the Commune. Gorgeous pageants and dances greeted the visit of any member of the Royal House to Siena. The Duke “became the centre of the extravagant, pleasure-loving Sienese society; and the cruel, passionate Alfonso, who recognised no scruples in matters human and divine, became the popular godfather to the babies of the Republic.”[50] There was a strong party within the city itself that would gladly have accepted him as their suzerain, and he still lingered at Buonconvento after the peace had been made with Florence. On June 23rd, 1480, the Noveschi and some of the Monte del Popolo, together with the mercenaries left by the Duke in charge of the city, occupied the Campo early in the morning, and expelled the Riformatori from the government. The Duke returned to Siena the next day, and was received with enthusiasm at the Porta Romana. There was a wild demonstration in the Campo, as the people, all armed, with frantic cheering and deafening uproar, brought him to the Palace. “When he got to the door of the Palace,” says Allegretto,{75} “all the people rejoiced with such sounding of trumpets and of bells that rang a gloria, and with such firing of guns and shouting, that it was a jubilation.” In the place of the suppressed Monte of the Riformatori, a new Monte of the Aggregati was formed—composed partly of nobles, partly of those Noveschi who had been excluded from the government for the conspiracy of 1456, partly of popolani who had never held the priorate, and to these were added a few of the Riformatori at the Duke’s request. But the capture of Otranto by the Turks, in August, recalled the Duke to his father’s dominions, and in the following year the decision of King Ferrante (la iniqua sentenza, as Allegretto calls it), compelling the Sienese to surrender certain towns and castles to the Florentines, destroyed the last remnants of his popularity.

Seven years of tumult and faction followed the departure of the Duke of Calabria. The annulling of the new Monte of the Aggregati, the re-admission of the Riformatori and the Dodicini, were accompanied by a series of furious battles in the streets. In July 1482 there was a general rising of the people—Popolani, Dodicini, Riformatori—against the Noveschi, who, headed by the Bellanti, Petrucci, and Borghesi, assembled in arms in the Postierla. The Noveschi swept down the Via di Città, but were hurled back to the Postierla, and their leaders forced to take refuge in the palaces of the Pecci and Borghesi, which, after a fierce contest of more than three hours with crossbows and guns and long lances, surrendered, at the persuasion of the Cardinal Archbishop, Francesco Piccolomini (the nephew of Pius II.), and the arms were laid down for a while. It is on this occasion that the name of Pandolfo di Bartolommeo Petrucci first appears prominently as a leader of the Noveschi.

At the beginning of 1483 the Balìa was entirely{76} composed of Popolani, and the Noveschi were deprived “for ever” of any share in the government. Luzio Bellanti, with a few daring spirits, occupied Montereggioni, and held it for some weeks against the Republic—which was made an excuse for arresting the leading Noveschi in Siena. The Papal Legate, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Cibo (afterwards Innocent VIII.), came from Rome as a peace-maker; and in March it was decided to reduce the four Monti to one, “di far di tutto il Reggimento un Monte,” which should be called the Monte del Popolo, and in which some Noveschi were to be admitted. But on April 1st a furious mob burst into the Palace, seized four of the imprisoned Noveschi—Agnolo Petrucci, Biagio Turchi, and two others—with a plebeian of their faction, and hurled them out of the windows, to be dashed to pieces on the pavement below. Disgusted and disillusioned, the Legate at once left the city. The Noveschi, headed by the Petrucci and Bellanti, together with others of other orders, at length retired from the territory of the Republic, and watched for the opportunity of recovering their state by force of arms; while, on August 7th, the Council of the People carried unanimously a resolution “that Siena should be given and presented to our Lady.”

The exiles had not long to wait. New factions broke out in the city, with plotting and counter-plotting, rioting and executions. Numbers of each order were banished. The Noveschi, supported by the King of Naples and the new Pope Innocent, collected troops under Giulio Orsini, and threatened the contado. Their first attempts were unsuccessful; but at length certain of the Riformatori and Dodicini, ousted from the administration and oppressed by the government, opened negotiations with the chosen representatives of the Noveschi—Niccolò Borghesi and Neri Placidi in{77}



Rome and Leonardo Bellanti in Pisa—probably with the knowledge of the Cardinal Francesco, who, throughout these turbulent and blood-stained years, had acted strenuously, though not always successfully, as peace-maker. The Noveschi and other exiles assembled at Staggia, and, with a small force of Florentine soldiers, arrived at the Porta Fontebranda before dawn on July 22nd, 1487. Pandolfo Petrucci is said to have been the first to scale the walls. Leaving a small guard to hold the gate and secure their retreat if unsuccessful, they pressed up to the Croce del Travaglio, and then rushed through the streets, shouting “People and Nine!{78} Liberty and Peace!” After a brief resistance, the Captain of the People was forced to surrender the Palace, and there was practically no opposition elsewhere. Camillo Venturini—a young man of the Monte del Popolo—killed with a bill-hook a certain Messer Cristoforo di Guidoccio to avenge his father, Lorenzo di Antonio Venturini, who had been beheaded in the previous year, and the Captain of the People was likewise put to death. But otherwise there was little or no bloodshed, save by way of private vendetta in the first confusion. Bartolommeo Sozzini, one of the Dodicini who had worked the scheme at Pisa, where he held a chair, returned with a party of mounted crossbowmen to share in the new regime. The two most honoured citizens of Siena—the Cardinal Francesco and his brother Andrea Piccolomini—came in, a day or two later, and the revolution was complete.

The government was, of course, reformed in the interests of the conquerors, but the other factions were not entirely excluded. There were the inevitable tumults, conspiracies, executions and banishments, accompanied by various changes in the constitution, but all tending to the ultimate preponderance of the Monte de’ Nove, whose government was styled “the government devout and consecrated to the glorious Virgin Mary, the patroness and defender of our Republic.” On the last day of 1494, there was a solemn reconciliation between the Popolani and the Noveschi. The former assembled in the Spedale, the latter in the Vescovado, and then in the evening they went separately to the Duomo. The Noveschi occupied the gospel side of the altar and choir, the Popolani the epistle side, and the Cardinal in full pontifical vestments came out of the sacristy and took his seat between the two parties in front of the high altar. “This is the day which the Lord hath made,” began his illustrious and most reverend Lordship, “let us rejoice and be glad in{79} it;” and he proceeded to deliver an impassioned oration in favour of concord, expressing his conviction that the peace and quiet of the city were at last secured. Then a notary stepped forward and read the articles of the peace, with a most fearful string of curses and excommunications against any who should offend against them or break any of them—“in such wise,” writes the diarist, “that I, Allegretto di Nanni Allegretti, who was present at these things, do not believe that there was ever made nor heard a more stupendous and a more horrible swearing than this.” It was already night, and beneath the flaming torches the notaries on either side inscribed the names of the citizens, who all swore upon the Crucifix of the Missal; and while they swore and while they solemnly kissed each other, the bells rang and the choir with the organ burst out into Te Deum Laudamus. “Now may it please God,” continues Allegretto, “that this be the peace and the quiet of all the citizens; but I doubt it.”[51]

In the following March, it was decided that the government of the city should be equally divided among three Monti; the Monte de’ Nove; the Monte del Popolo; the Monte of the Gentiluomini and Dodicini; and that those of the Riformatori who were admitted should be distributed among these three Monti. A number of exiles were recalled. Then the Signoria with all the Council went to the Duomo, to return thanks to God and to the Virgin Mary, the Te Deum Laudamus was sung, the bells rang a gloria, and they returned to the Palace. But the real authority was still vested in the Balìa. A special magistracy called the Consiglio dei tre segreti had been instituted in 1492, the three being chosen from the members of the Balìa, and wielding, up to a certain point, the authority of the Balìa. By means of this special Council—suppressed at intervals by the enemies of the Noveschi, but almost always soon re-established—the{80} Monte de’ Nove swayed the State. The government was rapidly becoming an oligarchy, in the hands of certain families of Noveschi.

Writing of the factions of Siena, Machiavelli calls the Noveschi the “nobili.” They were in fact a kind of burgher nobility, risen out of families of merchants in the course of the previous century. We find their parallel in Florentine history in the ottimati, the nobili popolani, whose prepotency had been overthrown by the Medici more than half a century before. They were men of wealth and influence, munificent patrons of art and letters; several of them must rank among the most enlightened men of their day. Prominent among them, the heart and soul of the new regime, are the Petrucci, Salvetti, Borghesi, Bichi and Bellanti. The more violent spirits are Giacoppo and Pandolfo Petrucci, Luzio and Leonardo Bellanti; but the noblest is Niccolò di Bartolommeo Borghesi, an ardent patriot and a profound scholar, whom Professor Zdekauer regards as the most important personality in the story of Siena during the second half of the Quattrocento. Niccolò had taken a leading part in the return of the fuorusciti in 1487, and in the September of that year he was appointed professor for five years at the Studio to read “Opus Humanitatis ac moralem Phylosophiam,” and at the same time made Secretary of State “with the charge of writing the annals and the deeds of the Sienese from the foundation of the City itself.”[52] But he showed more desire to make history than to write it, married his daughter Aurelia to Pandolfo Petrucci and plunged into the turmoil of the political conflict.

“Pandolfo Petrucci returned with other exiles to Siena,” writes Machiavelli in the famous chapter of his Discorsi dealing with conspiracies, “and the custody of the piazza was put into his charge, as a mechanical thing and one which the others refused; nevertheless those{81} armed men in time gave him so great a reputation that, in a short while, he became prince of the city.” Pandolfo was born in 1452, and was therefore still under forty when the Noveschi returned. He was a man of little culture or education. At first he played the second part to his brother Giacoppo, but it was in the general alarm and confusion that accompanied the arrival in Italy of Charles VIII. of France that he found his opportunity. A force of 300 mercenaries, provvisionati, was brought to Siena in June 1494, to guard the city and maintain order, and Pandolfo was placed in command. This is evidently what Machiavelli meant. In October, Filippo Valori, one of the Florentine ambassadors to the King, wrote to Piero de’ Medici that His Majesty had been informed that the said Pandolfo was a daring and most dangerous person, persona animosa e scandalosa da precipitare. Nevertheless, when Niccolò Borghesi was sent from the Balìa to greet the King at Pisa, he was graciously received and returned with a letter making Pandolfo and Paolo Salvetti knights for the royal service. Charles entered Siena on December 2nd, with his bodyguard of 300 archers, 200 men-at-arms, and 100 mounted crossbowmen, “right graciously so that it seemed he were at home,” writes Allegretto—though his soldiery, especially the Swiss, committed numberless excesses in the contado. He marched onwards on the 4th, and there was much passing to and fro through Siena of soldiers and ambassadors in those months, stormy and disastrous for Italy, that followed. In the general dissolution of the Florentine dominion, Montepulciano rose in insurrection and declared that she would live and die with Siena. Even the women and children shouted “Lupa! Lupa!” The Sienese promptly dispatched Antonio Bichi as commissary with troops to the spot. The French King sent letters bidding both cities let Montepulciano alone, for he would judge the matter.{82} The growing feeling of the Popolani and especially the Riformatori against the presence of the mercenaries—the outward sign of the prepotency of the Nove—came to a head, and, on the approach of the French army on its return march through Tuscany, the French ambassador forced the Balìa and Pandolfo to send them away. The King stayed a few days in Siena in June 1495, interviewed representatives of all factions, took the Republic under his perpetual protection, “saving the rights of the Empire,” and made a number of knights, including the infant son of Pandolfo. He left a captain with a French garrison behind him. Next month the Riformatori and Popolani rose, headed by Giovanni Severini and Giacomo Buoninsegni, drove Pietro Borghesi out of Siena, fought Niccolò Borghesi and Pandolfo Petrucci with their followers in the Campo. But on July 28th, before daybreak, Luzio Bellanti and Pietro Borghesi with all the dismissed mercenaries and the soldiers from Montepulciano burst into Siena by the Porta Tufi, drove an armed mob of Popolani and Riformatori in headlong flight down the Via di Città, occupied the Campo and all the strong places of the city. The Dodicini and the Gentiluomini made common cause with them, but the intervention of the French captain and Messer Andrea Piccolomini prevented a pitched battle in the Campo or a massacre in the streets. Pandolfo and others made a pretence of retiring to Buonconvento, but were recalled next day, and the French captain with his garrison was peaceably and honourably sent about his business.

The events of the next few years confirmed the power of Pandolfo. In revenge for the affair of Montepulciano and for the assistance that the Balìa had given to Piero de’ Medici, a Florentine army led by Piero Capponi approached Siena in January 1496, and even penetrated so far as the Palazzo de’ Diavoli. With them were Lodovico Luti and a number of other Sienese exiles.{83} They were in secret understanding with the disaffected within the walls, who hoped to introduce them together with enough Florentine soldiers to change the government. But the Florentines were in stronger force than had been anticipated, and the conspirators shrank from betraying their country. “The city of Siena,” writes Machiavelli in the second book of the Discorsi, “has never changed state with the favour of the Florentines, save when these favours have been small and few. For when they have been many and strenuous, they have merely united that city for the defence of the existing government.” And so it happened now. “We were all disposed,” said Allegretto, “to defend ourselves from our most cordial enemies the Florentines. We wanted our exiled fellow citizens back, but in another way.” The Florentines retreated. Luzio Bellanti had deserved as much as Pandolfo from the Monte de’ Nove, but he now found himself ousted from the command of the provvisionati. Possibly he had been in the plot with the Florentines; at least he now plotted to admit them and the fuorusciti and to murder the two Petrucci, Neri Placidi, Antonio Bichi, Niccolò Borghesi and others of their faction. A peculiar feature of the conspiracy was that one of Luzio’s agents pretended to have visions of the Madonna who, he said, wished the Sienese to go in solemn procession to a church beyond the Porta Tufi—the idea being to leave the way clear for the entry of the exiles. The plot was discovered, and Luzio Bellanti in September fled with a price upon his head.

Pandolfo Petrucci was now practically without a rival, and, in all but the name, tyrant of Siena. Pandolfo Petrucci, wrote the Venetian diarist Sanudo, al presente in Siena è il tutto. In the following year, 1497, the Balìa largely increased the number of the mercenaries, who were still under his command, and the death of his brother Giacoppo left him alone at the head of his own family.{84} In theory the Balìa was still equally divided between the three Monti; but it was entirely controlled by the Noveschi, and a number of hostile families were “admonished” and for ever excluded. The Balìa of forty-five—fifteen from each Monte—that was elected in November in this year, for five years, by successive reappointments continued in power till 1516, and in it Pandolfo sat to the end of his life. His strong personality, coupled with his lavishness and backed by the mercenaries, secured the compliance of the high and dazzled the low. While not openly interfering with the republican forms of government, and merely taking the comparatively humble title of “magnifico,” which every petty noble used in the aristocratic circles of Ferrara or Mantua, he kept in his own hands the whole thread of Sienese policy. Allied to France and never openly breaking with Florence, he plotted with Duke Lodovico Sforza of Milan until the latter’s fall, kept in touch with the exiled Medici, and maintained intimate relations with the petty tyrants of Umbria and the Patrimony. His chosen confidant was a Neopolitan of humble birth, who had once held a chair at the University of Siena, a certain Antonio da Venafro, exalted by Machiavelli as the typical secretary of a tyrant, “a serviceable villain” in the Shakespearian sense, who stuck at no crime for his patron’s sake nor hesitated to whisper bloodier suggestions into his ear.

Much use did Pandolfo make of secret assassinations. The exiled Lodovico Luti was murdered by his emissaries in 1499. Luzio Bellanti, earning a precarious living as a man of letters in Florence, lived in constant apprehension. “The liberty of my country,” he says at the end of a book on astrology which he published in 1498, “is ever in my mind. Even whilst I write, a messenger breaks in to warn me that assassins are at hand to slay me; everywhere I find snares prepared, so that{85} my friends may call me Damocles or Dionysius. And although I am by now become callous, nevertheless the pen drops from my wearied hand.” A little later his apprehensions were verified; but in the meanwhile Leonardo Bellanti (Luzio’s brother) and Niccolò Borghesi (Pandolfo’s father-in-law) showed signs of resenting the Petruccian supremacy, and Antonio da Venafro urged his master to make away with Niccolò, who was dreaming republican dreams. An alleged conspiracy against Pandolfo’s own life was the pretext—but, some months before this, he had communicated to Lodovico Sforza, through his serviceable secretary, his intention of freeing himself from the Bellanti and the Borghesi. In June 1500, Niccolò Borghesi was set upon by six armed men in Pandolfo’s pay, as he was returning from Mass at the Duomo, and mortally wounded. He lingered on for a few weeks, spending what of life remained to him in finishing his life of St Catherine, in dictating a Latin epigram commending Siena to her protection. Then he died, freely forgiving Pandolfo for his death. On July 20th he was buried in the vaults of San Domenico.

Pandolfo professed the most sincere repentance, and sent a Franciscan friar to the murdered man’s son, Bernardino, to propose a conference at the convent of the Osservanza. Leonardo Bellanti, who had fled from Siena at the news of Niccolò’s death, wrote a vigorous letter to Bernardino urging him not to go. “The ground still runs with the blood of thy excellent father, the father of our common country,” he said; “I know not how thou canst even think of having to speak to him who with his own hands—nay, much more than with his own hands—so deliberately and abominably, with such cruelty, hath killed thy father, and but yesterday. Alas! Art thou not a rational man? Hast no spirit? Hast not blood? Hast no heart or stomach? For, certes,{86} the vilest of men would not listen to his messengers, much less speak to this man who is devoid of any faith or love, but most abounding in good words and tears.”[53] Nevertheless the Borghesi were reconciled to Pandolfo, and Leonardo himself soon returned to the city.

A new danger now threatened Siena and Pandolfo alike. Cesare Borgia, with the aid of his father, Pope Alexander VI., was building up a great state for himself in central Italy. He had conquered the Romagna, added Piombino to his dominions in September 1501, and was casting eyes upon Siena. In the spring of 1502 the Pope invited Pandolfo to meet him at Piombino; but the Magnifico, pleading excuses and delays, did not go. In August Pandolfo purchased the protection of King Louis XII. of France, with the moneys of the Republic. He sent ambassadors to congratulate Cesare on his conquests, but plotted against him with the petty tyrants who led his mercenaries and began to suspect that their own turns were coming. In the autumn took place the famous meeting of the conspirators at La Magione, to ally against Cesare—“for the salvation of all, and not to be, one by one, devoured by the dragon,” as their leading spirit, Giampaolo Baglioni of Perugia, put it. Pandolfo was represented by Antonio da Venafro and Guido Pecci, and hoped for Piombino as his share of the spoils. At the same time he tried to treat with the Borgia, using Antonio da Venafro as a go-between. “This man,” said Cesare to Machiavelli (who was with him as ambassador of Florence), “sends me every day either letters or special envoys to make me understand his great friendship towards me, but I know him.” It is needless to repeat the tale here of how Cesare—when his forces were temporarily defeated at Fossombrone—waited until the time was ripe, and then{87} crushed the wretched conspirators at the famous tradimento of Sinigaglia. Pandolfo had kept out of the trap. Perugia surrendered on January 6th, 1503; Giampaolo Baglioni fled with his followers to join his Sienese ally.

Siena now “felt the Hydra’s fiery breath.” “This Signore,” wrote Machiavelli of Cesare to the Signoria of Florence from Gualdo on January 6th, “is leaving here to-morrow with his army and is going to Assisi, and thence he will advance upon Siena to make of that city a state to his own liking.” At Assisi the Sienese ambassadors met him. Cesare assured them that he had no quarrel with the Republic, but was at war only with his inimico capitale, Pandolfo. Let them send him away and there would be peace. Otherwise he would come with his army, “impelled by necessity and by a reasonable indignation against the man who, not content with tyrannising over one of the first cities of Italy, wished also by ruining others to be able to impose laws upon all his neighbours.” Machiavelli thought Pandolfo’s position fairly strong, seeing that he was “a man of much prudence in a state held by him with great reputation, and without having external or internal enemies of real importance, since he has either killed them or reconciled them, and with a large force of good troops, if Giampaolo has taken refuge with him, as they say, and not without money.” The Balìa sent to assure the Duke that he was mistaken about Pandolfo, who was no tyrant but had always conducted himself as “a most modest citizen,” and to remind him that Siena was under the protection of France. “The master of the shop, who is the King of France,” quoth Cesare with pleasing frankness to Machiavelli, “would not be content that I should take Siena for myself, nor am I so daring that I should think of such a thing. That community should trust me; I want nothing of theirs, but only to drive away Pandolfo. And I would have thy Government{88} bear witness to and publish this intention of mine, which is only to assure myself of this tyrant. I believe that that community of Siena will believe me; but in case it should not, I shall march on and plant my artillery at the gates.” Pandolfo, he said, had been the cervello, the brain of the whole conspiracy against him. He confidently appealed to the Florentines for help in the business, “for as long as Pandolfo is in Siena, it will always be a refuge and a support for all your enemies.”[54]

The Sienese prepared for defence, while messenger after messenger was sent to stay the Borgia’s advance. At first all orders seemed united to defend Pandolfo, “with such love and charity,” wrote the Balìa, “as has never been shown in any other occurrence in this city.” The mob shouted lustily for “Lupa, Libertà e Pandolfo.” But Cesare came nearer and nearer, sending an ultimatum before him, bidding the Sienese expel Pandolfo, dismiss Giampaolo Baglioni and his men, and surrender their artillery. Then the hearts of the Sienese began to sink; there were countrymen of theirs in the hostile camp, and Leonardo Bellanti was vigorously fanning the flames among the citizens. Pandolfo sent his children to a place of safety. At length, on January 24th, the Balìa, in Pandolfo’s presence, decreed his exile, and appointed six citizens to come to an agreement with Cesare. But already the people had risen in tumult at the sight of the two Borgian envoys and the rumoured approach of his cavalry, and Pandolfo still lingered. Then there came another letter from Cesare from Pienza: “We swear to God that if, in whatever hour you shall receive these presents, you shall not have already expelled, or shall not immediately without further delay expel the said Pandolfo, we shall reckon every one{89} of you in the place of Pandolfo. And without any intermission we shall move to the total extermination of all your towns, subjects, and goods, and of your city and of your own persons. Since you choose to be our enemies, you shall remain beaten down and crushed in such wise that never again shall you be able to offend us.”[55] This settled it. On the evening of January 28th, Pandolfo and Giampaolo took a solemn farewell of the government and left Siena. As the Magnifico rode from the Palazzo his adherents crowded round him, weeping and profuse in their anticipations of his speedy return. But a woman shrieked at him from a window: “Crucify him! crucify the traitor!” It was the mother of a certain Ildebrando Cerretani, who had been secretly murdered at Pandolfo’s bidding. He made his way in disguise to Lucca, closely pursued by a band of Borgia’s light-armed cavalry, who (in spite of Cesare’s safe conduct to Pandolfo) had orders to cut both him and Giampaolo to pieces.

In the meanwhile Leonardo Bellanti, Andrea Piccolomini, Lorenzo Beccafumi, and three other delegates were making terms for Siena with Cesare. But the Pope called the Duke back to suppress the rising of the Roman barons, and the intervention of the King of France protected Siena from further molestation. To the demands of the King addressed to the Balìa for the recall of Pandolfo, an evasive answer was returned, and the Pope was assured that the Sienese did not want him back. Pandolfo, however, had gained over the Florentines by undertaking to restore Montepulciano, and he suddenly appeared with armed men at Poggibonsi. On March 29th, the Balìa decreed his recall and restitution into the{90} Collegio; but they implored him not to bring Giampaolo Baglioni with him, and to be content with a modest return with a small company, so that he could “enjoy his sweet native land in peace with the others, as is the common desire of all the citizens.” Nevertheless, on the same day, Pandolfo entered Siena in triumph accompanied by the French ambassadors, with Giampaolo Baglioni and his cavalry, and the condottiere Pochintesta da Bagnacavallo with a large force of infantry. “And so,” he wrote to the Florentines, “by the gift of God, accompanied by the orators of the Most Christian King, and with a great multitude of the citizens and Sienese nobles, peacefully and without tumult or any disturbance, have I entered my sweet native land.”[56]

Alexander VI. died in the following August, and was succeeded by the Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini, who took the title of Pius III. in the memory of his uncle. Andrea Piccolomini had left Siena on Pandolfo’s return, and the new Pope was probably not well disposed to the re-establishment of this despotism in his native city. But his pontificate only lasted twenty-six days—he was broken down already with age and ill-health; and Pandolfo managed to establish friendly relations with his successor, Julius II. Like his uncle, Pius III. has left his mark upon Siena, and we shall return to him in the Duomo.

Henceforth Pandolfo was practically undisputed lord of Siena and her dominion, though he never succeeded in getting the longed-for imperial investiture. The citizens appear to have acquiesced in his supremacy. The Balìa was in his hands; he disposed of the moneys of the State, and appears to have been allowed to sell certain magistracies and offices to his own profit. Ambassadors were sent to him and not to the Republic, and business was transacted by the “Magnificent Pandolfo Petrucci, Sienese Patrician, in the stead and in the name{91} of the Magnificent Commune of Siena.” He meddled in all the political intrigues of the early Cinquecento, with a considerable amount of success. “In the midst of the new complications which now arose,” writes Professor Villari, “he shaped his course with the greatest wariness, and whilst he made a show of friendship towards Florence, from which he could certainly receive much damage, he strove also to draw near to her enemies, seeing that the bad fortune of France was augmenting their power and ever rendering the friends of Spain more potent.”[57] He secretly assisted Pisa against Florence in 1505, when Bartolommeo Alviano assailed the territory of the latter Republic, and this was the occasion of the second legation of Machiavelli to Siena in the July of that year.[58] Machiavelli found Pandolfo a hard problem: “I can hardly judge,” he wrote to the Signoria, “whether he should be believed or not, because here I have seen no sign whereby I can make a better conjecture than can your Lordships.” And he talked all day with Antonio da Venafro, without getting anything out of him.

There was a last conspiracy against Pandolfo’s life in 1508. He had promised his daughter Sulpizia to Giulio, one of the sons of Leonardo Bellanti, but married her to Sigismondo Chigi instead. Induced by this slight and the desire of avenging Luzio, Leonardo and his sons with a force of armed men lay in wait for Pandolfo, on his way to visit their own kinsman, Petrino Bellanti, who lay sick. A boy that they had set to watch gave the alarm too soon, and the Magnifico escaped. The Bellanti at once fled through the Porta Camollia to Florence. They were summoned to appear before the Balìa within three days, declared rebels, and their goods confiscated.{92}

Pandolfo had now assumed the pomp and state of a petty prince. He walked through the streets and squares followed by a cortège of Noveschi and Gentiluomini, while his splendid new palace near the Duomo seemed destined to play the part in the story of Siena that the Palazzo Riccardi was doing in that of Florence. He made and unmade marriages at his pleasure. He separated Mariana Vignoli from her husband, and shut her up in a convent, while he compelled Vittoria Piccolomini, the daughter of the late Andrea, to become the wife of his own son Borghese. The sumptuary laws of Siena touching the jewels and dresses of ladies were abrogated in favour of the women of his family,[59] who are said to have taken full advantage of this dispensation. He obtained possession for himself of various castles and palaces in the contado, while by humouring the nobles, giving the public funds and offices to his friends, finding work for artisans and food for the poor, he contrived to keep all classes more or less content. “How does the Magnifico rule the Sienese?” asked one of the Popes of Antonio da Venafro. “With lies, Holy Father,” answered the astute secretary. But Luzio Bellanti and Niccolò Borghesi were not alone in declining to give credit to these bugie, and Pandolfo is said to have murdered some sixty persons in the course of his reign. The more insignificant of these were thrown into oubliettes or disused burial vaults, and left there to starve.

In 1511, Pope Julius created Pandolfo’s second son Alfonso a Cardinal. In the same year peace was finally made with Florence, and a confederation established between the two Republics, Montepulciano being restored and the prepotency of the Petrucci assured. The star{93} of France being on the wane in Italy, Pandolfo was now looking to Spain. His last political act was to intervene for harmony between the Pope and Florence. Gradually he was losing hold of things, absorbed in a vulgar, senile passion for a certain Caterina, whom the Sienese called “the two-handed sword,” the young wife of an artisan in the Via di Salicotto. In February 1512, he obtained from the Balìa that his son Borghese should take his place in the Collegio, and in all other magistracies in his absence. On May 21st he died at San Quirico. All the shops were closed when his body was brought to the city; there was a state funeral in the Duomo, after which it was carried in procession to San Francesco, and thence quietly conveyed by the friars to the Osservanza. Machiavelli, who came with the condolences of the Republic of Florence, ranks Pandolfo in the second class of despots. He was undoubtedly not among the worst tyrants of the epoch. Especially after his return from his brief exile, his rule was beneficial to Siena, in that he secured for the State a comparatively long period of respite from internal factions and of external peace.

Pandolfo, writes an anonymous chronicler, at his death left Borghese his son with the same authority, but not with the same prudence. The machinations of Antonio da Venafro secured his peaceful accession to his father’s dignities, and an increased force of mercenaries was hired under the command of Orazio Baglioni—Borghese’s prospective brother-in-law. But the young man was utterly without his father’s abilities, luxurious and dissolute, as well as cowardly and arrogant. So superstitious was he that, at the advice of a Jew astrologer, he always wore a bracelet with certain mysterious signs that should infallibly protect him from all possible enemies. For some time he tried the Medicean policy of dazzling the populace with{94} festivities and spectacular displays, while the Cardinal Alfonso amassed riches at Rome, and plunged into the intrigues at the court of Leo X., which the papal executioners cut short a few years later. While the brutalities of Borghese’s favourite, the condottiere Pochintesta, disgusted and exasperated the Sienese, there was another Petrucci—Raffaello di Giacoppo, Bishop of Grosseto and governor of the Castle of Sant’Angelo—high in favour with the Pope and biding his time, in touch with the Bellanti, Petroni, Tancredi, and other families that hated Borghese. In December 1515, Borghese dismissed Antonio da Venafro. “I go, Magnificence,” said the old secretary, “but only to take rooms for you.” In the following March, with aid from Pope Leo X. and Florence, Raffaello Petrucci appeared in Sienese territory at the head of a force of mercenaries, accompanied by Leonardo Bellanti and other exiles, and Borghese with his young brother Fabio ignominiously fled from the city, leaving his wife and little daughters behind him.

Raffaello Petrucci entered Siena in triumph through the Porta Romana on March 10th, 1516, harangued the Signoria—his words being few and inelegant, says Pecci, because he was ignorant and more disposed to arms than to letters—and was then conveyed in state to his father’s palace, which occupied the site of the present Palazzo Reale. The creation of the new Balìa was put into his hands, the exiles were restored to their honours, Borghese and Fabio declared rebels. A league—but with reservation of the imperial rights over the city of Siena and its state—was concluded with the younger Lorenzo de’ Medici and the Pope, who was desirous, says Guicciardini, “that that city, being placed between the States of the Church and of the Florentines, should be governed by a man in his confidence, and perchance all the more because he hoped, when the opportunity of times should{95}






be propitious, to be able, by the consent of the Bishop himself, to subject it either to his brother or his nephew.” In the following year the Cardinal Alfonso Petrucci plotted against the Pope’s life in Rome, was degraded from the Cardinalate, and strangled in prison. One of his accomplices was the condottiere Pochintesta who, when examined, accused the Bellanti of similarly intending to murder the Bishop Raffaello at Siena. Raffaello summoned Giulio and Guidone Bellanti to his presence; the first was butchered by Francesco di Camillo Petrucci in the street outside, the second cut to pieces in the palace before Raffaello’s eyes, while he knelt and begged for mercy. Leonardo Bellanti, their old father, was sent to a fortress in the Maremma and there beheaded. Shortly afterwards, Raffaello was raised to the Cardinalate.

In spite of his personal immorality and cruelty, the tyranny of the Cardinal Raffaello does not seem to have been utterly bad. He governed with a firm hand, keeping Siena in peace and comparative prosperity for six years. During his absence at the conclave after the death of Leo X., the exiles and anti-Mediceans prevailed upon the Duke of Urbino in January, 1522, to invade the Sienese contado in favour of Lattanzio Petrucci, also an ecclesiastic and a cousin of Borghese; but with no result. And in March, after his return, another unsuccessful attempt led by Renzo da Ceri, backed by France and secretly favoured by a party in Siena itself, was made to overthrow his regime. The Cardinal died suddenly in his villa on December 17th, 1522, in such a tempest “that it seemed the mouth of Hell were opened.” When his body was brought to Siena to be buried in San Domenico, a howling mob assailed the funeral procession, hurling stones and hooting, shouting that the dead man should be thrown out into the place where the carrion was cast. The friars all fled, leaving the bier alone in{98} the midst of the police, who with difficulty got it safe into the church. Raffaello left one illegitimate son, Eustacchio, who held the command of the mercenaries in the Campo.

Francesco di Camillo Petrucci, the son of a younger brother of Pandolfo, who had been at the head of the government during the Cardinal’s absence, now seized the chief power; while part of the citizens looked to the imperial agents in Rome for the restoration of their liberties, and another part desired the recall of Pandolfo’s youngest son Fabio—Borghese having gone mad at Naples. Francesco’s tyrannical behaviour and his murder of Marcello Saracini disgusted all classes. Pope Clement VII., who intended to marry Fabio Petrucci with the daughter of Galeotto de’ Medici, summoned Francesco to Rome and kept him there, while Fabio, in December 1523, entered Siena. Fabio was a youth of eighteen years of age, excessively handsome and winning in manners, most incompetent and more dissolute than even Borghese had been. The Sienese stood his mercenaries and his unsavoury amours for about nine months. On September 18th, 1524, there was a general rising against him, headed by Giovanni Martinozzi, Mario Bandini and Giovanni Battista Piccolomini. Fabio’s mercenaries occupied the Palazzo, while his few remaining friends assembled in the house of Alessandro Bichi. There was prolonged fighting in the Campo, in the Piazza Tolomei, at the Croce del Travaglio, the adherents of Fabio raising the Florentine shout of “Marzocco” only to be drowned by the swelling thunder of “Popolo e Libertà!” Had Fabio held his ground for a couple of days more, aid would have been forthcoming from the Florentines and the Pope; but his heart failed him and, rejecting the compromise which the leaders of the revolution offered him, he fled at nightfall through the Porta Tufi and escaped to Florence. Thus ignominiously ended the tyranny of the Petrucci in Siena.{99}


The Sculptors and Painters of Siena

WE may conveniently begin the story of Sienese art with the coming of Niccolò Pisano to Siena in 1266, the year after Dante’s birth, for the work of the great marble pulpit of the Duomo. Niccolò’s son, Giovanni, became a citizen of Siena, and was chief architect of the Duomo during the two closing decades of the century. Stimulated by their presence and example, there rose an independent school of Sienese sculptors, which flourished from the end of the thirteenth to the middle of the fourteenth century—a school which chronologically succeeds to that founded by Niccolò Pisano, and anticipates the rise of the Florentine school under Andrea Pisano’s influence. These Sienese sculptors were mainly employed upon the Cathedrals of Siena and of Orvieto, and in making tombs in other cities of Italy, sepulchral monuments in which, writes M. Reymond, “the Sienese school reveals a very special and new character, which is the subordination of the religious idea to the civil idea.”[60] Tino da Camaino, who sculptured the famous tomb of Henry VII. at Pisa and worked for the royal Angevins of Naples; the architects, Agostino di Giovanni and Agnolo di Ventura; Cellino di Nese, who made the tomb of the poet Cino at Pistoia; Gano da Siena and Ramo di Paganello; Lorenzo Maitani, whose fame is for ever linked to the glorious Duomo of Orvieto; these{100} are the masters of chief repute in this early Sienese school.

All these belong to that bright epoch in the story of Siena previous to the great pestilence of 1348. Then there came a sad decline, as the statues of the Apostles in the chapel of the Campo, executed between 1376 and 1384, show only too clearly. But, just at the time that St Catherine was beginning her public life, Siena became the mother of one of the greatest sculptors of the Renaissance.

Giacomo della Quercia was the son of a goldsmith named Pietro di Agnolo, a citizen of Siena, and was born in Siena or its contado in 1371 or 1374. His first artistic studies were made in Siena itself where, there being then no great native sculptors, he drank inspiration almost solely from the great pulpit of the Duomo. This, perhaps, is what makes him so isolated a figure in the art of the Quattrocento; the heir of Niccolò Pisano, the forerunner of Michelangelo. He left Siena when it fell into the hands of the Duke of Milan, and went to Florence, where he was chiefly impressed by the work of Giotto and Andrea Pisano. In 1401 he entered the competition for the second bronze gates of the Baptistery, and came next to Ghiberti and Brunelleschi; his figures, says Vasari, were considered good, but lacking in refinement, non avevano finezze. A few years later, at Lucca, he carved that tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, made famous in our own days by the eloquent enthusiasm of Ruskin. His native city now began to recognise his genius. In 1409 he was commissioned to make the famous fountain of the Piazza del Campo, upon which he worked at intervals between 1412 and 1419—going off to do other work at Lucca, and forced by the Signoria to return under heavy financial penalties. In 1416 he was commissioned by the Operaio, or superintendent of the artistic work of the Duomo, to design the Font for the Baptistery,{101}

The Pulpit of the Duomo, Siena. (Niccolò Pisano and his pupils.)

The Pulpit of the Duomo, Siena.
(Niccolò Pisano and his pupils.)

and in the following year to cast two bronze scenes, storie, for the same. But here again he undertook things elsewhere—in Bologna, this time—and the Signoria had to compel him to finish what he had begun, which he did in 1434. In the meanwhile, he had accomplished his supreme work at Bologna in the bas-reliefs on the pilasters of the door of San Petronio—those marvellous scenes from the Book of Genesis, in which he seems to anticipate the achievement of Michelangelo in the Cappella Sistina. Giacomo died at Siena in 1438. His style is grand and austere, full of force and vigour, with a kind of rugged greatness that contrasts curiously with the manner of contemporary Sienese painters; he dispenses with accessories, concentrating the interest upon the human figures in his stories. There is peculiar nobility and power in his treatment of the nude. “Sooth to say, Giacomo had only one pupil, and for him there was a century to wait; he was Michelangelo.”[61]

No other Sienese sculptor of the Quattrocento approaches Giacomo’s solitary greatness. Pietro del Minella (1391-1458) was his favourite pupil and assistant, but caught little of his spirit. The two Turini—Turino di Sano and his son Giovanni (1384-1455)—were associated with him on the work for the Baptistery, and acquitted themselves creditably, even by the side of Donatello and Ghiberti. Then come two men of greater mark: Antonio Federighi (died about 1480), and Lorenzo di Pietro (1412-1480), called Il Vecchietta. The former, who is said to have been connected with the Tolomei, was also an architect, as the “grandiose simplicity” of the Loggia that he built for Pius II. shows; as a sculptor, he is perhaps the most classical of the Sienese masters of the Quattrocento, following not unworthily in the steps of both Giacomo della Quercia and Donatello. Vecchietta appears to have{102} been actually Giacomo’s pupil; his principal works are in bronze, somewhat hard and dry in style, with excessive attention to anatomical details. Giovanni di Stefano (died after 1498) and Urbano da Cortona (died 1504), by the latter of whom are some tolerable works in the Duomo and elsewhere, are conscientious scarpellini, with no original genius. To Francesco di Giorgio Martini (1439-1502), the pupil of Vecchietta, are ascribed—frequently on no adequate grounds—a number of the chief buildings in Siena in the style of the earlier Renaissance; as a military architect, he stands high among the craftsmen of his century, and was much employed by the Dukes of Urbino. Like his master Vecchietta, he was also a worker in bronze and a painter. Of his fellow-pupil Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi (1447-1500), it will be best to speak among the painters; his few extant works in sculpture have a peculiar combination of dignity and sweetness, which is at once impressive and winning. Giacomo Cozzarelli (1453-1515) was a pupil of Francesco di Giorgio; he designed the famous palace of Pandolfo Petrucci and made those wonderful torch-holders and other metal work for its exterior, which are only surpassed by Caparra’s masterpieces in this kind on the palace of Filippo Strozzi at Florence. Lorenzo di Mariano, called Il Marrina (died in 1534), is the last great sculptor of the Sienese Renaissance; as a decorator in marble he has few if any equals, and his masterpiece in the oratory of Fontegiusta need not fear the comparison with the best Florentine work of the epoch.

Nor should we pass from the sculptors without a word on the wood-carvers, who are among the minor artistic glories of Siena. Domenico di Niccolò (who died about 1450), called Del Coro from his work in the chapel of the Palazzo del Comune, Antonio Barili (died 1516), and Giovanni Barili (died 1529), produced{103} work in this kind which is hardly surpassed in any Italian city of the Renaissance.

The Jesuit art-historian Lanzi characterised the Sienese school of painters as lieta scuola fra lieto popolo, “a blithe school among a blithe people,” and added that their principal works were to be found in the churches of the city. Needless to say that the latter remark no longer holds, and we shall do best to begin our consideration of the painters in the well-arranged picture gallery of the Reale Istituto Provinciale di Belle Arti.

The first great epoch in Sienese painting, as in sculpture, is contemporaneous with the government of the Nine and ends with the outbreak of the pestilence of 1348. The moving spirit of this period, the true founder of the Sienese school, is Duccio di Buoninsegna. Recent researches have shown that he was born shortly before the battle of Montaperti, and that his artistic activity extends from 1278 to 1313.[62] It will be better to speak more fully of his work when we stand before his masterpiece in the Opera del Duomo, that picture which, in Ghiberti’s words, “was made right excellently and learnedly, and is a magnificent thing.” Bringing the Byzantine manner to its utmost perfection for the purpose of religious illustration, Duccio gave imperishable form to what had been more or less traditional through the previous centuries of Christian art. He is to the Middle Ages what Raphael was to be to the Renaissance. Segna di Tura di Buoninsegna, who was working in the early years of the fourteenth century, was Duccio’s pupil, perhaps his nephew; he{104} imitated the manner of his master, but somewhat ineffectually. Simone Martini, on the other hand, followed worthily in Duccio’s footsteps; with an exquisite sense of beauty and a love of splendid decorative effects in colour, he is perhaps the most typical master of “soft Siena,” doing for her in line and colour what Folgore had done in rhyme. He died in 1344. With him as assistant worked his brother-in-law, Lippo Memmi; “they were gentle masters,” wrote Ghiberti, “and their pictures were done with the greatest diligence, right delicately finished.” This epoch culminates in the two Lorenzetti—Pietro and his younger brother Ambrogio—both of whom appear to have been among the victims of the pestilence. Ambrogio especially, famosissimo e singularissimo maestro, as Ghiberti calls him, nobilissimo componitore, is the greatest and most imaginative painter that Siena has produced. In the splendid allegorical frescoes with which he adorned the palace chamber of the Signori Nove and in his glowing altarpieces, in material beauty and spiritual significance, he reaches a height unattained by any other Italian painter of his century—save only the mighty Florentine, Andrea Orcagna.

In the Stanza Prima—dei Primitivi—we have first a number of pictures of the Pre-Duccian epoch. The altarpiece (1), partly in stucco in half relief and in the Byzantine style, is peculiarly interesting from its date, 1215, as showing us the state of art in Tuscany in the very year of the traditional outbreak of the Guelf and Ghibelline factions in Florence. The very curious paintings (4 and 5), belonging to the thirteenth century, may be taken as next-to-contemporary representations of the scenes from the lives of St Francis and St Clare and Blessed Andrea Gallerani which they include (besides St Bartholomew, St Catherine of Alexandria, and St Dominic); St Clare repulsing Manfred’s Saracens{105}


Alinari, Florence

from her convent by the Sacred Host is unique in so early a picture. We may here mention that Andrea Gallerani, a frequently recurring figure in Sienese art, was a nobleman of Siena, who died in 1251. He had killed a man for blaspheming and was exiled, but afterwards returned and devoted himself to works of mercy and charity, founding the Spedale della Misericordia, which was later united to the great Spedale di Sta. Maria della Scala. Next comes a series of paintings in the Byzantine manner: two somewhat imposing altarpieces to the honour of the Baptist and the Prince of the Apostles respectively (14 and 15); smaller scenes (8 to 13), showing the sort of thing that Duccio glorified and perfected a little later. Duccio himself is represented by six authentic pictures; an early work on a small scale (20), the Madonna and Child with Angels and Franciscan friars; three Saints (22, 23); an important and characteristic picture of the Madonna and Child with St Peter and St Dominic, St Paul and St Augustine, Christ blessing from above and Angels bearing sceptres that end in threefold lilies in token of the Trinity (28); a triptych (35), including scenes from the lives of Christ and His Mother that anticipate in some sort the illustrative power of his masterpiece in the Opera del Duomo; a large altarpiece in many divisions (47), in which the Blessed Virgin is honoured under two of the titles assigned to her in the Litany of Loreto—“Queen of Patriarchs,” “Queen of Prophets.” By Segna di Tura are several pictures of no great importance; part of an altar-piece (40); a Madonna (44); St Ansanus (42); and St Galganus (43). It may be well to mention that St Ansanus, according to the legend, was the first Apostle of Siena, a Roman patrician who suffered in the persecution of Diocletian; St Galganus lived in the twelfth century, was guided by St Michael into the wilderness,{106} and when prevented by the devil from cutting wood to make a cross he struck his sword into the hard rock, which became soft as wax to receive it and then harder than adamant to retain it, and built a hermitage at the spot. He is usually pictured as here by Segna—a young knight with flowing golden hair, the miraculous sword forming on the rocky desert place the sacred sign of Redemption. Simone Martini is not represented in the Gallery; but there is an altarpiece (51) ascribed to Lippo Memmi, and fairly characteristic of the religious art of fourteenth century Siena. A well-preserved picture in the following room (11), with St Michael as central figure, shows something of Lippo’s manner, but is not a work of the master himself.

In the second room there is a noble collection of paintings by the Lorenzetti. By the elder brother Pietro are: the Assumption of the Madonna (5), with the doubting Thomas receiving the sacred girdle; the Madonna and Child enthroned (21), with a lovely band of Angels clustering round the throne; four small scenes from the history of the Order of the Carmelities (28, 29), being apparently the remains of the predella of a famous picture that Pietro painted for the church of the Carmine in 1329. The younger Lorenzetti, Ambrogio, is represented by three masterpieces. The smallest of these (9) is a perfect gem of early Sienese art; the Madonna is enthroned with both her arms folded round the Divine Child, who unfolds a scroll to the four Latin Doctors kneeling in adoration, each receiving His doctrine with a wonderful expression of rapt devotion, ecstasy and yearning—but each in a totally different way; the golden haired Virgin Martyrs, Catherine with her wheel, Dorothy with her flowers, are standing in attendance on the Queen, and there are six adoring Angels above. The large altar-piece (2) is a striking and imposing work; the Madonna and Child are attended by the Magdalene and St Dorothy{107} and the two St Johns, while below is the Deposition from the Cross: the heads are full of beauty and expression, and the Deposition shows Ambrogio’s dramatic power. The Annunciation (33), dated the 17th of December 1344, appears to be Ambrogio’s last extant work; it was painted for the Palazzo del Comune and, in addition to the painter’s name, is inscribed with those of the Camarlingo—Don Francesco, monk of St Galganus—the three Esecutori and the Scrittore or scribe.[63] High up on the wall above this picture are two half figures of saints (34, 36), damaged, but genuine Ambrogios. Ascribed to Pietro Lorenzetti is a curious allegory (37), apparently of the story of sin and the Atonement of the Cross.

As in sculpture, so in painting, a decline set in after 1348. In the latter part of the fourteenth century worked Giacomo di Mino del Pellicciaio, Lippo di Vanni, Bartolo di Maestro Fredi (who died in 1410), Barna or Berna, Luca di Tommè, Paolo di Giovanni, Andrea di Vanni. They are somewhat mediocre artists, far below the Lorenzetti, from whom they not unfrequently borrow motives; still, as religious illustrators, they follow to the best of their limited powers the greater men who had gone before. Andrea di Vanni is an exceedingly interesting personality; he was a man of mark in the counsels of the Riformatori, served the State as ambassador and in other capacities, and was a fervent disciple of St Catherine, who addressed several letters to him and whose portrait he painted. Barna can only be studied at San Gimignano, and the picture ascribed to Andrea di Vanni (59) is not one of his few authenticated works. But Bartolo di Maestro Fredi is represented in this Stanza II. by a whole series of paintings (42 to 49); by Luca di Tommè is a signed and dated picture of 1367 (54), in which the central group of St Anne with{108} a very sweet and girlish Madonna has great charm; Paolo di Giovanni’s Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (61), partly imitated from a picture by Pietro Lorenzetti, is bright and pleasant in colour and feeling; by Giacomo di Mino is a triptych (90). This room contains also some good and characteristic works of the Florentine school of the Trecento; a Madonna with the Magdalene and St Catherine of Alexandria and Angels (52), signed by Taddeo Gaddi; the Death and Coronation of the Madonna (64, 70), by Spinello Aretino. The connecting link between this group of Sienese artists and the painters of the Quattrocento is found in Taddeo di Bartolo (1363-1422), the pupil of Bartolo di Fredi. With no striking originality nor any great power, Taddeo was a conscientious and meritorious painter, whose works show a deep religious feeling, and who exercised considerable influence upon the Sienese school of his day. Most of the greater painters of the succeeding epoch may be said to have proceeded, directly or indirectly, from his school. By Taddeo di Bartolo, besides a number of smaller pictures, there is in this room one large altar-piece in several divisions (76), signed and dated 1409, of which the central scene is the Annunciation with St Cosmas and St Damian, the patron saints of the medical profession.

Sienese painting in the fifteenth century is distinguished by its mystical tone and its exceedingly conservative, not to say retrogressive, spirit. No preoccupation with scientific researches, no problems of movement or anatomy, disturbed the calm of the Sienese painters; we meet with hardly any portraiture in their work, and even less mythology. These most turbulent of Italian people who, in De Commines’ famous phrase, “are ever in division, and govern their commonwealth more fondly than any other town in Italy,” chose that their painters should give them art that was exclusively the handmaid{109} of religion. While foreign sculptors, such as Donatello and Ghiberti, were welcomed and employed in Siena, foreign painters were practically excluded until the last two decades of the century. Great spiritual beauty in faces, accuracy of drawing within certain limits, with a profusion and a lavishness in the use of gold and the most brilliant colours (this the Sienese particularly demanded of their painters), characterise the school at this epoch. Their strength and their weakness alike are shown in that their most typical painter is styled the “Sienese Fra Angelico,” while there never was, at least to any good effect, a Sienese Masaccio. The chief painters whose work falls into this period are: Sano di Pietro (1406-1481), Domenico di Bartolo (whose few extant works are dated from 1433 to 1443), Giovanni di Paolo (died in 1482), the sculptor Lorenzo di Pietro, called Il Vecchietta (1412-1480), Stefano di Giovanni called Sassetta (died in 1450). And then, following after these, a second group: Matteo di Giovanni, who was born about 1435 and died in 1495; Francesco di Giorgio Martini (1439-1502), Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi (1447-1500), Benvenuto di Giovanni (1436-1518)—these three the pupils of Lorenzo di Pietro.

These painters and their contemporaries are represented in the four following rooms of the gallery. In Stanza III., a curious little panel by Domenico di Bartolo (19), with a devout inscription in honour of the Madonna, signed Dominicus and dated 1433, contrasts strongly with the more typical Sienese works that surround it. The composition, the types of Angels, the naked Child, all show ill-assimilated Florentine influences. The Child in its unidealised humanity is the first nude infant in Sienese art; all Sano’s babes, for instance, are more or less clothed, already dreaming divine dreams. Domenico was a native of Asciano who came to Siena, and is said to have become the pupil of Taddeo di Bartolo; all his{110} work, however, is a kind of protest against the mystical Sienese tradition in painting. Certain great frescoes of his, which we shall see later in the Spedale, stand alone in the story of the art of Siena. Then follow some small pictures by Sassetta (21 to 24), fairly representative. Giovanni di Paolo—a prolific and always agreeable, if somewhat monotonous and weak painter—is more fully represented here, in a series of Madonnas and Saints, scriptural scenes and mediaeval legends. Two of his pictures (28 and 55) are signed and dated 1453 and 1440 respectively. His Last Judgment (27), the predella of a picture painted for San Domenico in 1445, is particularly interesting; much of it is the usual tradition, but the Paradiso on our left is full of most poetical and fanciful details, slightly reminding us of Angelico’s work in the Florentine Academy, but conceived in a curiously different spirit. The scenes from the life of St Galganus (53) are a favourable example of his ingenuous narrative power. When Il Vecchietta turns from sculpture to painting, he lays aside his science and follows the Sienese tradition with the rest. His San Bernardino (63) has considerable interest, being to all intents and purposes a contemporary portrait. A large altarpiece, badly preserved (67), is one of the works that he painted as an offering for the church of the Spedale, and is signed: “The work of Laurentius Petri, sculptor, alias El Vecchietta, for his devotion.” The shrine, painted on both sides with figures of Andrea Gallerani and other Sienese saints, comes from the same place. We may notice the Madonna and Child with St Francis and St Dominic (66), by Pier Francesco Fiorentino, a Florentine priest who painted in the latter part of the fifteenth century, and who shows himself as reactionary as any master of Siena; his works abound at San Gimignano and throughout the Val d’Elsa. Mr Berenson ascribes to him the four little trionfi at the other end{111} of the present room—the Triumphs of Death, Chastity, Love and Fame (4 to 7), partly after Petrarch—which were at one time erroneously attributed to Andrea di Vanni.

The next two rooms, Stanza IV. and Stanza V., are entirely devoted to Sano di Pietro. Sano, or Ansano, is the most mystical, the most genuinely inspired by religious devotion, of all the painters of Siena; like Fra Angelico, his life was in perfect harmony with his art, pictor famosus et homo totus deditus Deo—so is he described in the document that registers his death—“a famous painter and a man utterly dedicated to God”; but, unlike Angelico, he was a married man and a father of children. In these two rooms he can be thoroughly studied in all his phases. His brush moves in a somewhat restricted field. It is always the Madonna with her Divine Child, surrounded by saints and adored by Seraphim, now listening to the music of attendant Angels, now crowned by her Son with the diadem of Paradise. Or we have saints, men and women, rapt in ecstasy and already of another world. Sometimes monks or nuns are introduced, kneeling at Our Lady’s feet or worshipping her Child, or the portrait of the donor—frequently (as in number 9 of Stanza IV.) some devout nun who had it painted “for the soul of her father and of her mother”; but such figures are always very small indeed, as though to reduce the human element to a minimum. The faces are always very sweet—the Angels, with the flame of the Holy Spirit resting upon their foreheads, perhaps especially so—the colours are of that almost shadowless brightness that the Sienese loved. Among the Sienese saints introduced we may notice (Stanza IV., 25) the founder of the Gesuati, the Beato Giovanni Colombini, kneeling at the Madonna’s feet; he was a leader in the religious life of Tuscany when St Catherine was a child, and the Colombini were connected by marriage with the Benincasa.{112}

One picture in Stanza IV. (20) is unique among Sano’s works, and may be described as a mystical treatment of contemporary history. Pope Calixtus III. is enthroned in full pontifical robes, his cope being buckled with the Borgia arms, while below appears Siena with the Tower of the Palazzo and the Campanile of the Duomo; mules are being driven into the city, laden with sacks of grain marked with the balzana, the muleteer being armed and looking round in fear to see if he is pursued. In the clouds the Madonna appears, to commend her city to the Holy Father, a scroll bearing her words: “O worthy Pastor to my Christian people, to thee henceforth do I render the care of Siena; to her let all thy kindly feeling turn.” And we have his answer: “Virgin Mother, dear Consort to God, if thy Calixtus is worthy of so great a gift, nought save death shall sever me from Siena.” Though somewhat hastily painted, and though the character of Calixtus is hardly more realised than in the case of Giotto’s popes, the historical interest of the picture, which was executed for the Palazzo Pubblico, is considerable. In 1455, when Piccinino the great condottiere—in secret understanding with Giberto da Correggio, the commander of the Sienese forces, and with Ghino di Pietro Bellanti and other traitors within the walls—was preparing to make war upon the Republic, Calixtus (Alfonso Borgia), then newly-elected Pope, took Siena under his protection and sent the ecclesiastical forces to its support. He urged the Sienese to prosecute the war to the bitter end, declared that their cause was his own. “We shall maintain inviolate your own and the common peace and quiet of all Italy,” he said to the Captain of the People and the Priors of the Commune in a bull dated August 14th, 1455, “even to the shedding of our own blood, if needs be.” “You have a Pope,” wrote Enea Silvio Piccolomini (who was not yet Cardinal), a few days later to the Balìa, “most affectionate towards{113}

Madonna and Child. Detail from Duccio’s Altarpiece.

Madonna and Child.
Detail from Duccio’s Altarpiece.

your Republic, as you perceive; know how to take advantage of it, for his courage is as great as his charity, nor has he anything at heart save justice.”[64] When the Balìa wanted to compromise and make peace, Calixtus would not hear of it, but sent abundant grain and provisions into the hungry city. This is the situation represented in the picture, which may confidently be dated 1455; but a comparison with the Pope’s medals shows that Sano has hardly done justice to the rather striking features of the first Pope of the House of Borgia.

There is an analogous picture by Sano in Stanza V., San Bernardino (2) as champion of the devotion of the Holy Name, as the inscription, “I have manifested Thy Name to men,” indicates. Painted in 1460, sixteen years after the Saint’s death, it is less a contemporary portrait than that by Lorenzo di Pietro. All the other pictures in this room are in Sano’s usual mystical style. There is an interval of thirty years between the date of the Madonna of San Biagio (4), the saintly Bishop whose miracles and martyrdom are so quaintly depicted in the predella, and that of the Assumption (8, 9); but there is little, if any, advance in technique or development in style. But no sympathetic student of Sienese painting can ever find Sano di Pietro monotonous, or otherwise than fascinating.

In Stanza VI., a picture by Sano di Pietro (2) in the composition of the principal scene—the Madonna and Child surrounded by kneeling Saints—shows a certain resemblance to Fra Angelico. In the Crucifixion above, St Francis is receiving the stigmata, and two Franciscan nuns are aiding the holy women to tend the Blessed Virgin; the predella, however, is by a later hand. The{114} chief contents of this room are the works of Matteo di Giovanni, on the whole the most powerful and most versatile Sienese painter of the fifteenth century, and Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi, a “Simone come to life again” in the air of the Renaissance.[65] By the former are three beautiful Madonnas (5, 7, 9), somewhat varied in type and style. By the latter, whose figures are stately and gracious like those of his statues, very sweet and winning in expression, are the large enthroned Madonna and Saints (8); four smaller pictures (11, 13, 14, 22), in two of which no one can fail to be struck with the painter’s exquisite realisation of the personality of St Catherine; and the signed and dated Madonna and Child of 1476, with St Michael and San Bernardino (19), one of the master’s earlier works. Francesco di Giorgio Martini is represented by three very small pictures (15, 16, 17) of Old Testament scenes, an Annunciation (21), and three Madonnas (20, 23, 24). We have also some interesting works by lesser masters. By Pietro di Domenico (1457-1501), who was influenced by the Umbrians, is the Adoration of the Shepherds with St Galganus and St Martin (3), the Galganus having struck his sword into the rock at the Divine Child’s feet; the date seems to read 1400, only because the latter part has been obliterated. By Guidoccio Cozzarelli (1450-1516) are a Saint Sebastian (25) and Our Lady as protector of the Arts (29), the Queen of the Artisans.

Stanza VII. contains unimportant fragments and engravings.

With the opening of the Cinquecento, Siena grew dissatisfied with the antiquated methods of her native artists. Three mediocre painters, indeed, carried on their traditional manner well into the sixteenth century: Bernardino Fungai (1460-1516), Girolamo di Benvenuto{115} (1470-1524), the son of Benvenuto di Giovanni, and Giacomo Pacchiarotti (1474-1540), Fungai’s pupil, a turbulent fellow, whose pusillanimous, half-crazy attempts to pose as a political revolutionary are immortalised in a novella by Pietro Fortini and a poem by Robert Browning. But in the meanwhile, better masters had been brought to Siena from other cities; Luca Signorelli and his pupil, Girolamo Genga, from Cortona and Urbino, had come to decorate the palace of the Magnifico; Bernardino Pinturicchio of Perugia had been hired by the Piccolomini, and his great fellow-citizen, Pietro Perugino, was painting altarpieces for Sant’Agostino and San Francesco.

And, greater than any of these, there came one whom Siena made her own: Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (1477-1549), presently to be known as Sodoma. The son of an artisan of Vercelli, Bazzi had gone to Milan and fallen under the influence of Leonardo da Vinci, though it is doubtful whether he actually became his pupil. In 1501 certain merchants, agents of the Spannocchi, brought the young man to Siena, with which city—save for the short period from 1508 to 1510, when he worked in Rome mainly for the rich Sienese banker, Agostino Chigi—he was henceforth associated. Morelli regarded Bazzi as “the most important and gifted artist of the school of Leonardo—the one who is most easily confounded with the great master himself.” Frequently careless and very unequal in his execution, the exquisite beauty of his women’s faces can hardly be surpassed; and “in his best moments, when he brought all his powers into play, Sodoma produced works which are worthy to rank with the most perfect examples of Italian art.”[66] He was a wild and reckless fellow enough in his life, passionately addicted to horse-racing, and a lover of {116}strange beasts and birds. Of these latter he kept a whole collection round him, great and small of every kind that he could get, until, in Vasari’s phrase, “his house seemed verily to be the Ark of Noah.” In a list of his goods which Bazzi drew up for taxation in 1531, eight race-horses and a number of these other creatures are set down, and the catalogue ends—may my fair readers pardon me the quotation!—with “tre bestiacce cattive, che son tre donne.”

Bastion outside Porta Pispini erected by Baldassare Peruzzi

Bastion outside Porta Pispini erected by Baldassare Peruzzi

These varied influences combined with that of Florence to produce eclecticism; “a most singular and charming eclecticism, saved from the pretentiousness and folly usually controlling such movements by the sense for grace and beauty even to the last seldom absent from the Sienese.”[67] The three principal Sienese painters of this kind are Girolamo del Pacchia (1477-1535), Baldassare Peruzzi (1481-1536), and Domenico di Giacomo di Pace (1486-1550), called Mecarino or Beccafumi. Girolamo del Pacchia was the son of a Hungarian father and a Sienese mother; he learned the first principles of art in Siena (probably from Fungai), and then went to Florence and Rome, returning to Siena in 1508 where he soon fell under Bazzi’s influence. Like Pacchiarotti (with whom he used to be confused) Girolamo became involved in plots and conspiracies, and was forced to fly from Siena. Baldassare Peruzzi is one of the most famous architects{117} of the Renaissance. As a painter he first worked under Pinturicchio, then went to Rome where he laboured much for the Popes and Agostino Chigi, falling under the influence of Bazzi and later of Raphael, whom he succeeded as chief architect of San Pietro. In the sack of Rome he was taken by the Spaniards, cruelly tortured, and escaped to Siena in a state of abject poverty. The Sienese made him public architect to the Republic, and afterwards Capomaestro of the Duomo. There are a number of buildings attributed to him in Siena, mostly doubtful. He ended his days in the Eternal City, working on the fabric of San Pietro. Of Baldassare’s paintings Siena only possesses a few of his earliest and some of his very latest. Domenico di Giacomo was the son of a contadino on the estate of Lorenzo Beccafumi (whom we have already met in the political field) in the plain of the Cortine near Montaperti. Lorenzo found him, like Giotto, drawing on the sand and stones the movements of the animals under his charge, took him into his household, had him taught to paint, and gave him his own family name. “Domenico was a virtuous and excellent person,” says Vasari, “and studious in his art, but excessively solitary.” He worked at Rome, Genoa and other places, but told his friend and admirer, Vasari, that he could do nothing away from the air of Siena. At different epochs he imitated Perugino, Bazzi, Fra Bartolommeo, even Michelangelo; an unequal but imaginative painter, he excels in the treatment of light and shade. Two other artists of this epoch deserve special mention—Andrea Piccinelli, called Del Brescianino, the son of a Brescian, who painted between 1507 and 1525, first following Girolamo del Pacchia, afterwards imitating Fra Bartolommeo; and Bartolommeo Neroni, called Il Riccio, whose work belongs to the middle of the century, the son-in-law and chief pupil of Bazzi. To complete the sketch of Sienese art in the{118} first half of the Cinquecento, we must add a painter who comes slightly earlier than these two: Matteo Balducci, a native of the Perugian contado, who appears originally to have been Pinturicchio’s assistant and pupil, and afterwards to have become a pupil of Bazzi.[68] His work, however, shows no trace of the influence of the latter master, but is purely Umbrian in character.

In Stanza VIII., besides a series of small pictures painted for the Confraternity of Fontegiusta (1, 2, 35, 36), is Bazzi’s famous fresco of Christ at the Column (27), even in its damaged condition unmistakably divine. His Judith (29) is likewise a work of great beauty; but the St Catherine ascribed to him (32) is unworthy alike of the painter and of the subject. The two frescoes (8, 9), representing a Ransom of Prisoners and the Flight of Aeneas from Troy, come from the palace of Pandolfo Petrucci; they were executed by Girolamo Genga, but the composition is probably by Luca Signorelli. Two Madonnas (12 and 30) are ascribed by Mr Berenson to Girolamo del Pacchia. By Matteo Balducci are an Angel (21) and the Madonna and Child, with St Catherine and San Bernardino (34). There is also a Madonna (26) by Girolamo Magagni, called Giomo, a pupil of Bazzi’s, who robbed his master’s studio while the latter lay sick in Florence. Both in this room and the next there is some excellent wood carving by Antonio Barili.

The gems of Stanza IX. are two pictures hung under the name of Pinturicchio—a Nativity (28), which Mr Berenson attributes to Matteo Balducci, and a Madonna and Child holding a pomegranate, with the little St John,{119} against a gold background (29), recognised by the same authority as an early work of Baldassare Peruzzi. We have several Madonnas by Fungai (1, 21, 23, 24, 33); five Saints by Pacchiarotti (5); a whole series of Umbrian pictures—Saints (2, 37), Virtues (10, 11, 15, 19), and a Madonna (17)—attributed to Balducci by Mr Berenson. By Balducci is also the Madonna and Child with St Jerome and St Francis (14). There are dated pictures by Guidoccio Cozzarelli (7) of 1482, and by Andrea di Niccolò (8), an unimportant painter of the end of the Quattrocento. The Trinità, with the two St Johns, St Cosmas and St Damian, is one of Beccafumi’s earliest and best works; it was painted in 1512 for the Spedale, as the presence of the two patrons of the healing art—a kind of mediaeval duplication of Aesculapius—indicates.

The long hall, Stanza X., contains larger pictures of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The arrangement being rather confused, it will, perhaps, be best to take them more or less chronologically. By Matteo di Giovanni are three smaller Madonnas near the entrance—one (12) being rather doubtful—and an important altarpiece of the Madonna and Child with Angels and Saints (36). Guidoccio Cozzarelli is represented by a St Catherine exchanging hearts with the Christ (4), Vecchietta by the interesting sketch (5) for his bronze tabernacle that is now on the high altar of the Duomo, Francesco di Giorgio by a signed Nativity of our Lord (41) and the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin (44)—two large pictures curiously lacking the usual Sienese grace and refinement, showing to some extent the influence of Signorelli. A worthless picture of the Passion (29), which should not even questionably be connected with this painter’s name, shows the Sienese school at its weakest and worst. Benvenuto di Giovanni is seen to considerable advantage in a triptych (39), signed and{120} dated 1475; the central compartment, the Madonna and Child with Angels, is particularly attractive. His Ascension of Christ (37), on the other hand, from the church of Sant’ Eugenio, signed and dated 1491, is rather harsh and uninspired. By Fungai are a Madonna with Saints (30), signed and dated 1512, and an Assumption (45), a subject in which the painter succeeded better elsewhere. It is not easy to distinguish the early style of Pacchiarotti from that of Fungai; the altarpiece (14) is said to be by the master and pupil in collaboration; the Ascension (24), with its predella (23), dry and hard with uncouth and unrefined types, and the Visitation (31), in which the white-robed girlish Madonna has much sweetness and charm, are by Pacchiarotti. Girolamo di Benvenuto is represented by the best picture he ever painted (which, after all, is rather faint praise), signed and dated 1508, representing the Madonna and Child attended by Angels and Saints (17), with the two St Catherines kneeling before the throne—the Alexandrian of the Wheels being obviously an excellent portrait of a young Sienese lady of the Cinquecento.

The famous Deposition from the Cross (13) is an early work by Bazzi, practically the first important picture that he painted on his first coming to Siena; it is entirely in the Lombard or Milanese style, recalling the work of Luini. The scenes in the predella are by another hand. The Prayer in the Garden (2) and the Descent into Limbo (46), the remains of a series of frescoes which he painted for the Compagnia di Santa Croce, are later and have suffered from restoration; in the latter the figure of Eve is exceedingly lovely, one of those exquisite presentments of women in which this painter excels. Girolamo del Pacchia is represented by an Annunciation and Visitation (7), painted in 1518, a beautiful work, showing the influence{121}






of Albertinelli. An attractive tondo ascribed to him, the Holy Family with St Antony of Padua (35), was given back by Morelli to its proper author, Girolamo Genga. A very Perugian Nativity (26), hung as Pinturicchio, is ascribed by Mr Berenson to Balducci, by whom is also the predella (25), belonging to a picture that we shall see in Santo Spirito—an excellent little work representing the Pietà between the reception of the Stigmata by St Francis and St Catherine respectively. By Andrea del Brescianino is an uninteresting altarpiece (9), with a predella (8); while of Bartolommeo Neroni’s pictures the best is the Coronation of the Madonna (47), with its predella (49), from the church of San Francesco in Asciano.

But, of all the later Sienese, Domenico Beccafumi is best represented here. His Reception of the Stigmata by St Catherine, with St Benedict and St Jerome (22), the three smaller scenes from her life (19, 20, 21) forming its predella—her receiving the Dominican habit, her miraculous Communion, her mystical Espousals—is one of the most beautiful pictures in the whole range of Sienese art. It was painted for the Olivetan convent of St Benedict outside the Porta Tufi. “This picture,” wrote Vasari, “for its harmonious colouring and excellent modelling, was and is still greatly praised. Likewise in the predella he did certain stories in distemper with incredible spirit and vivacity, and with such facility in drawing that they could not have greater grace, and nevertheless seem done without a trouble in the world.” The treatment of light and shade is admirable. This is one of his earlier works; the Birth of Mary (6) is later and less excellent, but praised by Vasari for its effects of light. The unfinished Fall of the Rebel Angels (25), confused in composition and mannered in style, shows Beccafumi at his worst. It struck Vasari as something original, una pioggia d’ignudi{124} molto bella, “a right lovely rain of nude figures,” and he admired and wondered at their foreshortening, certi scorti d’ignudi bellissimi. The Descent of Christ into Limbo (28), from San Francesco, is a far nobler thing—the Penitent Thief, following the Saviour, is very strikingly conceived and executed. Here also are several of Beccafumi’s cartoons for the pavement of the Duomo, chiefly scenes from the history of Moses and Aaron, with one from that of Elijah. Ascribed to him is also the tondo (34) of the Madonna and Child with two Saints.

Over the door to Stanza XI. is a frescoed Last Supper of 1595 by Bernardo Poccetti, from the Certosa di Pontignano. Stanza XI. contains a number of pictures of different schools, mostly unimportant. There are two Saints, St Mary Magdalene (3) and St Catherine of Alexandria (115) of 1512, ascribed to Fra Bartolommeo, but certainly the work of Mariotto Albertinelli; and an Annunciation (7) by the Venetian Paris Bordone. Two tondi are among the greatest treasures of the gallery: the Holy Family by Pinturicchio (45), a work of exquisite beauty and poetic sentiment; and the Adoration of the Divine Child (11) by Bazzi. The latter, painted for the Hermitage of Lecceto, is one of the earliest works that Bazzi executed in Siena, and represents, as Signor Frizzoni has noted, a certain union of Tuscan taste with the artist’s native Lombard manner.

During the last quarter of the sixteenth and the first quarter of the seventeenth century a number of capable artists upheld, not unworthily, the traditions of Sienese painting: Arcangiolo Salimbeni and his son Ventura, Alessandro Casolani, Pietro Sorri, Francesco Vanni, Francesco Rustici (Rustichino) and Rutilio Manetti, whose works are still for the most part in the churches for which they were painted. Rutilio Manetti, who died{125} in 1639, may be regarded as the last of the great line of Sienese artists. But even in the nineteenth century the names of Giovanni Duprè, in sculpture, and Amos Cassioli (a native, like Domenico di Bartolo, of Asciano), in painting, have won renown beyond the walls of Siena.{126}


The Campo of Siena and the Palace of the Commune

AT the heart of Siena, where its three hills meet, is the famous Piazza upon which so many of the stormiest scenes in the history of the city have been enacted: the Campo, now known officially as the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. It is a semicircular space, the central portion paved with brick and curiously resembling the concavity of a shell bordered by a stone pavement, surrounded with what were once aristocratic palaces. It is entered by narrow streets, which in stormy times could be securely held by mere handfuls of armed men. On the southern side of the Piazza, built as it were upon the diameter of the semicircle, rises that perfect ideal of a republican home of the State—the superb Gothic Palazzo Pubblico, perhaps better known as the Palazzo Comunale or the Palazzo dei Signori. Pandolfo Petrucci conceived the idea of surrounding the Piazza with a porticato, and is said to have commissioned Baldassare Peruzzi to carry out the plan; the Balìa revived the notion at a subsequent period in 1547, long after the fall of the Petrucci, but nothing came of it.

In the Campo is the fountain, known as the Fonte Gaia from the rejoicings that hailed the advent of its waters. On Whitsunday, 1343, the water was brought into the fountain from the Fontebranda, and a fortnight{127} of wild festivity followed. “There was such rejoicing in Siena, such dancing and such illumination,” writes the old chronicler, “that it would seem incredible if it were told, nor could anyone believe it who had not seen it.” Soon after the completion of the work a beautiful marble Venus was discovered, which is said to have borne the signature of Lysippus. The Sienese were mad with delight, and the artists rushed to worship this divine relic of antiquity—questa tanta maraviglia e tanta arte, as Ghiberti, the teller of the tale, calls it—which was finally carried in state to the fountain and enthroned upon it. But things went badly with the Republic; factions ran riot, famine and pestilence ravaged the city. The Twelve who now ruled were less liberal and more ignorant than the Nine, and at length a worthy citizen in the Senate declared that such idolatry was forbidden by the Christian faith; that all their misfortunes came from the presence of this statue, which should straightway be smashed to pieces and buried in Florentine territory. This act of vandalism appears to have been perpetrated. At least, in the Books of the Deliberations of the Concistoro there is an entry under November 7th, 1357, to the effect that the marble statue, at present placed upon the fountain of the Campo, shall be taken away as soon as possible, and dealt with in whatever way shall seem best to the Signori Dodici.[69] In the following century Giacomo della Quercia was commissioned to make the marble fountain, from which he was afterwards known as Giacomo della Fonte; he produced a work which has been described as deservedly ranking “among the model fountains of the world.” The present fountain is only a modern and incomplete copy, but the mutilated remains of Giacomo’s work are still to be seen in the Opera del Duomo.

Something will have been gathered from the preceding{128} chapters of the faction fights that have swept over the Campo and raged round the Palace. Here, too, in one of those fevers of piety that overtook the Sienese at intervals, vast crowds assembled to listen to the burning words of San Bernardino. Specially famous are the discourses that he delivered here in the August and September of 1427, immediately after he had refused the Bishopric of Siena. He had been specially urged to come, not only by the Commune, but by the Pope and the late Bishop, to allay the bitterness of the rival factions within the city. “Ah, my children!” he said, “no longer follow these parties, nor these standards, for you see to what they bring us. You have the example in the time that is passed, how evilly things have fallen out of old for many. Ah! be at peace in your own home.” And again, in his last sermon: “There still remain many peaces for us to make. I pray you hold me excused, and so I believe that you accept my excuse. You must consider that I have had many things to attend to in these sermons. Ah! for the love of God, love one another. Alas! see you not that, if you love the destruction, one of the other, what followeth to you therefrom? See you not that you are ruining your very selves? Ah! put this thing right, for the love of God; do not wait for God to lay His hands upon us with His scourge; for if you leave it to Him to do, you will be chastised for it. Love one another! What I have done, to make peace among you and to make you like brothers, I have done with that zeal that I should wish my own soul to receive. And so say I of this, as of the other things of the Commune; I have done it all to the glory and honour of God, and for the weal and salvation of your souls. As I have told you, I have treated you as true children; and I tell you more, that if I could take you by the hair, I would pacify the whole lot of you. And let no one think that I have set myself to do anything at{129} any person’s request. I am only moved by the bidding of God, for His honour and glory.”[70]

Here is a scene of another kind, from the Diari of Allegretto, under July 1463, when the Duchess of Calabria with a train of Apulian nobles visited Siena:

“In honour of the said Duchess, there was arranged by the Arts a most beauteous pageant and dance at the foot of the Palace of the Signori, and there were invited as many worthy young women and girls as Siena had, who came right well adorned with robes and jewels, and young men to dance. And there was made a great she-wolf, all gilded, out of which came a morris-dance of twelve persons, right well and richly adorned, and one dressed like a nun, and they danced to a canzone that begins: ‘She won’t be a nun any more.’ And at the said dance a goodly collation was provided of marchpanes and other cates in abundance, with fruit of every kind according to the season. To the said Duchess and her nobles it seemed a fair thing and a rich pageant, and that she-wolf pleased them immensely, and they thought that we had lovely women.”

On June 19th, 1482, when the factions that preceded the expulsion of the Noveschi were at their height, a preacher of a very different stamp to Bernardino appeared upon the scenes: the future opponent of Savonarola, Fra Mariano, the favourite of the Medici. “Maestro Mariano da Genazzano,” writes Allegretto, “of the Osservanti of St Augustine, preached at the foot of the Palace of the Signori, to the Signoria, the Cardinal and all the People, the Signoria with the People having first gone to the Duomo to fetch the Madonna delle Grazie with the baldacchino. And the preacher’s introit was: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, which he repeated three times, each time{130} raising his voice higher. And when the sermon was finished, they brought back the Madonna to the Duomo with all the People.”[71]

No less characteristic of Siena than her faction fights and her preachers of peace are the wild games that the Sienese played, the mad races that they ran and still run round the Campo. The oldest of these was the Giuoco delle Pugna—a furious game of fisticuffs which sometimes ended seriously. In 1324, on the Sunday before the Carnival, there was a desperate giuoco delle pugna here, 600 a side, the Terzi of San Martino and Camollia engaging the Terzo di Città. The latter was driven off the ground. Then they set to with stones and sticks, and presently with swords and lances and darts, “and so great grew the uproar in the Campo that it seemed that the world was going upside down, by reason of the vast crowd that drew together.” The soldiers of the Commune, the Captain, the Podestà, the Nine strove in vain to stop it. Several of the soldiers were killed; armed men poured into the Campo; the Saracini and the Scotti, whose palaces looked out upon the scene, hurled stones from their windows, and the mob in return tried to fire their houses. The secular authority proving helpless, at length the Bishop with the priests and friars of all the religious orders in Siena came into the Campo, with a processional cross in front of them, and passed through the thick of the battle, until it slackened and the combatants drew asunder. A peculiar variety of the Giuoco delle Pugna were the Asinate or donkey-fights. These were exhibited by the contrade—those popular associations, for sport and other purposes, into which Siena is still divided. Each contrada that took part came into the Campo with its captain and ancients (allow me this Elizabethan rendering of alfieri,{131} the youths who carry the banners of the contrade), with thirty pugillatori and an ass painted in the colours of the contrada. No arms of any sort were allowed—not even a ring on the finger—under severe penalties, corporal and financial; but almost any other sort of violence was permitted. The struggle was to force these donkeys round the Campo, in spite of all the efforts of the rival contrade, and the one that first completed two rounds was the winner. In later years the Asinate gave place to the less exciting Buffalate—races with buffaloes. Last remnants of these departed glories are races which are now run twice a year—on the festivals of our Lady’s Visitation (July 2nd) and of her Assumption (August 15th)—with mounted horses by the contrade. The race is still called the Palio, from the rich stuff (now represented by a banner) given as prize. No one who cares for Siena and the Sienese should miss any opportunity of seeing these races as often as he can; for in no other way can he enter into the peculiar spirit of this most picturesque of Tuscan peoples.[72]

It is a far cry from these things to Dante, to whom we owe the story of Provenzano Salvani’s act of humility in this place. But Boccaccio has given us a vivid picture of the poet himself at one of these typical Sienese entertainments,{132} which would seem to have been a tournament in the Campo. Dante had found a little book in an apothecary’s shop, “which book was of much fame amongst men of worth, and had never yet been seen by him. And as it befell, not having leisure to take it to some other place, he leant with his breast against the bench that stood before the apothecary’s and set the book before him, and began most eagerly to examine it; and although soon after, in that very district, right before him, by occasion of some general festival of the Sienese, a great tournament was begun and carried through by certain noble youths, and therewith the mightiest din of them around—as in like cases is wont to come about, with various instruments and with applauding shouts—and although many other things took place such as might draw one to look on them, as dances of fair ladies, and many sports of youths, yet was there never a one that saw him stir thence, nor once raise his eyes from the book.”

The superb Palace of the Commune of Siena—built between 1288 and 1308 to house the Podestà with his famiglia, or household, and the members of the Signoria—is essentially the architectural and pictorial monument of the government of the Nine. Like several other Gothic palaces in the city, it is partly in grey stone, partly in red brick. Needless to say, the façade tells us a later and more comprehensive story; over every door and window is the balzana, the black and white shield of the Commune, but in the centre, between it and the lion shield of the People, are the arms of Duke Cosimo, the sign of the death of the Republic. Above all, rises the mystical monogram of the Divine Name, bringing us back to Bernardino. The tall soaring tower, known as the Torre del Mangia, was begun in 1338 and finished in 1348 or 1349; it has recently been discovered that its architects were two brothers from{133}






Perugia, Minuccio and Francesco di Rinaldo, and that the upper part was designed by the painter, Lippo Memmi, in 1341.[73] The Chapel at the foot of the tower was begun in 1348, “for a certain miracle that Our Lady the Virgin Mary did”—or at least vowed in that year, as a memorial of deliverance from the Black Death, and built in the third quarter of the fourteenth century. The upper part, with its beautiful frieze of griffins, is the work of Antonio Federighi, and dates from 1460. The statues of saints in their niches merely show to what depths Sienese sculpture had sunk by the latter part of the fourteenth century, before the rise of Giacomo della Quercia. The ruined and restored fresco is Bazzi’s last work in Siena. He promised in 1537 that he would have it done by the Feast of Our Lady in August for 60 golden scudi, but went off for a holiday to Piombino after beginning it, and did not return to complete the work till the following year. The door behind the chapel leads into a picturesque and deserted court, with a faded fifteenth century fresco and a number of old armorial bearings on the walls.

The Lupa of gilded bronze on the column to the right of the Palace marks the entrance to the apartments of the Signoria. Over the door, two very lean wolves are adoring the crowned Lion of the People. We ascend the steps to the first floor, into a magnificent series of rooms, glowing with masterpieces of Sienese painting. The first room—variously called the Sala delle Balestre, the Sala del Mappamondo, and the Sala del Gran Consiglio—is now a law-court. Here at one epoch the Consiglio della Campana, or Senate, at others the minor councils of the State met. The whole wall above the place of the president of the court is occupied by a vast fresco by Simone Martini painted in 1315,{136} “right marvellously coloured,” as Ghiberti calls it. Our Lady, enthroned as Queen of Siena, is holding up the Divine Child standing on her knees to bless the deliberations of the Council; Apostles and the Baptist hold the poles of the canopy, Virgin Martyrs and Angels stand in attendance, while two kneeling Angels offer flowers on behalf of Siena’s four sainted patrons—Ansanus, Savinus, Crescentius and Victor. All the faces have the winning sweetness and spiritual loveliness that we find throughout the works of the Sienese school. At the foot of the throne is a poetical inscription: “The angelical flowers, roses and lilies, wherewith the celestial meadow is adorned, do not delight me more than good counsels. But sometimes I see one who, to exalt himself, despises me and deceives my city; and when he speaks worse, he is more praised by each one whom these words condemn.” And along the base of the picture is their Queen’s answer to the prayers of the Saints: “My beloved ones, be assured that I will make your devout chaste prayers content, as you shall wish. But if the potent oppress the weak, harassing them with shames and harms, your prayers are not for these, nor for whoso deceives my city.”

Such being the ideal basis of Siena’s policy, we are now given a series of her victories. On the opposite wall, painted by Simone in 1328, is a mediaeval warrior, Guidoriccio, riding alone, fully armed save for the head, his baton of command in his hand, his steed gorgeously caparisoned. The face is an admirable piece of portraiture. Behind him lie the camp of the Sienese and the captured castle from which the banner of the Commune floats. On either hand are preparations for storming the town in front; but he proudly rides forward alone, to summon it to surrender. Guidoriccio dei Fogliani of Reggio was elected Captain of War in Siena for six months in 1326, and afterwards confirmed so many{137} times in the office that he kept it for seven years. In 1328, when the power of Castruccio degli Interminelli was at its height in Tuscany, he led the Sienese against Montemassi (the town represented in the fresco), repulsed the forces sent by Castruccio to its relief and forced it to surrender. In 1329 he put down a formidable bread-riot in the Campo, and in 1331 he won a great victory over the Pisans under the walls of Massa, after which he had himself dubbed a knight on the field of battle and returned to Siena in triumph. He died in 1352, and the Commune gave him a sumptuous public funeral in San Domenico.

Two later battle-scenes are on the wall opposite the windows. First is the great victory gained by the Sienese over the Company of the Cappello in October 1363, at Torrita, in the Valdichiana. After a vain attempt to come to terms, the Sienese hired four hundred German men-at-arms, and took the field with the forces of the city and the contado under Ceccolo degli Orsini, the Captain-General of the Commune. Before marching out of Siena, the republican army was put under the protection of St Paul the Apostle—apparently because the Christian name of the then Prior of the Twelve was Paolo. Orders had been given not to risk a battle; but, as soon as they came up with the enemy, the Germans set upon them, and the Captain with the Sienese following, a complete victory was gained. On the left of the fresco St Paul, with drawn sword, is seated at the gate of Siena, surrounded by warrior Angels. We see the advancing host of the Sienese, in front of which the splendid mercenary cavalry has already burst upon the ranks of the Company and broken through them, while on the right the rout is complete. The Sienese treated their prisoners magnificently; they deprived Ceccolo of his command, for having disobeyed their orders, but knighted him and heaped honours and presents upon{138} him. The Twelve gave a solemn banquet in the Palace to him and his officers, presented him with a palfrey covered with silk, a sword of honour, a suit of armour and a golden crown, with double pay to his troops and household. A solemn Mass was celebrated in the Duomo, with great offerings to the miraculous Madonna, and the Twelve commissioned Lippo di Vanni to paint the fresco in memory of the glorious event. The second fresco, more than a hundred years later, was painted by Giovanni di Cristofano and Francesco d’Andrea in 1480, a record of the epoch when Duke Alfonso of Calabria was virtually the arbiter of Siena’s destinies. It represents the battle of Poggio Imperiale, near Poggibonsi, in September 1479, the chief action in the war in which Duke Ercole of Ferrara held the baton of command of the Italian league that defended Florence against the allied powers of Rome and Naples, led by the Dukes of Calabria and Urbino. In the temporary absence of Ercole from the seat of war, Alfonso stormed the camp of the league. The painters have represented it as a triumph of Siena over Florence. On the left the Florentines are flying from the field, their condottiere Costanzo Sforza leading the rout, and the standard of the red lily is being lowered from every battlement and tower. Beneath the banners of the Church, Naples and Siena, the allies—led by “El Possa,” a Sienese named Domenico di Michele, who was in the service of the Duke of Calabria—are driving the defeated army before them; in the centre are Alfonso and the Duke of Urbino; reinforcements are advancing on the right, while in the background the light armed foot-soldiers are sacking the Florentine tents.

On the wall under the portrait of Guidoriccio is the famous old picture of the Madonna from San Domenico, by Guido da Siena. The date upon the picture appears originally to have been 1281. The frescoes on either{139} side—St Ansanus baptising the Sienese and St Victor protecting the shield of Liberty—are by Bazzi, painted in 1529. The blessed Bernardo Tolomei, founder of Monte Oliveto, is also Bazzi’s, painted in 1534. These three figures—with their lovely attendant putti—are among the finest of his works. Between the next two arches are San Bernardino by Sano di Pietro and St Catherine by Vecchietta. The last of the series, B. Ambrogio Sansedoni, is more modern.

Out of this hall we pass into the Sala della Pace, originally called the Sala dei Nove, where the Nine met during that most glorious epoch in Sienese history when they held sway. In 1337 they appointed Ambrogio Lorenzetti to decorate their meeting-place with allegorical frescoes. We see the master’s signature, Ambrosius Laurentii de Senis, under the great fresco—the first of the series—on the wall opposite the window. Here on our left is Justice, enthroned as Queen, inspired from above by the crowned genius of Celestial Wisdom. Over her head is the text from the Wisdom of Solomon, which Dante’s spirits of righteous rulers formed in that sixth sphere of Paradise that is swayed by the celestial Dominations: “Love righteousness, ye that be judges of the earth.” On her right and left respectively, the Angel of Distributive Justice crowns one and beheads another, the Angel of Commutative Justice gives weapons to one and money to another. At her feet sits Concord, a beautiful woman upon whose brow rests the pentecostal tongue of fire; she holds two cords that proceed from the scales of Justice, uniting the twenty-four citizens who pass in procession to the feet of the Commune of Siena. This is represented by a majestic old man, richly clothed in robes that show the black and white of the republican shield, royally crowned. The mystical cord of union is attached to his sceptre, and in his other hand he holds an image of the Blessed Virgin,{140} whom the Sienese had chosen for their Sovereign Lady. He sits above the Wolf and the Twins. Faith, Hope and Charity hover above his head; Prudence and Fortitude, Magnanimity and Temperance are his assessors. Beyond them, on the right of the throne, reclines golden-haired Peace, in her clinging white robe; and on the left, Legal Justice sits, with a crown and a severed head on her lap. Around are steel-clad warriors, horse and foot—the armed forces of the Republic—while to the gate of the city men come offering “censi, tributi e signorie di terre,” as one of the verses of the inscription, which is probably Ambrogio’s own, puts it; prisoners are led in in fetters, and others are rigorously kept excluded—for the mediaeval mind can hardly conceive of good government without fuorusciti.

On the right wall are shown the effects of good government, the rule of Justice. “Turn your eyes to gaze upon her who is figured here—O ye that rule!—and who is crowned for her excellence”; so runs the inscription. “Behold what great good things come from her, and how sweet and restful is the life of the city where that virtue is preserved that gloweth back more than any other.” Within the city are dancing and feasting; the shops are full and trade flourishes; cavalcades of dames and cavaliers pass through the streets. Beyond the walls unarmed trains pass out to the chase; the fields are cultivated, the peasants fearlessly bringing their produce into the city. In the distance is the sea—for the righteous republic will have commerce and become a maritime power—and a harbour said to represent Talamone. Over all hovers Security, a winged woman with a little gallows and a scroll: “Without fear may every one travel freely and each man work and sow, whilst the Commune will maintain this Lady in signory, for she has taken all power from the wicked.”

On the opposite wall is Evil Government, the fruits{141} of Injustice. Tyranny, a hideous horned monster, with dagger and poisoned cup, sits enthroned above a goat. Avarice, Pride and Vainglory float over him. Foul and horrible shapes sit round him as ministers: Cruelty (torturing a child), Treason and Fraud, Fury, Division and War. At his feet lies Justice—dishevelled, overthrown, bound. Murder and outrage wanton within and without the walls; the smiling fields are devastated, while at the gate of the ruined, bloodstained city hovers the dark and ragged demon of Fear, with a scroll: “Through selfish ambition in this city has Justice been subjected to Tyranny; wherefore by this way no one passes without dread of death: for without and within the gates they plunder.”[74]

Beyond the Sala delle Balestre is the Chapel of the Palace. The antechapel, the walls and the roof of the chapel itself are covered with frescoes by Taddeo di Bartolo—frescoes that are the first great Sienese achievement in painting in the Quattrocento—executed between 1406 and 1414. On the walls and arches of the antechapel are Roman heroes and philosophers of antiquity; Apollo and Minerva, Jupiter and Mars; a view of the Eternal City; and, over the door that leads into the room adjoining the consistory, a gigantic St Christopher. The Sienese claim, not without reason, that Perugino himself imitated these frescoes nearly a hundred years later, in the Sala del Cambio at Perugia. In the chapel are saints and Angels and the four closing scenes of the Madonna’s life; her farewell to the Apostles, her death, her being carried upon the bier, and lastly her Assumption{142}—the Divine Son sweeping down with Cherubim and Seraphim to draw His Mother from the grave. Among all the Italian pictures of the Assumption, Taddeo’s still can hold its own for its vividness and originality. For the rest, the whole chapel is a perfect gem of the arts and crafts of the early Quattrocento. The holy water stoop is by Giovanni di Turino, the iron railing by Giacomo di Giovanni; the beautiful stalls of the choir, carved and inlaid with illustrations to the Nicene Creed, were executed by Domenico di Niccolò, afterwards called Domenico del Coro, between 1415 and 1428, and may possibly have been designed by Taddeo di Bartolo. Under the Nativity, on the little wooden door between the chapel and the Sala di Balìa is the Wheel of Fortune, on which man is seen transformed to ass as he rises, recovering human shape as he falls. To a later period belong only the organ with Siena’s wolf, which is a work of the early Cinquecento, and the altarpiece. The latter, by Bazzi and one of his later works, was originally in the Duomo; it represents the Madonna and Child with St Joseph and St Calixtus, with a beautiful landscape background in which the ruins of ancient Rome are seen. “This work,” says Vasari, “is likewise held to be very beautiful, inasmuch as one sees that Sodoma in colouring it used much more diligence than he was wont to do in his things.”

We pass next into a small passage or anteroom, out of which the Sala di Concistoro opens on the left, the Sala di Balìa on the right. In the former, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the Signoria met, the nominal governors of the State; in the latter, the Collegio di Balìa, the select committee that in reality held the Republic in its hands. There are bits of old fresco in this waiting room—Madonnas and Saints, a kneeling magistrate watched over by his celestial patron—and several panels of the Quattrocento; especially a Madonna{143} and Child with four Angels in an old frame, dated 1484, by Matteo di Giovanni, and San Bernardino preaching in the Campo and liberating a possessed woman after his death, ascribed by Mr Berenson to Vecchietta.

The Sala di Concistoro, with a marble doorway ascribed to Giacomo della Quercia, has a ceiling covered with frescoes by Domenico Beccafumi, painted between 1529 and 1535—precisely at the time when his rival, Bazzi, was working on his saints in the other hall. They represent scenes from Roman and Greek history, with allegorical figures of Concord and Justice, and are extravagantly praised by Vasari, who declares that the Justice in particular is painted “so powerfully that it is a marvel.” The foreshortening, the effects of light and shade are certainly exceedingly clever; but it is a little too much to say, as Lanzi does, that “Beccafumi should be called the Correggio of lower Italy.”

The pictorial decorations of the Sala di Balìa were commissioned by the Signoria in 1407, and begun in the following year. The Virtues on the ceiling are by Martino di Bartolommeo Sensi, a Sienese painter who belonged to the order of the Riformatori and whose chief works are in the neighbourhood of Pisa. The scenes on the walls are by Spinello Aretino, the Aretine who ranks as the last of the Giotteschi and who was then nearly eighty years old, and his son Parri. They represent the life of the great Sienese Pope, Alexander III., but are not arranged in chronological order and the subjects are frequently doubtful. Among them we may notice the Pope giving a blessed sword to the Doge of Venice, Sebastiano Ziani, on the wall opposite the first window; on the entrance wall, the capture of an Italian town by the imperialists and the naval victory of the Venetians on Ascension Day, 1176, in which the Caesar’s son Otto was taken prisoner. The latter scene is a splendid rendering of mediaeval naval warfare—note{144} especially, on the right, the episode of the capture of the prince and the frenzied efforts of the imperialists to rescue him. The second fresco on the arch probably represents the recognition of the Pope, when disguised as a monk at Venice, by a French pilgrim. On the wall opposite the second window is the building of Alessandria with its elevation into a Bishopric, and, apparently, the humiliation of the Emperor Barbarossa. There is a curious representation of the burning of a heretic on the arch. Opposite the entrance is the presentation of the captured prince to the Pope, and the latter’s triumphal procession with the Emperor and the Doge leading his horse. Beyond is the Sala Monumentale, painted in honour of Vittorio Emanuele II. by modern Sienese artists with certain great scenes in the story of the unification of Italy—the armistice after Novara, the battles of San Martino and Palestro, the meeting of Vittorio Emanuele and Garibaldi, the Roman Plebiscite and the funeral of the King. With the impartiality that, in some respects, is characteristic of modern Italy, Alexander III. is represented in one of the medallions among the precursors of the political regeneration of his country.

In this Sala di Balìa—then called the Sala del Papa—there was a notable tragedy enacted in 1455, in the very year that the “Magistracy of the Fifteen of the Balìa” was first instituted—originally of fifteen citizens to superintend the prosecution of the war against Piccinino. The commander of the Sienese forces, Count Giberto da Correggio, was in secret treaty with the enemy, sent him supplies while Siena starved, and attempted to occupy Grosseto on his own account. The government was warned by the officers of the Duke of Milan that their general was going to betray them, but the Balìa had already ample proofs in its hands; not daring to arrest him in the midst of his troops, they waited their time. “What human cunning could devise no means to do,”{145} writes Malavolti, somewhat sanctimoniously, “was easily ordained by the Divine Justice, that seldom suffers such enormous crimes to remain unpunished.” They heard that, on September 6th, the Count would come to the city, to demand payment of a large sum of money which he claimed from the government. The morning that he was expected, the Fifteen met, reviewed the evidence against him, and decided upon their measures. The Count confidently entered the city with thirty horsemen, rode to the Palazzo de’ Marescotti (the present Palazzo Saracini), where he had apartments, and demanded an audience of the Balìa. In the evening four nobles of the city, with a number of citizens and the trumpeters of the Signoria, came to bring him in state to the Palace for the audience that he had demanded. The Count and his chancellor went up into the chapel, while the doors of the Palace were closed and his other attendants detained in the Sala delle Balestre. When all was ready, the Count was called before the Fifteen in the Sala di Balìa—the Priors being meanwhile assembled in the Sala di Concistoro. Perhaps he passed through that little door upon which even then was the design of Fortune’s wheel. With all marks of honour and respect, he was invited to seat himself with the Fifteen, by the side of the Prior of the Balìa, and questioned about what had gone on in the field. He answered insolently and proudly—upon which he was accused to his face of treason, and the intercepted letters shown him that he had interchanged with Piccinino. He sprang to his feet: “What! do you imagine that I am a prisoner in your hands?” “Quite otherwise,” answered Lodovico Petroni, one of the Fifteen, seizing hold of his cloak. At the signal armed men rushed in—they had been lying in wait in the room beyond—and stabbed him to death. The still quivering body was dragged to the window and hurled out on to the pavement below. Later on, it was carried to the Duomo and buried{146}

The Market Place

The Market Place

near the Campanile, without any honour or name to mark the spot. That same night the Balìa notified to the Pope and their other allies what had been done. To his Holiness they declared that “this astute seminator of evil, this your insidious foe, this traitor to our Republic” had been done to death by the people in a tumult; to the Duke of Milan they sent a piece of his cloak, drenched in blood; to Venice and to Florence they told the truth, pleading the sacred duty of saving the State, citing as precedents the deaths of Carmagnola and Baldaccio d’Anghiari. Pope Calixtus insisted that they should justify themselves by publishing the evidence, and when{147} this was done, on September 18th, he absolved the Fifteen, each severally by name. But to the appeal of the Sienese envoys for a general absolution for all the people of the city, he replied that he could not grant it, “because you Sienese would be too strong in Paradise.”[75]

Two antique coffers in this room—one of them with the Lupa carved by Antonio Barili—are also worthy of notice. In the Loggia on the second floor of the Palace is a frescoed Madonna and Child by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

The second door to the left of the wolf in the Piazza leads, through a picturesque little court covered with old frescoes, to a series of rooms on the ground floor, at present used by the municipality. In the Sala dei Signori di Biccherna, the room in which the Camarlingo and Quattro Provveditori met, is the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin, a fresco painted in 1445 by Sano di Pietro. Two of the Angels are holding a scroll with a poem, thus blending painting and poetry together in the characteristic early Sienese way: “This blessed glorious Virgin pure, Daughter of her Son and Spouse and Mother—because the Eternal Father found her more humble than any other person, He giveth her here the crown of the Universe. Virgin Mother of the Eternal God, by whose holy hands thou art crowned, to thee be recommended the devout and faithful city of Siena, as it hopeth in thee; hail, full of grace.” The San Bernardino on the right is also by Sano. In the same room there is a small fresco by Bazzi—the Madonna and Child with the little St John, St Michael Archangel and St Galganus. Like all his work in the Palace it is late, about 1537, but, unlike the rest, it is badly drawn and carelessly executed.

In the Stanza del Sindaco there is a much finer fresco{148} of Bazzi’s—the Resurrection of Christ, with the three Maries approaching through the early spring landscape. It was originally painted, probably in 1535, in the place where the salt was sold, and was sawn out in the last century. Vasari specially praises the beauty of the Angels’ heads. In another room is a frescoed Madonna by Vecchietta. On the ground floor is also the entrance to what during the fifteenth century was the Sala del Gran Consiglio, but which in the latter part of the sixteenth century, after the final fall of the Republic, was converted into a theatre.

At the back of the Palace is the picturesque market-place, the Piazza del Mercato. Out of the market, the Via de’ Malcontenti and the Via di Porta Giustizia still indicate the ways by which condemned prisoners were conveyed in carts to the place of execution beyond the walls. We know that the feet of St Catherine frequently trode this mediaeval via crucis; but it is questionable whether the execution of Niccolò di Toldo took place in the ordinary spot, as there is frequent record of political prisoners being done to death in front of the Palace and elsewhere. In his fresco in San Domenico, Bazzi seems to identify the place with the little valley before us, between the hills of Montone and Santa Agata, crowned by the churches of the Servites and Augustinians.{149}


The Duomo and the Baptistery

RISING majestically above Siena, crowned with the mosaic of the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin in Paradise, as though to make her seem still floating in air over the city that had chosen her for Queen, is the vast Duomo. Tradition has it that a temple of Minerva once stood upon this hill, and that upon its ruins was built the first fane to Maria Assunta, Our Lady of the Assumption.

Some such building had existed from the end of the tenth century; but the present “tiger-striped cathedral,” the most truly Gothic of all ecclesiastical buildings in Tuscany, belongs for the most part to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The hexagonal cupola was finished in 1264, four years after Montaperti and the year before Dante’s birth. The Campanile, with its curious turrets at the angles, was built in the following century. But the original building did not satisfy the Nine and the turbulent, prosperous citizens that they ruled. While prolonging the Duomo Vecchio, as it was called, to the east up to the present Baptistery (in those very years, between 1317 and 1321, in which Dante was at Ravenna, finishing his Paradiso), defects were discovered in the architecture; and in February 1322 (1321 in the old Sienese style) Lorenzo Maitani, with four other masters, proposed to the General Council of the Campana that a new cathedral should be erected:{150} “we advise that, to the honour of God and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Most Holy Mother—who ever was, is, and will be in time to come, the Head of this city of Siena—there be begun and made a beauteous, great and magnificent church, which shall be well-proportioned in length, height, and breadth, and in all measures which pertain to a beauteous church, and with all splendid ornaments which pertain to and befit so great, so honourable and beauteous a church; to the end that our Lord Jesus Christ and His most holy Mother, and His most high celestial court, in that church may be blessed and glorified in hymns, and the said Commune of Siena be ever protected by them from adversity and be honoured perpetually.”[76] It was decided that the old Duomo should be preserved; but merely as the transept of this new ecclesia pulchra, magna et magnifica; and in December 1339 the new nave was begun, the architect Pietro di Lando, who was then working for King Robert of Naples, being summoned back to Siena to superintend, as “a man of great subtlety and invention.” He was succeeded by Giovanni di Agostino; but the pestilence of 1348, followed by the fall of the Nine in 1355, caused the work to be abandoned. The Sienese turned back to their Duomo Vecchio with renewed vigour, and, in the early years of the fifteenth century, the great work was practically completed—before Brunelleschi had crowned the rival Cathedral of Florence with his mighty dome.

Going up the Via di Monna Agnese, or climbing the steps from the Baptistery, we pass under a richly-worked doorway, in the tympanum of which the Redeemer is enthroned with Angels. This would have been a door at the end of the right aisle. As it is, it leads us into a spacious piazza, with the Duomo, as at{151}






present constructed, on our right. On the left is the huge unfinished façade of the abandoned Duomo of Pietro di Lando and Giovanni di Agostino, with what would have been the principal entrance from the Via di Città. The tricuspidate façade of the present cathedral, in black, white and red marble, covered with statuary, was mainly constructed in the last two decades of the thirteenth century under the superintendence of Giovanni di Niccolò Pisano; but all the chief sculptors of the Sienese school have worked upon it, down to the latter part of the fifteenth century. The majority of the statues that we now see are modern copies of the originals, and almost the whole has been completely restored. The mosaics in the cuspidi are modern Venetian work, from the designs of Mussini and Franchi. Upon the platform is represented in graffito the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee; similarly, at the three doors, are three scenes from the administration of Holy Orders. These were originally executed in the sixteenth century, but have been restored and altered. Before entering the sacred building, the tablet should be noticed, set into the wall of the Vescovado, the Archbishop’s palace on the left: “Hoc est sepulcrum magistri Ioannis quondam magistri Nicolai et de eius eredibus.” It is the tombstone of Giovanni Pisano himself, who was buried in the cloister of the Canons, between the Duomo and the Vescovado.

The peculiar beauty of the interior of the Duomo is due to the fact that we have Gothic architecture, combined with decoration that is almost entirely in the style and taste of the fifteenth century. Gothic austerity is tempered here with the grace and fascination of the early Renaissance. The terra-cotta busts of the Popes in the cornice along the nave and choir belong to the close of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth centuries. They make a strangely impressive series, these crowned Vicars of Christ,{154} who Himself is seen in the midst of them, immediately under the eastern window. They stretch from Peter in a continuous chronological line round the church, to Lucius III., who sat on the Throne of the Fisherman from 1181 to 1185, succeeding to Alexander III., when our Henry II. reigned in England. They are solemn and dignified—the ideal Pontiffs of the closing chapter of Dante’s De Monarchia, “who in accordance with things revealed should lead the human race to eternal life.” But there is naturally no attempt or thought of portraiture: some of Hildebrand’s infamous predecessors are conceived and represented in the same spirit as he who said: “I have loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore, I die in exile.” Below them are similar busts of Roman Emperors, the supreme temporal rulers of the world in Dante’s dual scheme, “who in accordance with the teachings of philosophy should direct the human race to temporal felicity.”

The famous pavement of the Duomo—a thing unique of its kind—might well have paved the first terrace of Dante’s Mountain of Purgation. The tradition that this work was originally designed by Duccio (from which it would follow that Dante himself may have seen its first beginnings) is now almost entirely rejected. Documentary evidence proves that it was not begun until the year 1369, shortly after the resumption of work upon the Duomo Vecchio. The greater part of it was laid down after Giovanni da Spoleto[77] in 1396 had begun publicly to expound the Divina Commedia in the Studio of Siena, and we can readily imagine that the men under whose superintendence it was done had in their minds those superb terzine in which the divine poet describes the figured scenes over which his feet passed to meet that{155} creatura bella, the Angel of Humility, whose face was like the morning star.[78] With one solitary exception—the rout of the Assyrians after the death of Holofernes—the subjects shown here are not the same as those on Dante’s duro pavimento. Instead of the examples of the punishment of pride, we have here a series of scenes which can hardly be said to be dominated by one idea, but which in the main (a few scenes standing apart, unconnected with the general scheme), through symbol, type and prophecy, lead up to the Sacrifice of Isaac before the High Altar, as mystically representing the Atonement of Calvary, renewed daily in the Sacrifice of the Mass. In the earliest of these commessi and graffiti, white and black marbles alone are used; later, coloured marbles are employed as well, both in shading and in the decorative portions. Executed at various dates, for the most part in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they have been frequently altered and restored, while in some instances modern copies have been substituted for the originals. Save in the season of the feast of the Assumption, the central portions are kept covered.

The pavement of the nave and aisles is a preparation, in some sort, for the rest. In the nave is first Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus, “Contemporaneus Moysi,” with two disciples—symbolical of the mystical wisdom of the Ancients, “when sages looked to Egypt for their lore.” It was executed in 1488 from the designs of Giovanni di Stefano. Next comes Siena herself, represented by the Lupa suckling the Twins, surrounded with the heraldic beasts of the allied cities; this was originally executed in 1373, and (unlike the rest of the pavement) in mosaic, but the present piece is a modern copy. She is followed—in token of what her chroniclers call her perpetual fidelity to the Caesarian Monarchy—by a wheel with the Imperial Eagle in the centre, of{156} the same year. Then follow two allegories of human life, under the sway of Fortune, “who hath the goods of the world so in her clutch.” The first is the so-called Storia della Fortuna, designed by Pinturicchio in 1505.[79] Fortune has landed ten of her subjects on the shore of a solitary island mountain, the paths of which are stony, and where reptiles lurk and crawl. Some run steadfastly on to seek wisdom; one sinks down to rest by the way, wearied already of the quest; one gazes longingly back, another shakes his fist at his mistress. “But she is blessed and heareth not that,” as Dante has it, as she spreads her sail to catch the breeze, and steps off again into her storm-shattered bark to fetch new votaries. Above all change and alien influence, in the flowery garden that crowns the mountain like Dante’s Earthly Paradise, sits Wisdom enthroned, with palm and book; on her right Socrates receives the palm, on her left Crates is casting jewels into the sea; the obvious meaning being that wisdom can be reached only by pursuit of knowledge and contempt of riches. The second, an allegory of ambition, a modern copy of a work originally executed in 1372, shows a crowned king enthroned on the summit of Fortune’s wheel; clinging desperately to the sides of the wheel are men struggling up to take his place or falling from it, while in the corners the sages of antiquity moralise upon the scene. On the pavement of the aisles are the ten Sibyls, inspired prophetesses of the Incarnation and Redemption among the pagans and gentiles. They were laid down in 1482 and 1483, under the rectorship of Alberto Aringhieri, to whose care so much of the beautiful decoration of the Duomo is due; but they have all been restored. In the right aisle we see the Delphic Sibyl, designed and executed by Giuliano di Biagio and Vito di Marco; the Cumaean Sibyl, ascribed to{157} Luigi di Ruggiero and Vito di Marco;[80] the Cuman Sibyl, with the golden bough and the famous Virgilian prophecy, designed and executed by Giovanni di Stefano; the Erythraean Sibyl, designed and executed, also signed, by Antonio Federighi; the Persian Sibyl, which appears to be mainly the work of Urbano da Cortona. In the left aisle are: the Libyan Sibyl, designed by Guidoccio Cozzarelli; the Hellespontine Sibyl, designed by Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi;[81] the Phrygian Sibyl, probably, like her Cimmerian sister, designed and executed by Luigi di Ruggiero and Vito di Marco; the Samian Sibyl, designed by Matteo di Giovanni and with his signature; the Albunean Sibyl, designed by Benvenuto di Giovanni.[82] These ten figures are among the most characteristic products of Sienese art of the Quattrocento.

On the pavement of the right transept we have the Seven Ages of Man, a modern copy of what was designed and executed by Antonio Federighi in 1475; the story of Jephthah, by Bastiano di Francesco, between{158} 1481 and 1485; the Death of Absalom, by Pietro del Minella, 1447; and the Emperor Sigismund enthroned, designed by Domenico di Bartolo in 1434. This last is peculiarly interesting as being totally different in character from any other of the series, the work of a singularly striking and certainly the most isolated painter of the Sienese school. We have in all that Domenico does a touch of Florentine science and realism. In the left transept are the Expulsion of Herod, with some spirited fighting in superb Renaissance armour, designed by Benvenuto di Giovanni in 1484 or 1485, with a beautiful frieze of winged lions by Bastiano di Francesco; the Massacre of the Innocents, designed by Matteo di Giovanni in 1481, with a frieze of children, bacchanals, centaurs and amazons, showing how Matteo felt the spirit of the Renaissance more fully than any other Sienese painter of his day; the story of Judith, said to have been designed either by Urbano da Cortona or Matteo di Giovanni, and executed by Federighi in 1473. These three scenes have been completely restored. The raised platform in front of the choir shows some of the earliest of these graffiti, laid down between 1423 and 1426, much damaged and restored; David as the Psalmist and David slaying Goliath are by Domenico di Niccolò del Coro, whose work we have seen in the chapel of the Signoria; the story of Joshua and the victory of Samson are by Paolo di Martino. In the sixteenth century the arrangement of the choir was altered, the high altar being removed from under the cupola to its present position. Beccafumi then set to work to design the graffiti for the pavement in accordance with this new arrangement. His work, roughly speaking, runs from 1518 to 1546. It comprises the story of Elijah in the hexagonal space below the cupola; the story of Moses between this and the platform; and, before the high altar itself, the Sacrifice{159} of Abraham, with Adam and Eve, Abel, Melchizedek and other scenes from the Old Testament, inclosed by a frieze representing the Children of Israel going to seek the Promised Land. In recent years the Elijah series has been completed from designs by Alessandro Franchi. Mr Cust remarks that Beccafumi, save in his earlier scenes, discards the colours that Pinturicchio had used, and “confines himself almost entirely to low tones of colour, which shade from one into the other; and produces his effects by a species of chiaroscuro. Instead of outlining each piece, or figure, in a single colour, he frequently uses, on the same subject, white and two or three different shades of pale-coloured grey marble.”[83]

Just within the great doorway are the sepulchral stones of two of the Sienese nobles who fell at Montaperti: Giovanni Ugurghieri and Andrea Beccarini. The delicately worked Corinthian columns supporting the tribune, the bas-reliefs (by Urbano da Cortona) round their pedestals representing scenes from the life of the Blessed Virgin, are of 1483. The stained-glass window over the portal, representing the Last Supper, was designed by Raphael’s famous pupil, Perino del Vaga, and executed by Pastorino Pastorini in 1549. The basins for Holy Water—perhaps the most beautiful things of their kind in existence—are by Antonio Federighi; the pedestal of the one on the right is supposed to be a real antique from an altar dedicated to Neptune. Near the side-doors are statues of two of Siena’s seven popes; Paul V. (Camillo Borghesi), who pontificated from 1605 to 1621, noted for his quarrel with Venice and for his extravagant ultramontanism; Marcellus II. (Marcello Cervini), a saintly man who held the papacy for a few weeks in 1555, and to whose memory Palestrina dedicated his famous Mass.

At the end of the right aisle, over the door of the{160} Campanile, is the tomb of Tommaso Piccolomini, Bishop of Pienza, who died in 1483, by Neroccio; below it, three on each side, are bas-reliefs by Urbano da Cortona, representing scenes from the lives of the Madonna and her parents; that of Joachim among the shepherds is full of pastoral charm. The Cappella del Voto, in the right transept, glowing with lapislazuli and gold, was built in 1661 by Cardinal Fabio Chigi, to enshrine the miraculous Madonna—the Madonna delle Grazie—to which the Sienese had paid their vows in the days of Montaperti, and which is still credited with wonderful powers. The superbly modelled Magdalene and Jerome, by Bernini, the great Roman sculptor of the seventeenth century, are strongly characteristic of that master’s exaggerated and emotional, but undeniably powerful style. Further on in the transept, Siena’s first and latest pope face each other; Alexander III., the Orlando Bandinelli, so frequently mentioned, and Alexander VII., the above-named Fabio Chigi, who reigned from 1665 to 1667, a good, easy man, who loved letters, and of whom the Venetian envoy wrote that “he had merely the name of a pope, not the substantial power of the papacy.” In the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, let into the wall, are reliefs of St Paul and the four Evangelists, by Giovanni da Imola and Giovanni di Turino.

Opposite the Cappella del Voto is the Chapel of the Baptist in the left transept. It contains, in a richly worked reliquary, what is supposed to be one of the arms of the Baptist himself, which Pius II. presented to Siena in 1464. The chapel was built by Giovanni di Stefano, the external marble decorations being by Lorenzo di Mariano. Of the two pedestals that support the marble columns at the entrance, the one on the right is a genuine antique, which Antonio Federighi bought in exchange for a{161} pair of oxen, and the one on the left is his own imitation of it.[84] Within, the presiding genius of the place is Donatello’s St John in bronze, one of the master’s latest works, full of dramatic expression and the same spirit of austere prophecy that we found in the Magdalene of the Florentine Baptistery. The marble statues of St Ansanus and St Catherine of Alexandria are by Giovanni di Stefano and Neroccio respectively; the latter, assigned to the sculptor in 1487, was left unfinished at his death. The bas-reliefs of the Font—representing scenes from Genesis, and two of the labours of Hercules—are fine and characteristic works of the school of Giacomo della Quercia, and should perhaps be ascribed to Antonio Federighi. The eight frescoes were originally executed by Pinturicchio and his pupils, between 1501 and 1504, for Alberto Aringhieri. On the left and right of the entrance, by Pinturicchio himself, we see Alberto in youth and age; first as a young knight keeping vigil, then advanced in years, kneeling in prayer, in the dress of a knight of Rhodes; they are full of charm, especially the first, in its harmonies of grey and red, the highest expression of Sienese chivalry:—

“Unfathomable thoughts with him remain
Of that great bond he may no more eschew,
Nor can he say, ‘I’ll hide me from this chain.’”[85]

The fresco opposite, representing the Birth of the Precursor, is also from Pinturicchio’s hand. Appropriately placed above the two portraits of Alberto are the Vigil of St John and his Preaching in the Wilderness; they are very naive and charming, with odd formal trees and landscape against the gold background, and are ascribed by Mr Berenson to Baldassare Peruzzi, of whom there is documentary evidence that he worked here in 1501; they would thus be very early works of his, of the{162} same period as they are in the same style as the little Madonna in the Accademia. These four frescoes have been repainted. The three that remain have been entirely replaced by later work; the Baptism of Christ and the Martyrdom of the Baptist, painted by Francesco Rustici at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Saint in Prison, by a modern artist, Cesare Maccari.

High up to the left of this chapel is the tomb of Cardinal Riccardo Petroni, a famous decretalist but a man of great charity (in spite of Dante the two things are not quite incompatible) in the days of Boniface VIII. It is probably by either Tino di Camaino or Gano, and is a good example of these sepulchral monuments of the early Sienese school, though here, as the monument is to a churchman, the religious ideal prevails over the usually more secular style. In the left transept are statues of the two Piccolomini Popes, Pius II. and Pius III., of whom more presently. As far back as the middle of the sixteenth century, it was supposed that the highly-revered wooden Crucifix, near the statue of Pius III., was the one carried by the Sienese at Montaperti. The chapel of St Ansanus, opposite that of the Blessed Sacrament, has an altar-piece by Francesco Vanni, painted in 1596, representing the Saint baptising the people of Siena, which is a decidedly favourable specimen of the later Sienese school. The bronze relief on the pavement, the tomb of a Bishop Giovanni Pecci, who died in 1426, is a signed work of Donatello. The bas-reliefs let into the wall—representing the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Procession and Adoration of the Magi—date from the first half of the thirteenth century; they are specially interesting here as, when compared with the great pulpit, they illustrate the state of sculpture in Tuscany before the advent of Niccolò Pisano, and enable us to realise what Niccolò effected.

The famous pulpit, by Niccolò and his pupils, was{163}






begun in 1266, the year after Dante’s birth. It marks an epoch in the history of Italian sculpture—even more so than did that earlier one in the Baptistery of Pisa, when, in Carducci’s splendid phrase, the sculptor saw “the new and holy Venus of Italy” rise “from the Greek sepulchre of German bones.”[86] The sculptures of the pulpit at Pisa are imitated from Roman bas-reliefs and differ little from the work of Niccolò’s predecessors and contemporaries, save in their superior technical excellence; but here at Siena we recognise the working of a new spirit; side by side with this close study of antiquity, we have a direct return to natural models.[87] The pulpit is octagonal, supported by eight pillars at the angles, each second pillar resting upon a lion rending his prey, or a lioness giving suck to her young; a central pillar, resting on the pedestal, being adorned with eight figures representing arts and crafts. The capitals are beautifully worked with birds and foliage, and above them are figures of the Virtues, while above these again are symbolical figures between and uniting the scenes in the bas-reliefs. First comes a Sibyl, as announcing the great mystery among the Gentiles. Then we have the Visitation, Birth of the Baptist, Nativity of Christ, and Adoration of the Shepherds—with Niccolò’s favourite troop of goats, one of them leaping up to look at the Madonna, just as you may see one doing when a herd is driven over the bridge of Spoleto past the shrine. Next is a group of Prophets, followed by the Adoration of the Magi, a scene which contains some obvious and successful attempts at portraiture. At the next angle are the Madonna and Child, a very beautiful work{166} which may rank as the first Italian masterpiece in this kind. After this the Presentation in the Temple, Joseph’s Dream, the Flight into Egypt are united in one history. A group of Angels is next, followed by the Massacre of the Innocents, full of movement and dramatic vigour. Then comes a symbolical representation of Christ as the Redeemer of the World; He is trampling upon two monsters, while a lion crouches at His feet (possibly a reference to Psalm xci. 13); above His head are the Dove, the empty Throne, the hand of the Father. The Crucifixion follows, and, after it, supporting the reading-desk, the symbols of the four Evangelists. Finally comes the Last Judgment in two divisions, Christ as Judge appearing in the midst, surrounded with Angels bearing the emblems and instruments of the Passion. It is the conventional mediaeval representation; the saved to the right of the Judge, with, highest of all, the Madonna in intercession; the lost to the left, with a hideous bestial Satan down in the lowest corner; the dead rising to judgment, the Angels severing the wicked from among the just. We find for the first time that dramatic motive which became traditional—the casting out of the hypocritical monk who had tried to insinuate himself among the just. Though the forms are still stunted, we find unmistakable signs of a new spirit of portraiture, and many of the heads are most admirable, though here and there facial expression degenerates into grimace. At the end of all are three Angels blowing the trumpets, as though to announce the accomplishment of the great mystery of Redemption that the Sibyl had foretold.

The steps and entrance to the pulpit were added in the latter part of the Cinquecento, designed by Bartolommeo Neroni. Against the two last pillars of the nave are the poles of the Carroccio of the Sienese at Montaperti. Beneath the cupola are gilded statues of{167} Siena’s patrons with indifferent late fifteenth century frescoes. Until Baldassare Peruzzi altered the arrangement, the high altar stood here, under the cupola, with Duccio’s great picture—which is now in the Opera del Duomo—upon it. Thence six bronze Angels, by Francesco di Giorgio and Giovanni di Stefano, marshal us to the new high altar—designed by Peruzzi—upon which rests the famous bronze tabernacle, executed between 1465 and 1472, by Vecchietta. The two Angels against the pillars on either side of the altar are by Beccafumi, who practised casting in bronze in the latter part of his life. The frescoes in the niche behind the choir were originally by Beccafumi, painted in 1544, but have been completely repainted and altered; the Assumption is an unimportant Bolognese work. The other frescoes, representing the fall of Manna and the story of Esther, as also the two groups of Saints and Beati of Siena at the sides, were painted by Ventura Salimbeni, between 1608 and 1611. The choir stalls are partly the work of Fra Raffaello da Brescia in 1520, partly from the designs of Bartolommeo Neroni half a century later. The intarsia is the work of Fra Giovanni da Verona of 1503, the organ-loft over the sacristy was executed by the two Barili in 1511. There are several old Sienese paintings in the chapter-house beyond the sacristy, especially two of San Bernardino preaching in the Campo and in front of San Francesco. Above the choir there is a fine circular stained-glass window, representing the Death, Assumption, and Coronation of the Blessed Virgin, with the four Evangelists and four chief early patrons of Siena; it was executed by Giacomo di Castello in 1369, according to a document recently discovered in the Archivio dell’Opera del Duomo.[88]


The left aisle is mainly devoted to the honour and glory of the House of the Piccolomini. Enea Silvio Piccolomini held the bishopric from 1449 to 1458. After his elevation to the papacy he raised the See to an archbishopric, and until 1597 it was always in the hands of one of his own family. We have, in fact, a continuous series of Piccolomini Archbishops of Siena; Antonio Piccolomini, 1458 to 1459; Francesco di Nanni Todeschini, 1460 to 1501 (when he resigned), afterwards Pius III.; the two nephews of Pius III., Giovanni di Andrea Todeschini Piccolomini, 1501 to 1529, and Francesco di Salustio Bandini, 1529 to 1588; Ascanio di Enea Piccolomini, 1588 to 1597. After the third altar (from the entrance), over which is an Epiphany by Pietro Sorri which is almost Venetian in colour, is the monument of Alessandro Piccolomini, Archbishop of Patras and afterwards coadjutor to Archbishop Bandini; philosopher, poet, and dramatist, Alessandro is, unfortunately for his moral reputation, best known by his early Dialogo della Bella Creanza delle Donne, which in later life he retracted. The next altar, that of the Piccolomini, was ordered by the Cardinal Francesco di Nanni Todeschini, who, never contemplating the possibility of being destined to sit in the papal chair, and therefore to rest in the Eternal City, intended to be buried here, as the inscription on the steps states: “Francesco, Cardinal of Siena, whilst still living had this sepulchre made for himself”; and over the arch, as his sole title to fame, he has “Francesco Piccolomini, Cardinal of Siena, nephew of the Supreme Pontiff Pius II.” He was a good and learned man, who, as we have seen, played a pacific and moderating part in the turbulent politics of his native city; he was prematurely aged and utterly broken down in health when, on the death of the infamous Alexander VI., he was elected Pope in September 1503 (much to{169} his own dismay) by a sort of compromise between the rival factions in the conclave, none of whom could secure the elevation of its own candidate, but all hoping that there was no prospect of him surviving the election very long. “God be thanked,” wrote the General of the Camaldolese, “that the government of the Church has been intrusted to such a man, who is so manifestly a storehouse of all virtues, and the abode of the Holy Spirit of God. Under his care the Lord’s vineyard will no more bring forth thorns and thistles, but will stretch out its fruitful branches to the ends of the earth.”[89] He took the name of Pius III., in memory of his uncle, and declared his intention of reforming the Church, beginning with the Pope and the Cardinals, and of restoring peace to Christendom. But the weight of the great mantle of popedom crushed him, and he died in the following month, “not deceiving,” writes Guicciardini cynically, “the hopes that had been formed at his election.” The altar is in the main the work of Andrea Fusina of Milan, and was begun in 1485. In 1501 Michelangelo undertook to make fifteen statues for the Cardinal, sua manu et opere. On the death of the Pope in 1503, he consigned four of these fifteen to his heirs—his brothers Giacomo and Andrea Todeschini Piccolomini—to the mutual satisfaction of both parties, and undertook to finish the eleven that remained to do within two years, unless prevented by accident or illness, or by the war concerning Pisa hindering the transport of marble from the mountains of Carrara to Florence. These four statues are apparently the four Saints in the niches on the outer framework of the altar, fine figures somewhat in the{170} style of Donatello’s saints outside Or San Michele. Of the remaining eleven, the only one that Michelangelo ever executed is that placed on the top to the left—which is more in his later style. He was somewhat troubled in his mind on the subject in his old age. “Lionardo,” he wrote to his nephew, on September 20th, 1561, “I should like you to search among the papers of your father Lodovico, for the copy of a contract in forma camerae made concerning certain figures that I promised to continue for Pope Pius II. [sic] after his death; and because the said work, owing to certain differences, remained suspended about fifty years ago, and because I am old, I should like to settle the matter, in order that you may not be troubled about it unjustly after I am gone.” In another letter from Rome, on the last day of November, he tells him that the Archbishop of Siena has volunteered to put the thing right for him, “and because he is an excellent and skilful man, I believe that it will end satisfactorily.”[90] To the right of the altar is a Risen Christ, with two adoring Angels, over the monument to the Bandini raised by this Archbishop, Francesco Bandini Piccolomini; these figures are also, with some plausibility, ascribed to Michelangelo.

The great work in Siena of Pius III. is the famous Libreria, which he built as Cardinal for the books and MSS. that his uncle had left him. Probably realising that he had little time left him to live, he wished to erect this monument to his uncle’s memory, and indirectly to his own. Above the entrance at the end of the aisle is a fresco of his own elevation to the papacy, painted after his death and after the subsequent completion of the work, by Bernardino Pinturicchio. The Pope’s own figure is partly in relief; on either side of him are the Cardinal Giovanni Colonna, who has{171} taken off his mitre, and the Cardinal Giovanni Antonio di San Giorgio, who is placing the papal tiara upon his head. The whole lacks composition, and there is little, if any, attempt at portraiture; but the crowd in the piazza includes some beautiful figures and well rendered motives. A youth in the foreground is evidently Raphael. Under the fresco are Francesco’s arms as Cardinal and as Pope. The marble work is by Lorenzo di Mariano, the admirable bronze doors were executed by Antonio Ormanni.[91]

On entering we are at once struck by the dazzling profusion of gold and colour, the splendid and opulent decorative effect of the whole. In the contract between “the most reverend Lord Cardinal of Siena” and “Messer Bernardino called Il Pinturicchio, painter of Perugia,” dated June 29th, 1502, “to paint a Library placed in the Duomo of Siena,” almost as much stress is laid upon the “gold, azure, ultramarine, enamel-blue, azure-greens and other pleasing colours” as upon the ten histories in which he has to paint “the life of the Holy Memory of Pope Pius.”[92] Francesco was probably led to intrust the work to Pinturicchio, rather than to a Sienese, because of the splendid work that he had just completed in the Vatican for the reigning Pontiff (who was hardly destined to leave a santa memoria), Alexander VI. The frescoes were begun in 1503, interrupted by the death of Francesco as Pius III. (he probably saw none of them), and resumed about the beginning of 1506.

The ten histories on the wall make up an ideal representation of the career of a hero of the Renaissance. We see Enea Silvio in the first scene, a youth riding a{172} white horse, starting for Basle to seek his fortunes in the great world away from the petty turmoils of his little Italian republic, as secretary to the Cardinal Domenico Capranica, the dignified ecclesiastic who heads the cortège mounted upon a mule. In the background is the western side of the bay of Genoa, from which they made the journey by land to Basle. In the second, riper in years and in worldly wisdom (but less successfully realised by the painter) he is at Edinburgh before King James I. of Scotland, to whom he had been sent by his new employer, the powerful and influential Cardinal of Santa Croce, Niccolò d’Albergata, to persuade him to threaten the Border and so prevent our Henry VI. from interfering with the continental peace that had been concluded at Arras. This was in 1435. In the third, Enea Silvio has mounted a step higher in the social scale, being crowned poet laureate by the Emperor-elect, Frederick III., who made him one of his imperial secretaries in 1442. Hitherto there had been an antipapal tendency in the poet’s movements; he had been involved in the more or less schismatical Council, had been friendly with and on the point of entering the service of the Savoyard antipope Felix. But Frederick professed neutrality, and the next fresco, the fourth, shows us his astute secretary’s conversion to the papal side. We see him in Rome, in 1445, at the feet of Eugenius IV., to whom he had been sent as envoy by the Emperor or, as it would be more accurate to call him at this epoch, the King of the Romans. The two Cardinals in the foreground are said to be his two friends in the Sacred College, the Cardinal of Amiens and the Cardinal of Como, while the bearded prelate, the third on our left, is the famous platonist, Johannes Bessarion of Trebizond. This marks a turning point in Piccolomini’s career; he turned away from his pagan, licentious life to the study of theology, definitely{173} entered the Church, and set before his eyes two great objects: the unity of Roman Catholicism, the rolling back of the tide of Turkish invasion.[93] There can be little question that hope of advancement was his chief motive in this conversion, but his after life as an ecclesiastic seems to show that the nobler spiritual impulse was not altogether lacking. “To him,” writes Dean Kitchin, “more than to any man is due the successful healing of the schism of the West.” In the next, the fifth fresco, which after the first is the most beautiful of the series, he is Bishop of Siena, presiding at the meeting of the Emperor and his bride Leonora of Portugal outside the Porta Camollia, on February 24th, 1452. Behind the Emperor stand Duke Albert of Austria and the young King Ladislaus of Hungary and Bohemia. We read that the Emperor showed considerable nervousness as he waited for his bride, whom he had never seen before. “At first,” writes Enea Silvio himself in his History of Frederick, “the Caesar turned pale, when he saw his bride coming in the distance. But when she drew near, and he beheld more and more her beautiful face and her royal bearing, he became himself again and his colour returned, and he waxed merry, for he found his lovely bride was even more lovely than report had made her, and he perceived that he had not been deceived by words, as often happens to princes who contract marriages by procurators.”[94] The fall of Constantinople in 1453 gave Bishop Enea the opportunity of coming forward as the champion of the cause of Christendom against the Moslem, the eloquent advocate of a new crusade. In the sixth history, he receives the Cardinal’s hat from Calixtus III. in 1456; two Greek prelates stand conspicuously in the foreground, while Bessarion appears again on our right; though not{174} very like his authentic portrait by Pinturicchio in the Vatican, the Cardinal standing at the Pope’s right hand is probably intended for his abominable nephew Roderigo Borgia, afterwards Alexander VI., with whom Enea at this time was on friendly terms. Then, in the seventh, the hero has reached the goal of his earthly ambition, and becomes Pope Pius II. on September 3rd, 1458. He is being carried in procession to give his benediction to the City and the World, while the Master of the Ceremonies burns a piece of tow before him, with the traditional warning: Sancte Pater, sic transit gloria mundi. Two Orientals are there to represent the Eastern Question, that the new Pontiff had made his own. The eighth fresco represents the opening of Congress of Mantua, in 1459, where Pius in vain strove to rouse the powers of Christendom to concerted action; as the fresco appropriately lets us perceive, the Pope himself and the suppliant Christians of the East are the only people in earnest in the matter. Then, in the ninth, he gratifies alike his national pride for the glory of Siena and his own heart by the canonisation of St Catherine, whose crusading zeal had anticipated his own. There is an interesting group of portraits below on our left, the two most conspicuous figures being Raphael and Pinturicchio himself, holding lighted tapers, while the two beyond Pinturicchio, with their backs turned to us, are probably his assistants, Eusebio di San Giorgio and Bembo Romano. Last of all, in the tenth fresco, Pius is at Ancona, come to head the crusade. He was dying, kept alive only by his indomitable enthusiasm, when he reached the city in July 1464, only to find that there were none to support him. In August the fleet of Venice appeared upon the scene. The Pope was then on his death-bed; but the painter, departing from historical fact, has represented him carried down to the harbour to meet the Doge, Cristofero Moro, who is shown kneeling{175}

The Canonisation of St. Catherine. from Pinturicchio’s Fresco.

The Canonisation of St. Catherine.
from Pinturicchio’s Fresco.

before him, but who in reality never landed until the Pope had passed away. So faded a heroic dream. “It has pleased God,” wrote the Senator of Rome, Guido di Carlo Piccolomini, to the Signoria of Siena, on August 15th, “this night, at the third hour, to call to Himself the blessed soul of the happy memory of Pope Pius. It is a little consolation to us in so great a loss that, being mortal like other men, he has died the most glorious Pontiff that for a very long time has sat in that seat.”[95]

In spite of the express stipulation in the contract that Pinturicchio “shall be bound to make all the designs of the histories with his own hand, in cartoons and on the walls, and to paint all the heads of the figures in fresco with his own hand,” Vasari declares that the designs and cartoons for all the scenes were drawn by Raphael, then a youth. This view, though once scouted by serious historians of Italian art, is winning ground again in a modified form—at least so far as the first and fifth, the journey to Basle, and the meeting of the Caesar with Leonora, are concerned, for both of which there exist what seem to be authentic drawings from Raphael’s hand at Florence and Perugia respectively.[96] The mythological and allegorical devices on the ceiling, the arabesques and grotesques in the pilasters between the histories with the six times repeated twin cherubs supporting the arms of the Piccolomini, are by Matteo Balducci and other pupils and assistants of Pinturicchio. The famous marble group of the Three Graces, one of the first antiques to be worshipped in the days of the Renaissance, was brought hither by the Cardinal Francesco; from it Raphael made his first studies of ancient sculpture. Here, too, are several superb choir books, with miniatures by{176} Sano di Pietro, Girolamo da Cremona, Liberale da Verona, and others. The sculptured woodwork is by Antonio Barili. The Adam and Eve over the door is a meritorious production of the school of Giacomo della Quercia.

Over the door of the right transept, outside the Cathedral, is a very beautiful sculptured medallion of the Madonna and Child with Angels. It is ascribed by M. Reymond to Donatello.

In what would have been a part of the right aisle of the larger Duomo, is the Opera del Duomo, the Cathedral Museum. On the ground floor is a room containing some of the original graffiti from the pavement, where these have been replaced by copies, and some of the statues from the façade. Here, too, in a mutilated condition, are Giacomo della Quercia’s reliefs from the Fonte Gaia: the Madonna and Child; the Virtues; the Creation of Adam and the Expulsion from Paradise (masterpieces which even in their ruin are superb), and less important fragments. There is a striking Moses, from a fountain in the Ghetto, probably by Federighi but scarcely unworthy of Giacomo himself. Also by Federighi are the bas-reliefs from the chapel in the Campo. A St John in terra-cotta by Giacomo Cozzarelli and a Transfiguration by Girolamo Genga of 1510 are also worthy of note. On the first floor, beyond the hall where designs and models are exhibited connected with the restoration of the pavement, is a small room containing original designs. Two, at least, are of first importance; the design for the façade of the Baptistery of Siena, by Giacomo di Mino del Pellicciaio (20); an old drawing said to represent Giotto’s original design for the Campanile of Florence (34), crowned with the steeple that according to Vasari was abandoned “because it was a German thing and of antiquated fashion.” There are also plans connected with the building of the{177} Duomo (e.g. 60), and a curious sketch (33) for the suggested portico to the Campo, said to have been invented for Pandolfo Petrucci by Peruzzi and designed by a certain Pomarelli. On the stairs are the Baptism of Christ, by Andrea del Brescianino and his brother Raffaello, formerly in San Giovanni, and a modern plan of the abandoned enlargement of the Duomo.

In the gallery of the second floor is what may, perhaps, be taken as the supreme picture of the Middle Ages; the famous ancona which Duccio di Buoninsegna painted for the high altar of the Duomo. “It was the most beautiful picture that was ever seen or made,” wrote the contemporary chronicler, Andrea Dei. “It cost more than three thousand golden florins, and Duccio the painter laboured many years in doing it.” Documentary evidence shows that he took less than three years over the work; it was assigned to him on October 9th, 1308, and it was borne in triumph to its place on June 9th, 1311. To place it accurately in the story of mediaeval art, we may remember that Giotto had already painted his earlier works and was probably then engaged upon his frescoes in the Arena at Padua, while it was precisely in these years that Dante was labouring upon his Inferno and hailing with fierce exultation the advent of a political Messiah in the person of Henry of Luxemburg. A public holiday was proclaimed when it was completed. With ringing of bells from churches and palaces, the musicians of the Signoria marching in front with trumpets, drums and tambourines, the picture was solemnly carried in triumph from the painter’s workshop through the Via di Stalloreggi, along the Via di Città, then down and round the Campo, and up again to its place in the Duomo. “On the day that it was carried to the Duomo,” writes an anonymous chronicler who was probably present, “the shops were shut; and the Bishop bade that a goodly and devout company of priests{178} and friars should go in solemn procession, accompanied by the Signori Nove and all the officers of the Commune and all the people; all the most worthy followed close upon the picture, according to their degree, with lights burning in their hands; and then behind them came the women and children, with great devotion. And they accompanied the said picture as far as the Duomo, making procession round the Campo as is the use, all the bells sounding joyously for the devotion of so noble a picture as is this. And all that day they offered up prayers, with great alms to the poor, praying God and His Mother who is our advocate, that He may defend us in His infinite mercy from all adversity and all evil, and that He may keep us from the hands of traitors and enemies of Siena.”[97]

In those days, as already remarked, the high altar stood under the cupola, and the picture was painted on both sides. They have been separated and otherwise mutilated; several smaller scenes have disappeared, and the whole has suffered from neglect and from restoration; but still, rich with gold and the bright colours that the sumptuous Sienese loved, it remains a supreme manifestation of the soul of mediaeval faith. In the great central panel is the vision of the immaculate Virgin Mother—Queen of Heaven and Earth—with her Divine Babe, “a beauty that was joy in the eyes of all the other saints,” as Dante has it; while Angels, “each distinct in splendour and in art,” their brows decked with such jewels as the seer of Patmos saw in the New Jerusalem of his revelation, cluster round her throne, bearing the mystical wands that end in the symbol of the Blessed Trinity. The Prince of the Apostles, the two Johns, the virgin martyrs Agnes and Catherine, stand in contemplation, while at their{179}

The Crucifixion. by Duccio di Buoninsegna.

The Crucifixion.
by Duccio di Buoninsegna.

Queen’s feet kneel Siena’s sainted patrons: Crescentius and Victor, Savinus and Ansanus. And their prayer is the painter’s own, that he has inscribed upon the base of the throne: “Holy Mother of God, be Thou the cause of rest to Siena, be life to Duccio because he has painted Thee thus.” The original back of this panel represents the Passion of Christ in twenty-six scenes, from the entry into Jerusalem to the Noli me tangere and the appearing to the two on the way to Emmaus. There are, further, eighteen separate scenes of different shapes and sizes, originally forming part of the whole (including the gradino, back and front), of different episodes from the lives of Christ and the Madonna. No more perfect illustration of these sacred histories, from the point of view of mediaeval tradition, has ever been painted. Duccio anticipates Raphael, in that side of his achievement in which the great master of Urbino, by the illustration that (with his followers) he supplied to religious history and legend, “has given an Hellenic garb to the Hebraic universe.”[98] But he is almost untouched by the new spirit that was manifesting itself in Giotto’s panels and frescoes. “Duccio,” says Mr Berenson, “properly regarded, is the last of the great artists of antiquity, in contrast to Giotto, who was the first of the moderns.”[99]

There are also in this gallery: St Paul enthroned, his conversion and martyrdom being seen in the background, by Beccafumi; St Jerome, by Giovanni di Paolo; the legend of the Finding of the Cross by St Helena and its recovery from the Persians by Heraclius, by Pietro Lorenzetti; four Saints (69, 70, 72, 73) by Ambrogio Lorenzetti; a predella by Matteo di Giovanni; the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (63), an admirable picture by Pietro Lorenzetti, signed and dated 1342; a Madonna and Child with Saints (64), by Matteo di Giovanni; St{180} Antony of Padua (14), by Matteo Balducci; the apparition of St Francis to St Antony (62), by Giovanni di Paolo; nine scenes illustrating the Credo, by Taddeo di Bartolo; a quaint Madonna lactante, with Angel Musicians (59), by Gregorio da Siena, of 1323. Here also is preserved the episcopal ring of Pius II. In the further portion of the hall are embroidered vestments and other articles of church furniture. A door at the end admits you into the unfinished façade. A series of narrow winding stairs leads up to the very top of it, with a superb view of Siena and the country round.



Under the Duomo to the east is the Baptistery, San Giovanni di Siena, a construction of the same epoch as the Cathedral itself. The façade was begun in 1317, modified in 1382 from the design of Giacomo di Mino del Pellicciaio, but left unfinished. On the pavement in front of the three doors are three scenes in graffito representing the birth of a child, the sacrament of Baptism, the{181} administration of Confirmation; they were laid down in the middle of the fifteenth century, the one in the centre (the Baptism) being designed and executed by Antonio Federighi. The interior has been completely restored. The Baptismal Font, which includes a tabernacle for preserving the holy oils, is one of the earliest masterpieces of the sculptural art of the Quattrocento, showing, in its architectural details, the transition from the Gothic to the style of the early Renaissance. The design of the whole is due to Giacomo della Quercia, the marble work being executed by his pupils. On the six sides of the font are six bronze bas-reliefs, representing scenes in the life of the Baptist, separated by six niches enshrining bronze figures of the Virtues. In 1417 the Operaio of the Duomo assigned two of these six bas-reliefs to Giacomo della Quercia, two to Turino di Sano and his son Giovanni, two to the great Florentine Lorenzo Ghiberti—the fame of whose nearly completed bronze door (the first of the two that he cast) was then ringing through Tuscany. Giacomo della Quercia showing himself tardy and preoccupied as usual with other commissions, one of his two histories was assigned to Donatello instead, in 1421. By 1427 the series was complete, and the Signoria forced Giacomo to return from Bologna, at the instance of the authorities of the Duomo, in the following year to bring the whole work to an end, which was done by 1434.[100] The histories begin opposite the altar. The Apparition of the Angel to Zaccharias in the Temple is by Giacomo della Quercia, a fine example of the simplicity of means with which the great sculptor of Siena obtains his effects, with no unnecessary figures, disregarding all but what is essential. The{182} Justice and Prudence on either side of it, as also the Birth of the Precursor and the Preaching in the Wilderness, are by the two Turini—the bas-reliefs being excellent works, fully worthy of their place in the series. The Fortitude between them is four years later, having been cast in 1431 by Goro di Neroccio. The following statue, Charity, is by Turino. The Baptism of Christ and John before Herod are both by Lorenzo Ghiberti, finished in 1427. These two admirable reliefs, as M. Reymond observes, represent the transition from the style of Ghiberti’s first bronze door in Florence to that of his second, the disposition of the figures and the absence of perspective in the scene before Herod resembling the style of the first door, while the group of Angels attending upon the Saviour in the Baptism heralds the triumph of that second door which Michelangelo was to declare worthy to be the portal of Paradise. The beautiful, expressive figures of Faith and Hope are Donatello’s. By Donatello, too, is Herod’s Feast, a masterpiece full of energy and dramatic expression. Although both Ghiberti and Donatello dispose their figures on different planes so as to give the bas-relief the appearance of a picture in bronze, their methods show one notable point of contrast; Ghiberti gains depth by detaching his front figures almost in full relief, while Donatello produces a similar effect more by effacing those in the distance.[101] The four charming little putti in bronze upon the tabernacle, “certi fanciullini ignudi,” as the record of payment styles them, are also by Donatello. The five marble figures in the niches of the tabernacle are by Pietro del Minella, the bronze Madonna and Child by Giovanni di Turino. The statue of the Baptist surmounting the whole was probably designed by Giacomo and executed by Pietro del Minella.

The frescoes of the Baptistery for the most part{183} belong to the middle of the fifteenth century. The three miracles of St Antony of Padua under the arch to the left of the chief altar, the Articles of the Creed in the vaulting, are by Vecchietta who began to paint here in 1450, and was assisted in 1453 by his young pupil, Benvenuto di Giovanni. The paintings behind the chief altar, representing the Annunciation, the Passion, the Assumption, appear to be by a certain Michele Lambertini of Bologna, a few years earlier. The Christ in the house of Simon, under the arch to the right, was painted in 1489 by Pietro di Francesco degli Oriuoli, a Sienese artist of much reputation in his day, who died in 1496.[102]



In the Footsteps of St Catherine

“IN the name of God, Amen. To the honour and praise and reverence of God, and of His Mother, Madonna Holy Mary Virgin, and of all the Saints of God, and to the honour and exaltation of the Holy Roman Church, and of the Commune and of the People of the City of Siena, and to the good and pacific state and to the increase of the Spedale of Madonna Holy Mary Virgin of Siena, which is placed in front of the chief church of the said City, and of the Rector and Brothers of the Chapter of the said Spedale, and to the recreation of the sick and poor and foundlings of the said Spedale.”

Thus open the Statutes of 1305 of the famous Spedale of Siena, the united hospitals of Santa Maria della Scala. The buildings occupy the whole side of the Piazza del Duomo opposite the façade. According to the legends, the Spedale was founded at the end of the ninth century by a cobbler named Sorore, who began by lodging pilgrims who passed through Siena on their way to Rome, and mending their shoes, then nursing those of their number who fell sick by the way, and ended by founding a sort of order or company of men—the “Frati Ospitalieri”—to carry on his work. Thus began the hospital for the sick; while a dream of a devout woman, who saw upon this spot a ladder reaching up to Heaven, and little children passing up it into the arms of the Blessed Virgin, caused a home for foundlings to be united{185} to it. Modern writers, however, question the existence of the Beato Sorore, and assign the foundation of the Spedale to the eleventh century.[103] Be that as it may, throughout the whole course of Sienese history the Spedale has a sublime record of devotion and charity, especially in those terrible epochs—that recurred again and again at intervals—when the pestilence and black death devastated Siena. Its revenues were largely increased by donations from the Bishops, by papal commutations of vows, and by bequests from victims of the pestilence who, having lost their natural heirs, bequeathed all that they had to the institution. The order of the “Frati Ospitalieri” was reformed in the thirteenth, and lasted on till the end of the sixteenth century. The Rector of the Spedale, in the days of the Republic, had the right of sitting in the Consistory with the Signoria.

Beyond the entrance-hall is a large room known as the Pellegrinaio, because originally intended for the reception of pilgrims, with a pleasant view from the window at the end. The walls and ceiling are covered with frescoes—those on the walls being practically unique in the story of Sienese art. They represent scenes from the history and illustrate the work of the Spedale. On the right are three by Domenico di Bartolo. They represent the marrying of the maidens, with the Baptism of the children and their nursing (1440); the giving of alms (1443); the care of the sick and diseased (1440). We are struck at once by their realism, which we shall find nowhere else in Sienese painting; some of the heads are powerful, there is excellent grouping and a study of Sienese costumes in the Quattrocento which is of no small value to the student. But withal there is a certain uncouthness, at times exaggerated to the verge of grotesqueness. The painter is following{186} the Florentine methods, but is not fully equipped with Florentine science; the nude figure which we see in the foreground of the second fresco is a striking innovation in a Sienese picture, but it will not stand the comparison—which it inevitably invites—with the naked youths in Masaccio’s famous scene of St Peter baptising in the Carmine of Florence. The two frescoes on either side of the window are unimportant. Then, on the left wall, is another by Domenico di Bartolo (1443), fairly well preserved, representing the granting of privileges to the Spedale, in the person of its Rector, by Celestine III.; a magnificent young Sienese gentleman in the costume of the fifteenth century stands in the centre of the picture. The next fresco, the entry into the Spedale and a lady of Siena taking the robe of the order, is by Priamo di Pietro della Quercia, the brother of the more famous Giacomo; it is somewhat in the style of Domenico, but with more than his uncouthness and falling a long way below his excellence. Following that, by Domenico di Bartolo, badly preserved, is the increase of the buildings of the Spedale with alms given by the Bishop, the group of horsemen approaching, and nearly riding down the builder, being presumably fresh benefactors inspired by the episcopal example. The fresco over the door on the left is by Vecchietta and represents the “Scala del Paradiso,” the dream of the devout woman, in which the little deserted children are seen mounting up the ladder to be received into the arms of the Mother of God.

There are other frescoes of less importance in other parts of the Spedale. In the room on the left of the entrance is a fresco by Beccafumi, one of his early works, painted in 1512, representing the meeting of Joachim and Anne. The Infirmary of San Pietro has unimportant frescoes by Vecchietta, and (inclosed in a tabernacle) the “Madonna of Mercy,” by Domenico{187} di Bartolo. In the Infirmary of San Pio a “Beato Sorore” is likewise ascribed to Domenico, and in the Infirmary of San Galgano is a Crucifixion by Taddeo di Bartolo. The church of the Spedale, dedicated to the Madonna of the Annunciation, was built in the fifteenth century. The bronze Christ over the high altar is by Vecchietta; the organ is said to have been designed by Peruzzi.

In the vaults under the Spedale are the meeting-places of several devout confraternities, which are said to trace their origin from the first Sienese Christians, the converts of St Ansanus, who met in secret on this spot in the days of the Roman persecutions. You enter by the last door in the Piazza. The chapel of Santa Maria sotto le Volte dello Spedale, now sometimes called Santa Caterina delle Notti, was the oratory of the “Disciplinati of the Virgin Mary of the Spedale.” St Catherine was intimately associated with this confraternity, which was conspicuous for its active works of charity, and to which a number of her disciples belonged. One of her latest letters was written from Rome to the Prior and Brothers of the Company.[104] It was whilst praying here in 1380 that Stefano Maconi heard a voice in his heart telling him that Catherine was dying, and he at once hastened to Rome to receive her last injunctions. In a little cell, adjoining the oratory, St Catherine passed long hours in prayer, and from it she assisted at the offices of the Disciplinati. Here is still shown the hard bed of stone upon which she slept, in the intervals of tending the sick at the hospital. In a room beyond, belonging to the confraternity of St Catherine, are some pictures; a Madonna and Child with Saints by Taddeo di Bartolo, and four small paintings, much restored, in the manner of Girolamo del Pacchia. One of the latter represents the members of the confraternity dressed as you may still{188} see them at the door of St Catherine’s house on the day of her festa. Before reaching the oratory, another flight of steps to the left leads down to the meeting-place of the Confraternity of the Madonna. Here are a number of pictures, including a Holy Family by Bazzi; St Catherine leading Pope Gregory back to Rome (though, as a matter of fact, she was present only in spirit) by Benvenuto di Giovanni; a Madonna and Child with Saints by Sano di Pietro. Hung very high up are two small triptychs—the one representing the Crucifixion, Flagellation, Entombment—the other the Blessed Virgin with the two Catherines and other Saints. Mr Berenson ascribes them to Duccio and Fungai respectively. Beyond is the chapel of the confraternity, with remains of frescoes by some pupil of Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

San Bernardino commenced his religious life as a member of this confraternity of Our Lady’s Disciplinati. When the pestilence broke out anew in 1400, and the Spedale was overwhelmed with the sick and the dying, Bernardino collected a band of young men to aid the Rector in his task, and devoted himself to the plague-stricken for four months, while his cousin, Tobia, attended to the women.

From the back of the Spedale the Via di Valle Piatta leads to the little church of San Sebastiano, the oratory of the Contrada della Selva. Its interior is in the form of a Greek cross. It was built by Girolamo di Domenico Ponsi, at the end of the fifteenth century, and its sacristy contains Madonnas by Matteo di Giovanni and Benvenuto. The adjoining convent, originally of the Gesuate, has since 1818 been the Foundling Hospital—Ospizio dei Gettatelli.

From the Via di Valle Piatta the steep Via del Costone winds down the side of the hill upon which the Duomo and Spedale stand, to the Fontebranda. Let us take this way into the valley—for we shall be{189}



treading in the steps of St Catherine. Here, in her sixth year, she was returning with her brother from a visit to their sister Bonaventura, whose husband had a house near the Tower of St Ansanus, and had reached the turning at which the great red brick mass of San Domenico first becomes fully visible—rising up grandly on the brow of the opposite hill, over the humble valley of the tanners and dyers. A shrine and a faded fresco{190} on the left at the corner still mark the spot of her first vision. “She saw in the air, above the church of the Friars Preachers of Siena, our Saviour seated on a wondrous throne, robed as Sovereign Pontiff, accompanied by the Holy Apostles. He gazed lovingly and smilingly upon her, and with His holy hand making the sign towards her of the most holy Cross, He blessed her.”[105]

At the foot of the hill is the famous Fontebranda, with its colonnade of three arches and its four lions’ heads. Although the first certain mention of it is in a document of 1081, and in its present form it only dates from the middle of the thirteenth century, the fountain has been famous throughout Tuscany from time immemorial. Possibly, when Siena was the Roman colony of the Sena Julia, the soldiery of the legions drank from its waters; before them, the fair-haired Senonian Gauls—if we accept that form of the legend of the foundation of the city—may have lingered a moment by it as they followed Brennus in his march to Rome. It hardly needs the adventitious fame that has accrued to it from the supposition—stated as a fact by the earliest commentators, but at present generally rejected by scholars—that it is the Fonte Branda recorded by Dante in the thirtieth canto of the Inferno, for whose waters, even to cool the burning thirst of Hell’s foulest circle, Maestro Adamo would not have given the sight of his aristocratic seducers sharing his agony. There is a curious tradition that certain streets of Siena were—or possibly still are—infested by were-wolves, who rush through the city at night, and throw themselves into Fontebranda to recover human form.[106] Be that as it may, Fontebranda gives its name to the whole of the picturesque district—“il Rione di Fontebranda”—below{191} the two hills upon which the Duomo and San Domenico respectively stand. The valley is still, as in St Catherine’s days, the haunt of the tanners and the dyers, and redolent of that peculiar odour of the curing of hides that ever after haunts the lover of Siena.

The steep Via Benincasa—once the Via de’ Tintori—leads up from Fontebranda into the town. It is the headquarters of the most typical and vivacious of the Sienese contrade—the “Nobile Contrada dell’Oca.” A few houses up the street, on the left, is a graceful building in the style of the early Renaissance, which now occupies the site of the house of Giacomo Benincasa: the Oratorio di Santa Caterina in Fontebranda. “Many from beyond the mountains,” so runs an entry in the Libro dei decreti di Concistoro, at the time when Catherine’s canonisation was in progress at Rome, “French, Venetians, Romans and of other nations who have come to your city, have with great diligence asked for the house where dwelt in your city the blessed Catherine of Siena; and they have gone to it with great reverence and devotion, kneeling down in many places and kissing the walls and the door, saying with many tears: Here she stood and touched, that precious vessel and gift of God, blessed Catherine of Siena, who in her life did so many miracles. And many have wondered that the Commune of Siena in that place has not made some temple to the praise of God and honour of that Spouse of Christ.”[107] The house had passed through many hands since the death of St Catherine (who, during the latter part of her life, lived with her mother in another house in the present Via Romana), and was then in a ruinous condition, as the document just quoted goes on to state. But in 1464 the inhabitants of the Costa Fontebranda petitioned the Signoria to buy the house, offering themselves to pay all the rest of the{192} expenses for the building and adornment of the chapel or oratory, “the which they are disposed to do in such form and so well adorned, that it will be to the honour of God and St Catherine of Siena and of your Magnificent Signory, and the consolation of all your city.” The oratory was begun in the same year and finished in 1473, after several appeals from the Esecutori di Gabella to the Signoria for aid in money. In one of these, they remind the Signoria that “it pertains to the Republic to study that spiritual devotions and divine temples should increase in the city; especially in yours, because of the celestial gift of the sweetest liberty which we enjoy among very few cities in the world.” And in another they set forth that, with the aid of their Magnificent Lordships, the oratory has been built, “which has been a thing very devout and honourable, especially by reason of the great concourse of citizens and strangers who go there on the days of her feast”; but that they need some more things to make it complete—such as a picture for the altar, candlesticks, an image of the Saint in high relief, and a sacristy—for which they want three hundred gold florins.[108]

The lower chapel—now the church of the Contrada—is the one referred to in these documents, the upper oratories being the result of later acts of devotion. It is uncertain who was the architect; a certain Francesco di Duccio del Guasta, as well as Antonio Federighi and other masters, seems to have had a hand in it. Over the door is a relief of St Catherine with Angels—an unworthy work by Urbano da Cortona—and on the façade are the four shields: the Libertas and the balzana between the Lion of the People and the Goose of the Contrada. The church was the workshop of Giacomo Benincasa and his sons. Over the altar is a statue in coloured wood of their glorious daughter and sister, by{193}






Neroccio. The five frescoed putti above and the scene of the reception of the Stigmata are probably by Girolamo del Pacchia. On the right wall are two admirable frescoes by Girolamo who, like all true Sienese, was never so truly inspired as when painting Catherine. In the first, she is saving two Dominican friars from a band of robbers by her intercession. In the second, she is visiting the convent of Santa Agnese of Montepulciano, and when she stoops to kiss the foot of the dead virgin it moves itself to meet her lips, while “a very white manna falling like heavenly dew” descends upon her. Here the painter has combined two different legends about her visits to Montepulciano. The two girls kneeling on the left are Catherine’s two nieces (Lisa’s daughters) whom she placed in the convent; the young man in the foreground is apparently Neri di Landoccio. On the left wall we see her raising up Messer Matteo di Cenni, the Rector of the Casa della Misericordia, “a notable servant of God and very devout to this Virgin,” when he lay dying of the pestilence; her figure is full of wonderful dignity and sweetness. This also is by Girolamo del Pacchia. The fresco representing the Saint at Florence, assailed by the Ciompi, is by Ventura Salimbeni.

We go up the stairs—which, without unduly stretching a point, we may surely imagine to be those up which Monna Lapa saw her little daughter ascending without touching the ground. On the left, we enter a small oratory, which was one of the rooms of the Benincasa family—probably that in which they took their meals together. The frescoes, by the modern Sienese painter, Alessandro Franchi, represent legendary scenes of Catherine’s childhood and life in the family, and her earliest visions before her public life began. They are at least unpretentious and devout in sentiment, and the one in which the worthy dyer finds his daughter at{196} prayer, with the mystical dove hovering over her head, is decidedly pretty. The picture over the altar, of her receiving the Stigmata, is perhaps by Girolamo di Benvenuto. The little cell beyond is the chamber which was made over to her as her own, when her father was convinced that she was following a supernatural call. Under the wooden covering of the floor is the very pavement upon which her feet trode, and, shown beneath bars and glass, is the hard pillow of bricks upon which her head rested when she slept. Out of the little window above it, she gave food to the poor—for these rooms are practically on a level with the upper street. In a glass case certain relics of hers are preserved; her scent-bottle for the sick; the lantern which she carried when she visited the plague-stricken or went to the hospital after dark; the handle of the stick with which she walked—the stick we see sometimes in her pictures; her veil and a piece of her hair-shirt; and the covering in which her head was brought from Rome to Siena.

At the head of the stairs, on the right, is the door opening out upon the little side street that runs off from the steep Costa Sant’ Antonio, by which the house is more usually entered. It bears the inscription “The house of Catherine, the Spouse of Christ,” and when we mount up into the little court and loggia, we may read another hard saying on our left: “Living, I beheld Him whom I loved.” The design of the court and loggia is ascribed to Baldassare Peruzzi. Here are two oratories. The first—which is said to have been Monna Lapa’s kitchen—is now somewhat gorgeously decorated in the style of the Renaissance; the ceiling and pavement (which latter is kept covered) belong to the end of the sixteenth century. Over the altar, the picture representing the reception of the Stigmata—which we find repeated in one form or another in each of these{197} chapels—is by Fungai. The pictures—with fine Renaissance pilasters between—date from the latter part of the sixteenth century onwards, and represent scenes from St Catherine’s life, with other Saints and Beati of Siena. In contrast with those in the lower oratory, they are largely concerned with her later life and with her public actions; her saving the souls of the tortured felons; her freeing a woman from an evil spirit (by Pietro Sorri); her persuading the Roman People to submit to Pope Urban (by Alessandro Casolani); and her inducing Gregory to return to Rome. The more artistically important of the series are her mystical marriage with Christ, by Arcangiolo Salimbeni, and her canonisation by Pope Pius II. (with the Blessed Bernardo and the Blessed Nera of the Tolomei below), by Francesco Vanni. The second oratory—the Oratorio del Crocifisso—was built in the sixteenth century on the site of the garden of the family. Over the altar is the sacred Crucifix from Santa Cristina at Pisa—a painting ascribed to Giunta Pisano—praying before which, on the Fourth Sunday in Lent, 1375, in that little church on the banks of the Arno, Catherine is said, like Francis of Assisi, to have received in her flesh the ultimo sigillo. “I saw,” she told Frate Raimondo, “our Crucified Lord coming down upon me surrounded by a great light. Thereat by the force of my spirit, that desired to go forth and meet its Creator, my body was constrained to rise. Then from the marks of His most sacred wounds I saw descend upon me five bloody rays, which were directed towards the hands, the feet and the heart of my body. Wherefore, knowing the mystery, I cried out suddenly, ‘Ah, my Lord God, I beseech you, let not these wounds appear outwardly in my body; it is enough for me to have them internally.’ Then whilst I was yet speaking, before those rays reached me, their blood-red colour changed to a marvellous brightness, and in the semblance{198} of pure light they came to the five parts of my body, to wit, the hands, the feet, and the heart.”[109]

In the Via Benincasa to the right of the door of the church—over which is a bust of Catherine by Giacomo Cozzarelli, who is said to have designed the loggia—are the rooms belonging to the “Nobile Contrada dell’Oca.” In the Sala delle Adunanze, you may see the trophies that their fantini, or jockeys, have won in the race for the Palio.

The Contrada should be visited on the Sunday after the feast of Santa Caterina. The whole Via Benincasa is decorated—ammaiata, as they say in Siena—with bunting, with the flags of their own and the allied contrade, with brackets to hold lights and with white wooden geese in every form of flight or rest, but always combined with a green perch and a red bracket to give the Italian tricolour which is also the divisa of the Contrada. The corners of the streets that lead into the Via Benincasa are guarded by larger wooden geese of this type, set upon the walls of the houses, while at the bottom of the street, at the church, the way is closed by a temporary tabernacle and altar. From earliest morning, Mass is offered up unceasingly in the three oratories, while the figurino (the gaily decked representative of the Contrada) and the alfieri, waving their banners and preceded by a band, march through the city, to pay honour in this fashion to the houses of their friends and the headquarters of the allied contrade. All through the day the throng moves unceasingly through the street and the sacred house, until in the evening there is the procession. Starting from the parish church of Sant’ Antonio, it makes its way down the steep, densely packed Via Benincasa. Following the band, comes the figurino; then a long train of little children dressed as saints and angels—foremost among{199}






them being a group of three, a little boy, a little girl, and an elder girl, representing the Sposalizio of Caterina with the divine Bambino under the patronage of the Madonna. The brothers of the Company of St Catherine follow, bearing the silver bust of their patroness, with the priest of the Contrada. The end of the procession is brought up by the picturesque young Ancients, waving and tossing up their banners in the approved Sienese fashion, until all the steep, crowded Via Benincasa seems a whirling mass of colour.

And St Catherine’s power of healing factions in her native city has not yet ceased. In this present year of grace, 1902, on the day in which the popolani of the Oca celebrated the feast of their glorious patroness, there was a solemn reconciliation between them and the rival Contrada of the Torre, the healing of the famous feud of many years’ standing. I am writing too soon after the event to know whether the peace has proved durable!

Upon the hill above Fontebranda rises the great red brick church of San Domenico—after the Duomo the most important Gothic ecclesiastical building in Siena. It dates almost from the very beginning of the Dominican order, being begun shortly after 1220, though not finished until the middle of the fifteenth century. St Dominic himself may be said to have presided over its beginning, and the Angelical Doctor has walked in the cloisters where once the convent was. The soaring Campanile was raised in 1340. Though considerably altered—in the sixteenth century it was used as a fortress from which the Spanish soldiery might command the city—it is always the same building that St Catherine knew, and that is so intimately connected with the events of her life; presumably there are few buildings in Italy so quick with the living spirit of one woman. Her beloved Dominicans, alas, are here no longer; the convent was suppressed by the French invaders at the{202} beginning of last century, and, after the restoration of the Austrian Grand Dukes, the Benedictines were substituted for the Dominicans. The black monks have gone too—leaving a few to serve the church—and the convent has been transformed into barracks for the cavalry of modern Italy.

The interior has been completely restored, but its original austere simplicity is still preserved. The picture over the third altar on the right in the nave, representing the Assassination of St Peter Martyr, and painted by Arcangiolo Salimbeni in 1579, is one of the most meritorious works of the later school of Sienese painters. Over the last altar on the right the altar-piece is formed of three different pictures by different artists and without the slightest connection with each other, save that they were all painted in the latter part of the fifteenth century; the Nativity of the Saviour is by Francesco di Giorgio, one of his best works, showing a curious imitation of Luca Signorelli in the adoring Angels and shepherds; above, the Pietà with Angels, St Michael and the Magdalene, is by Matteo di Giovanni; the predella—representing St Catherine’s visions, the Martyrdom of St Sebastian, the Massacre of the Innocents, St Dominic preaching, St Mary of Egypt—is ascribed to Fungai. Over the high altar the beautiful marble Ciborium, with the risen Christ above and the four Evangelists below, is the work of one of the chief Florentine sculptors of the latter half of the Quattrocento, Benedetto da Maiano. The two marble Angels, kneeling on either side of the altar, are also his. There is a fine view of the Duomo from the back of the choir. In the second chapel, to the left of the choir, is one of the loveliest and most characteristic pictures of the Sienese school—the “Santa Barbara” painted by Matteo di Giovanni in 1479. The Virgin Martyr of the Tower sits enthroned, in robes gorgeous with gold and embroidery, accompanied by St Mary{203} Magdalene and St Catherine of the Wheels; two Angels crown her, two more make melody behind her throne. The faces of the three women—particularly the golden-haired maidens, Catherine and Barbara—are full of pensive sweetness; they have dreamed among the lilies all day and all night of love, such passionless love as that of which the Vita Nuova tells, while the faction fights have splashed Siena’s streets with blood, and in her palace chambers the things have been done of which her novelists speak. And, surely, when the Angels sing to their lutes or viols, it will be no hymn, but some such amorous canzone as that with which Casella refreshed Dante’s soul on the shores of Purgatory. The lunette above represents the Adoration of the Magi, and was especially stipulated for by the worthy bakers who gave Matteo the commission. The bright picture opposite shows a trace of the influence of Benozzo Gozzoli; it represents the Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels, with the Pietà and four Angels in the lunette, and was painted by Benvenuto di Giovanni in 1483. In the chapel beyond there is another Matteo di Giovanni: the Madonna and Child with Angels, St Jerome and the Baptist, in three divisions, with a rocky landscape background, damaged and neglected. In the chapel on the right of the choir, the Madonna of the Rosary—or rather the Deity with Saints, surrounding an old votive picture of the Madonna—is by Bazzi, the predella of the fifteen mysteries being by one of his pupils. The second chapel on the right belonged to the “German Nation” of the University of Siena, and is full of tombstones of noble young German students, who came to the famous Studio to acquire wisdom, and found a grave. One epitaph begins, Svevia me genuit, Senae rapuere sed ossa. The chapel has the pathos that inevitably clings to the thought of hopes cut short, of untimely death in a foreign land.{204}

It is not for these things that we visit San Domenico to-day, but for the glorious chapel of St Catherine. Over it we read another of those hard sayings that sum up, mystically, the story of her inner life: “This chapel holds the head of Catherine. Dost thou seek her heart? Nay, that Christ bears inclosed in His breast.” The shrine itself, over the altar, which contains this sacred relic—sacred, surely, to all lovers of the noblest things in the literature of mysticism no less than to Roman Catholics—is a work of the third quarter of the fifteenth century, and is probably by Giovanni di Stefano. The frescoes on either side of it—representing the Svenimento, St Catherine fainting into the arms of her two attendant nuns, Alessia and Francesca, overcome by the glory of the vision of her celestial Bridegroom, and St Catherine miraculously fed with the Food of Angels in the Sacred Host—are by Bazzi, and were painted in 1526. Hardly elsewhere (save, perhaps, in the St Sebastian of the Uffizi painted in the previous year) has the wayward painter of Vercelli touched such a height of inspiration; in conception and execution alike, they are among the supreme triumphs of Italian art. The fresco on the left—representing the execution of Niccolò di Toldo, St Catherine ecstatically following the upward flight of the soul she has saved—is also Bazzi’s, but less excellent. It is overcrowded and badly composed, carelessly executed in parts; the brawny figure and bearded head of the victim hardly suggest the delicate young nobleman, the agnello of the Leggenda minore whose blood has been unjustly shed;[110] but nothing could be more beautiful than the kneeling figure of the Saint herself. The beautiful pilasters between the frescoes, and the Angels and Prophets under the arch, are likewise Bazzi’s. Bazzi left the work unfinished, and some fifty years after his death Francesco Vanni took{205}

The Ecstasy of St. Catherine. Detail from Bazzi’s Fresco.

The Ecstasy of St. Catherine.
Detail from Bazzi’s Fresco.

it up, in 1593. By Vanni (who, of course, will not be confused with Andrea di Vanni, Catherine’s contemporary and friend) is the picture on the right, painted in oil colours, where she is seen liberating a possessed woman from a demon; by him, too, are the figures of her two first biographers, the Blessed Raimondo da Capua and Frate Tommaso Nacci Caffarini, the authors of the Leggenda and the Leggenda minore respectively. Beautiful as the shrine is—and it would have been perfect in its harmony had only Bazzi completed the decorations—it is impossible at times not to feel that there is something more melodramatic in its treatment than quite accords with the simpler spirit of the dyer’s daughter of Fontebranda. The graffito work in coloured marble on the pavement represents Aesculapius among wild beasts. It is doubtful whether this is connected with the fact that several physicians of the Benzi family were buried in the chapel, or a part of the decorations in honour of the Saint.

San Domenico should be visited on the day of St Catherine’s Feast, which in Siena is kept on April 29th. The nave is hung with the bright banners of the contrade; Mass after Mass is offered up without intermission throughout the morning at the shrine, while crowds of the devout humbly and silently approach the altar, to be fed with that Bread of the Angels, “which,” says the collect for that day, “sustained even the temporal life of the blessed Virgin Catherine.” The curtain is raised, and behind the gilded bars of the shrine the pale, strange face appears, its features still recognisable. The altar blazes with candles and glares with artificial lilies, while natural flowers, lilies of the valley and white roses—more fitting tribute to her who so loved the simple flowers of the field—are offered up at the chapel rails. And, in this sudden advent of reality, Bazzi’s beautiful melodrama palls.{206}

In the sacristy, on this day, are shown certain other relics—her discipline; her portable altar-stone; the sacramental cloths which she made for it with her own hands; the bull from Pope Gregory at Avignon granting her the dispensation to have Mass upon it wherever she went; and one of her fingers. The latter relic is—somewhat unfittingly—carried in procession through the church at sunset. The sacristy contains a banner painted with the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin by Bazzi.

The chapel on the right of the entrance, the Cappella delle Volte, over which is a large painted Crucifix of the fifteenth century, was not separated from the rest of the church in the days of St Catherine, as it is now. It was the chapel in which she habitually prayed, and by one of its pillars she knelt always, to hear Mass in the church below. Here her visions came to her, here had she those strange mystical revelations of the Divine Word. “Disposing wondrous ascensions in her heart, Catherine went up these steps, to pray in the chapel to Christ her Spouse.” Thus runs the writing over the original steps, piously preserved and guarded by bars, on the left, by which Catherine mounted into the cell of mystery; not those modern ones by which we now go up into the little chapel that witnessed this wondrous union of a woman’s mind and heart with the suprasensible.

It is somewhat bare to-day, painfully coated with modern paint and whitewash. It is hung with paintings representing scenes from her life and death, of little value from an artistic point of view, though one—that of her walking with her Master and Spouse—has a certain pathos and sweetness. Two narrow pictures over the entrance—representing her giving the cross of her rosary, and clothing the Divine Beggar with her robe—are earlier and better than the larger canvasses. But over the altar is a priceless treasure, the famous portrait of her by her friend and correspondent Andrea di Vanni,{207} perhaps painted in her life-time and in any case her authentic likeness, in which the mantellata is giving her hand to kiss to a kneeling follower of her own sex—in the way to which (when men were concerned) such exception was taken during her life. In the centre of the chapel a piece of the old pavement where she trode—walked with Christ, in the phrase of the legend—is religiously preserved. Elsewhere, marble tablets on the floor are marked with heart, cross or robe, and inscribed: “Christ changeth heart with Catherine”; “Catherine bestoweth her cross on Christ”; “Catherine clothes Christ with her robe.” For into this chapel, as into others, the beggars came—and among them the disguised Spouse of her soul. Still may we see the pillar against which she leaned in her ecstasies—the pillar that is idealised in Bazzi’s two frescoes on either side of the shrine below—though now it is covered and modernised like the rest of the chapel. An inscription hung upon it—a seventeenth century copy of one of much older date (but not earlier than her canonisation)—strikes the keynote of the whole chapel, and I will therefore translate it in full:—

“In this chapel, there befell many wonderful actions to St Catherine of Siena, among the which are those set down below, as the blessed Raimondo her confessor telleth, and they are also known by ancient tradition, besides the many others that befell in this present church.

“Here she was clothed in the habit of St Dominic, and she was the first virgin who up to that time had been thus clothed.

“Here she stayed apart to hear the divine offices, and here continually had she divine colloquies, conversing familiarly with Jesus Christ her Spouse. Here she said the divine office, she had frequent ecstasies, and for the most part in these she used to lean against this pilaster,{208} in one of which ecstasies she was zealously portrayed by a painter on the wall outside of this chapel.[111] And from that time this pilaster has been, and still is formidable to the furies of Hell, and many persons possessed of devils have been delivered thereby.

“Here she gave a little cross of silver, that she had threaded to her rosary, to Jesus Christ in the shape of a poor man, who afterwards told her that He would show it on the Day of Judgment to all the world.

“Here she gave her vest to Jesus Christ in the shape of a poor man, who afterwards robed her with an invisible robe whereby she never again suffered cold.

“Here Jesus Christ appeared to her surrounded by light, as she was wishing to descend by this place and go back to her house; and when straightway she fell to the ground thereat, He opened her breast and put there His own heart, saying, ‘Lo, most dear daughter mine, even as the other day I took from thee thy heart, so now do I give thee Mine own, by the which shall thou ever live.’

“While she was leaning in ecstasy against this pilaster, a candle that was there alight, in honour of some saints, fell upon the veils of her head and entirely burnt itself out upon them, without doing any harm or making any mark.

“While her confessor, Frate Raimondo, was celebrating Mass at the altar of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, she remained at the foot of this chapel and desired to be fed with the Holy Communion; but because it was late, and the confessor knew not that she was there, she stayed there patiently; then did Jesus Christ in person communicate her with part of the Host consecrated at that Mass, and the confessor, not finding it, remained much afflicted until it was revealed to him by her.”{209}

To many of us these things may seem mere priestly legends, and we may find, even in Catherine’s more solemn revelations, but little to meet our daily needs. Assuredly, few would maintain that Christ actually appeared, objectively, to His servant—that she walked with Him in aught save the spirit—that He spoke words to her otherwise than in her own heart. Yet, who shall set limits to the potential ascents of the human spirit when held so slightly by its mortal velo, when so little encumbered or shadowed by the nube di sua mortalità as was that of Caterina Benincasa? In those mystical suprasensible regions—during that half hour in which there is silence in Heaven—Catherine was a voyager alone, a sure wanderer in fields where our footsteps to-day cannot tread even in imagination. Let us adapt to ourselves the word of Frate Raimondo: “We are in the valley, and we presume to judge concerning what is on the summit of the Mountain.”{210}


The Last Days of the Republic

FABIO DI PANDOLFO PETRUCCI had been expelled from Siena in September 1524, by a temporary alliance of all factions in the State. Of the three chief leaders in the revolution, Giovanni Martinozzi belonged to the Monte de’ Nove, Giovanni Battista Piccolomini to the Gentiluomini, while Mario Bandini was a grandson of Andrea Todeschini Piccolomini and therefore associated to the Monte del Popolo. Mario, who was a young man of about twenty-three, was at the head of the Libertini, an association of the most ardent republicans in Siena, who had sworn relentless and perpetual enmity to all who should attempt anything against the liberties of the Republic.

There were solemn religious processions, with the “Madonna delle Grazie” carried through the city in thanksgiving for the liberation of Siena from tyranny. But the Noveschi were by no means prepared to relinquish their prepotency. They rallied round Alessandro Bichi, who, with the favour of Pope Clement VII. and the Florentines, backed by the authority of the French who, under the Duke of Albany, were marching through Tuscany against the imperial forces in Naples, assumed the position from which the Petrucci had fallen. The three Monti were reduced to one, the Monte de’ Nobili Reggenti, and the power of the Balìa was vested in a select committee of sixteen, of which Alessandro was the recognised head. By common consent of contemporary{211} writers, he was an able and high-minded man, with no blot upon his character—save this fatal usurpation of his country’s liberties. At the suggestion of the Medicean rulers of Florence and with financial aid from them, he was beginning to build a fortress or citadel on the hill of San Domenico to secure his hold, when the Battle of Pavia (February 1525) overthrew the power of France and made the Emperor, Charles V., arbiter of the destinies of Italy. The Libertini, headed by Mario Bandini and Girolamo Severini, saw that the time had come to deliver the Republic. Both parties entered into negotiations with the Emperor, through his vicar in Lombardy and his ambassador in Rome; Charles took Siena under his protection for the sum of 15,000 ducats. The appearance of the imperial commissaries in Siena gave the occasion for the rising. On April 6th, 1525, while Alessandro Bichi was counting out the money to them in the palace of the Archbishop, a band of Libertini headed by Giovanni Battista Fantozzo burst in and stabbed him to death. In the meanwhile the populace had risen throughout the city at the call of Mario Bandini, while the Mangia Tower rang out the alarm. The mercenaries of the guard of the Piazza held the openings to the Terzo di San Martino for the Noveschi, with artillery, but appear to have made little real resistance; comparatively few persons had been killed on either side, when evening saw the Libertini masters of the situation. The body of Alessandro was quietly conveyed to Sant’ Agostino and buried there.

The next day, the General Council of the Campana annulled all that had been done in Siena since the passage of the Duke of Albany, dissolved the Monte de’ Nobili Reggenti, created a new Collegio di Balìa, divided the government equally between the three Monti (the Dodicini, who had by this time lost all importance, being included in the Monte del Popolo), and appointed{212} a magistracy of fifteen, afterwards twenty-one, Conservatori di Libertà. Alessandro’s son Antonio Maria Bichi, Giovanni Martinozzi, Lattanzio Petrucci and a number of other Noveschi left the city, and were put under bounds. Siena was once more a free Republic under the protection of the Emperor.

A suburban chapel.

A suburban chapel.

It was not hard for these Noveschi to gain the ear of Clement VII. and the aid of the Florentines. The Medicean Pontiff looked with jealous eyes upon the fair dominion of the Republic, and early in 1526 he declared war against Siena, with the professed object of restoring these exiled citizens to their country. The Balìa hired soldiers under Giulio Colonna and others, and prepared for a stout resistance. Two conspiracies were discovered to betray Siena to the Pope, and for his share in one of them Luzio Aringhieri—bastard son of that Messer Alberto whose glory is writ large upon the Duomo—was beheaded in front of the Palazzo. Then Andrea Doria with the papal fleet seized Talamone, while the Sienese contado was simultaneously invaded by the pontifical army under Count Virginio dell’ Anguillara and Count{213} Lodovico of Pitigliano, and the Florentine army under their commissary, Roberto Pucci. Attempts to capture Montalcino and Montereggioni having failed, the two armies united before the walls of Siena itself, their main force taking up its position outside the Porta Camollia. Realising too late that the Pope had not made all these warlike preparations for their benefit, but was meditating the complete subjugation of the Republic, the leaders of the fuorusciti—Aldello Placidi and Giovanni Martinozzi—left the pontifical camp and went back, one to Rome, the other to Florence, rather then witness the ruin of their native land.

While the papal artillery thundered away unceasingly from the side of Camollia, the Balìa elected seven deputies to direct solemn processions with prayers and litanies, and decreed the renewal of the donation of Siena to the Madonna. A devout lady whom the citizens held to be endowed with prophetic spirit, Margherita Bichi, the widow of Francesco Buonsignori, declared that it was the Blessed Virgin’s will that the feast of her Immaculate Conception—which, it may be remembered, had not yet been proclaimed an article of faith—should ever after be solemnly celebrated in this her chosen city, “and further that Mary Immaculate willed that next Sunday all the Magistrates in whose hands was the lordship of the city should go to the Cathedral, having confessed and communicated, to that Image to which at other times they had presented themselves, and there they should have the Mass of the Immaculate Conception celebrated and then should confirm and renew the donation of the city to its true Patroness.”[112] On the day appointed the Priors and Captain of the People, followed by the members of the Balìa and the Nine of the Guard with all the other{214} officials, assembled at the Palazzo and, preceded by a great banner upon which was depicted the Assumption, moved in procession to the Duomo. There—after the votive Mass of the Immaculate Conception had been sung—the Prior of the Concistoro, stepping up to the altar, solemnly, in the name of the Republic, renewed the donation and surrendered the keys of the gates to the officiating priest, the canon Giovanni Pecci, who formally accepted and then gave them back.

Meanwhile the papal bombardment continued day after day, answered back by the artillery of the Sienese. The Portone beyond the gate of Camollia was a heap of ruins, but the guns had been badly placed and did little further harm to the walls; the Sienese, under Enea Sacchini, had made a number of successful sorties, and the pontifical generals were not prepared to venture upon a general assault. An attempt at intervention by an imperial agent, Don Hugo de Moncada, failed. Then on July 25th, the feast of St James and St Christopher, the forces of the Republic, under Giulio Colonna and Giovanni Maria Pini, suddenly issued out of the Porta Camollia and fell upon the enemy, while a smaller body of horse and foot sallied out of the Porta Fontebranda, drove the irregular cavalry of the Conte dell’ Anguillara in headlong flight before them and took the “blind Papal Florentines,” quei Papal Fiorentini ciechi (as the people sang of them), in the flank. Seized by a sudden panic, the whole army broke and fled in hopeless confusion, leaving their camp and artillery—the latter captured by Mario Bandini at the head of a band of young Libertini. Anguillara, the pontifical general, “a very fat man and with little foresight in war,” as a contemporary calls him, led the rout half dressed; while the Florentine commissary, Roberto Pucci, after some better show of valour, made the best of his way to Poggibonsi. As for the rank and file, pursued for only one mile, they ran for ten. The Sienese{215} re-entered the city in triumph, with the captured guns and banners; three days of thanksgiving and festivity followed, and votive pictures in San Martino and the little oratory in Salicotto still tell the tale. “You know,” wrote Francesco Vettori to Machiavelli, “that I unwillingly allow myself to believe anything supernatural; but this defeat seems to me to have been as extraordinary—I will not say miraculous—as anything that has happened in war from 1494 to now; and it seems to me like certain histories that I have read in the Bible, when a terror entered into men so that they fled and knew not from whom.”[113]

With the imperialists ravening like hell-hounds in Rome and Florence in revolt against the Medici, Pope Clement soon had his hands too full of more deadly business to interfere with Siena. But the Sienese returned to their mad factions. Some of the fuorusciti under Giovanni Martinozzi harried the Valdichiana, and Francesco Petrucci made a temporary reappearance upon the scenes, threatening Massa. Within the city the Popolani, led by the Libertini, were attempting to keep down the Noveschi. In July 1527—practically on the anniversary of the great victory of the past year—there was a sanguinary tumult, in which the populace sacked the houses of the leading Noveschi, murdered the younger{216} Pietro Borghesi and a number of others in cold blood. The Monte de’ Nove was deprived of any share in the government and annulled, the old Monte de’ Riformatori being revived in its stead, and the government was divided between the three Monti—Popolani, Gentiluomini (with Dodicini), Riformatori. Some of the Noveschi were incorporated into the two latter Monti, but the greater part—the Petrucci, Borghesi, Bichi, Placidi, Bellanti, Bulgarini, and the like—was “for ever” admonished and excluded. A number of them were declared rebels and their goods confiscated. Thus permanently ended the supremacy of the Monte de’ Nove in the Republic of Siena, the State remaining in the hands of the Popolani and Riformatori. Several of the leaders of the Noveschi were given offices in the Papal States, Aldello Placidi being made Senator of Rome and Fabio Petrucci Governor of Spoleto.

Alfonso Piccolomini d’Aragona, Duke of Amalfi, a grand-nephew of Pius III., who was a persona gratissima with the people, was now appointed Captain-General of the forces of the Republic. Siena threw herself into the arms of the Caesarian Majesty of the Emperor and the Catholic Majesty of Spain, combined in the person of Charles V. The Emperor—to whom Siena was the key of Tuscany—sent a garrison of Spanish soldiers, with a series of vicars or governors, beginning with Don Lopez de Soria, who reformed the government again and readmitted the Noveschi, headed by Francesco Petrucci. These, however, no longer held their old position, and were only allowed a fourth part of the Balìa. There were furious tumults again in 1530, when Francesco Petrucci and Giovanni Maria Pini (the hero of the victory at the Porta Camollia) led the Noveschi, and Mario Bandini, as usual, headed the popular opposition, which readily got the upper hand. In one of these Giovanni Martinozzi was killed. An imperial army{217} under the command of the overbearing young Ferrante Gonzaga threatened the city in consequence; Ferrante arrested Mario Bandini, who had come out to confer with him on behalf of the Popolani and Riformatori, but he was unable to reform the government in the favour of the Noveschi. His successor, the popular Marchese del Vasto, succeeded in effecting a compromise.

Banner-holder in the Piazza Postierla

Banner-holder in the Piazza Postierla

Trouble of another kind arose in 1535. A number of artisans and small shopkeepers, butchers, tailors, and the like, with other restless spirits among the lower orders, formed themselves into an association known as the Bardotti. There were a few more or less educated men among them, who fired their imaginations by reading Livy and Machiavelli, and at last they attempted a revolution, demanding tribunes after the old Roman model. The thing was a ludicrous failure, and Mario Bandini, upon whose support they relied, told them plainly to go back to their shops, and let affairs of State alone. It was on this occasion that the painter Pacchiarotti,{218} who had posed as one of their leaders in the secret conventicles of the wine cellars, was so terrified that he hid himself in the vaults under the Osservanza, and even climbed into a tomb and lay by a corpse for security.

In April 1536 the Emperor himself came to Siena for a few days, and had a superb reception from the city, whose babes unborn were said to lisp the name of Caesar. These babes were destined to be disillusioned before they grew up to manhood. There were more tumults in 1539 between the Noveschi and the democratic orders, and Francesco Petrucci was again declared a rebel. The Duke of Amalfi was dismissed in 1541, and the Emperor sent two ministers, Monsignor Perrenot de Granvelle and Francesco Sfondrato of Cremona (both of them afterwards cardinals) to rule the city in his name. They reduced the Balìa to forty, dividing it equally between the four Monti, and reformed the State thoroughly and equitably, so that “for about two years the city lived better and more peacefully than it had done in any time past.”[114] Then a change came. They were succeeded by Don Juan de Luna, a Spaniard, in 1543, who openly favoured the Noveschi, with whose aid, he imagined, he might rule Siena for himself under the Crown of Spain. He attempted to make a matrimonial alliance with the Piccolomini by offering one of his daughters to Giacomo di Antonio Maria; but his overtures were scornfully rejected. The Noveschi plotted to fall upon the people, to butcher their leaders at a bull-fight. That failing, in February 1546, trusting in Don Juan and his soldiers, they rose in arms, headed by Bartolommeo Petrucci, shouting “Imperio e Nove! Imperio e Nove!” But all the orders united against them, and they were repulsed, a number of them being slaughtered by the infuriated populace. Don Juan and his Spaniards evacuated the city, and the few Noveschi who had not fled were again deprived{219} of the government, which was placed for three months in the hands of a committee of ten—three from each of the other Monti and the Captain of the People—to have the authority of the Balìa. The Archbishop Francesco Bandini, who was as much a peacemaker as his brother Mario was a firebrand, and Marcantonio Amerighi, were sent as ambassadors to explain to the Emperor what had happened. In this and the following year there were processions and festivities of all kinds in the Campo and throughout Siena, “the city being all joyous, thinking that they had conquered, and imagining that never again would any one molest it.”[115]

But in 1548, at the instigation of the exiled Noveschi, a famous personage came to represent the Emperor in Siena: Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, scholar, soldier, politician, the future author of the Guerra de Granada. He restored the Noveschi, reorganised the Balìa and the Signoria, and quartered Spanish soldiers in San Domenico, San Francesco, Sant’Agostino, and the Servi. He ruled the Republic in the most despotic fashion; he had brought with him a number of blank sheets of paper with the Emperor’s signature, and whenever he wanted anything from the Balìa or the Senate, he simply filled up one of these, and declared it was the will of Caesar. By his orders all the arms and weapons in Siena, both public and private, were collected in San Domenico, and all the artillery placed in its piazza by the side of the Campanile. The Balìa trembled before him, and instantly granted all that he demanded. He was, wrote a satirical poet of the epoch, “a foe to all Italy, to Heaven and to the World, and thought to make himself in Siena second to God.”[116] A certain Tommaso{220} Politi sent a letter to the Balìa, warning them that they were throwing away the liberties of their country; the servile Collegio handed over the letter to Don Diego, and the unfortunate writer was beheaded.

At last Don Diego announced that the Catholic Majesty intended to build a citadel at the walls of Siena, and that the Sienese themselves would have to supply what was necessary. At this, the unmistakable death-note to their liberties, even the servile Balìa was terrified, while a cry of dismay and horror rose from all the people, high and low; certain of the Noveschi alone were secretly favouring the project. The Concistoro decided to appeal simultaneously to Caesar and to the Blessed Virgin. Girolamo di Lattanzio Tolomei, and after him the historian Orlando Malavolti (the latter with a petition signed by more than a thousand citizens), were sent to the Emperor; while in Siena itself, Lelio Tolomei (Girolamo’s brother) delivered a passionate harangue to the Senate, and a solemn vow was made to the Madonna to marry every year, so long as the liberty of the Republic lasted, fifty poor maidens at the expense of the State, with a dowry of twenty-five gold florins each, and it was decided once more to renew the donation of Siena to her. This was in November 1550. On the Sunday after the decision had been taken, the Signori, headed by the Captain of the People, went in procession to the Duomo with the fifty maidens and the keys of the city. A solemn Mass of the Holy Spirit was sung, the Signori and others communicated, and then the Captain, Claudio Zuccantini, made “a most beauteous prayer,” in this wise:—

“If ever in times past, Immaculate Mother of God, our Patroness and Advocate, with compassionate prayers thou hast moved the mercy of thine only-begotten Son towards this thy most devout city, may it please thee to-day, more than ever before, to do so. For albeit{221} thou hast saved it many times from various accidents and fearful wars, as from that of Montaperti and this other last of Camollia, never has there hung over it an affliction equal to this of to-day, when its only benefactor and protector, Charles V., desires to make in it a Castle. We cannot—and would not—resist him with any other means, save by thy welcome intercession with thy beloved Son, that He may infuse into him a more benign spirit towards this his most devoted city, especially as it has never sinned against his Majesty nor against the Sacred Empire.

“Take from him, in pity, such a thought, which befits not our sincere faith, and which brings with it the destruction of our honour, our dignity, our dear liberty, preserved until to-day under thy great guardianship and loving protection.

“Behold, most sacred Virgin, present before thee the hearts, the souls of thy Sienese people, repentant for all their past errors, kneeling and prostrate before thy throne to beg mercy and deliverance from the projected Castle. And I, as the least of all and thy servant, in the name of the Republic, by decree of the most ample Senate, make to thee a perpetual vow that—so long as, by thy intercession, our dear and sweet liberty shall last—fifty poor little maidens shall every year be married at the public expense, with a dowry for each of twenty-five florins, to thy greater glory and honour. Further, I consecrate to thee the city: I present to thee anew the keys, which were restored to us before, as to Her who is the safest and the most potent to guard them.

“Open with them the heart of Caesar, removing from it his unnecessary design. Dispose him rather to preserve us for those devout and faithful subjects that we have been and ever shall be, to his Caesarian Majesty and to the Sacred Empire. Lastly, take away from this most devoted People every memory of private injuries, and unite it with eternal peace and concord; to the end that,{222} thus pacific and united, it may be able to serve God and thyself and his Caesarian Majesty, and to rejoice without end in our cherished liberty.”[117]

But the Emperor, to whom the possession of Siena was invaluable and who (since the fortresses of Livorno and Florence had been consigned to Duke Cosimo) had no other strong place in Tuscany, was resolute. He answered Malavolti graciously, assuring him that it was not to take away, but to maintain the liberty of Siena and to secure good government, that he was having this fortress built; but when, a little later on, more ambassadors arrived, “in mourning robes, as though in anticipation of the loss of their liberty,” he answered shortly that his imperial orders had been given, and refused to listen to any further representations on the subject. “We must drink this bitter chalice,” wrote Girolamo Tolomei, “and swallow this red-hot trivet.”

In the meanwhile, the foundations of the citadel had{223}

An old Fanale in the Piazza San Giusto

An old Fanale in the Piazza San Giusto

been laid on the Poggio di San Prospero, the site of the present Lizza, though the architect Peloro had, according to Sozzini, “made the design of such greatness for the benefit of his city, that his Catholic Majesty would not finish it in thirty years.” Dressed in red cloth, Don Diego came every day that he was in Siena to hurry on the work. But a weird figure rose up in the midst of it. The hermit Brandano had wandered through Italy preaching repentance, clothed in sackcloth with a halter round his neck, a Crucifix in one hand and a death’s-head in the other. On the eve of the sack of Rome he had appeared in the Eternal City, foretelling the scourge, denouncing Pope Clement and his cardinals. Beaten and imprisoned, he had next gone as a pilgrim to our Lady’s shrines in Spain, where he had been thrown into the dungeons of the Inquisition. Now he suddenly stood out on the hill-side, watching the builders at their work, chanting aloud in weird wailing tones the text of the psalm: Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build{224} it”; and then, when men stopped to listen, he cried again in a louder tone: Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Driven off the works, he returned again and again, declaring that he spoke by the will of God. Diego sent him to the galleys, but the Spanish commander at Port’Ercole found no cause in him and sent him back to Siena. Here he designed what Sozzini calls un bellissimo e notabil colpo, and hurled two huge stones at the head of a red-coated Spaniard, fondly imagining that he was the hated Diego. Arrested and brought before the governor, he calmly avowed his attempt to kill him for the sake of his fellow-citizens. Either an unwonted access of magnanimity or superstitious fear made the Spaniard spare his life, and he was merely banished from Siena on pain of death, the guards at the gates being bidden never to let him enter the city again.

But other aids than supernatural were preparing. A number of Sienese gentlemen and artisans alike left the city and their business, staying in their villas or in the contado rather than see this hideous monument of servitude rising higher day by day. Two of these, Girolamo and Lelio Tolomei, died suddenly—men whispered Spanish poison. An extensive conspiracy was concocted—in Rome, Ferrara, and Venice—for the liberation of Siena. A certain Giovanni Maria Benedetti, a man of humble birth in the service of the Cardinal de Tournon, and Amerigo Amerighi, a member of the Balìa, were the connecting links between the Sienese, on the one hand, and the agents of the Most Christian King and the cardinals of the French faction, on the other. But so many persons, Sienese and foreigners, were implicated that it was held a special miracle of the Madonna’s that the plot was not discovered long before the time came to put it into effect.{225}

Don Diego was absent from Siena, and a certain Don Franzese de Avila—a very gracious young man who, alone of his nation, had ingratiated himself with the Sienese by what Sozzini calls his young-lady-like manners, chè veramente era come una donzella, ruled in his place; when, on the evening of July 26th, 1552, a force of French and Italians, led by Enea Piccolomini delle Papesse,[118] arrived at a little distance from the Porta Romana. Some warning had reached the Spaniards and some sort of preparation been made; but it was not until the following morning that the alarm was shouted from the Mangia Tower. When evening came, the people rose in mass, shouting for France and Liberty; the very women hurled stones upon the heads of the Spaniards, as they sullenly retreated towards San Domenico and the Citadel, leaving the Campo in the charge of the Florentine soldiers that Duke Cosimo had sent to their aid. Such was the flaming of the torches and the glow of lights in the windows, that “through all the city one walked as though the sun had risen.” While the Sienese within threw open the Porta Tufi, the rest of the French, led by Enea Piccolomini, fired the Porta Romana; “and they entered into Siena with such great impetus and with such great noise, that it was heard many miles away. All that night they fought together; for the Spaniards, with the support of the Florentines, had fortified themselves in San Domenico and in Camollia, having the Citadel at their shoulders. This combat lasted all the night and till the twentieth hour of the following day, which was Thursday the 28th of July; in which hour those of the city, making every effort, captured San Domenico, where the Spaniards thought themselves right strong and safe. And by reason of this loss, the latter abandoned also that part of the city which they held, and they all retreated to the fortress. In which retreat many Spaniards{226} and Florentines were killed; and so, by the grace of God, all the city was free.”[119]

Two Sienese, Giovanni Andrea Bonizzelli and Giovanni Battista Cappanna, who had served the Spaniards as commissaries, attempted to escape from the city; they were brutally done to death, the one by the contadini into whose hands he had fallen, the other brought back as a prisoner to be hurled out of a window of the Sala di Balìa. At the beginning of August, at the intervention of the Duke of Florence, the Citadel capitulated; the Spaniards and Florentines were allowed to march out with their arms and baggage, and retire unmolested to Florence. The young-lady-like maestro di campo, Don Franzese, shed tears when he found Messer Ottavio Sozzini and a number of young Sienese gentlemen waiting in the Prato di Camollia to bid him farewell. “You brave Sienese,” he said, “have made a most beautiful stroke; but for the future be wise, for you have offended too great a man.”

Lansac, the French representative, at once entered the Citadel and summoned the Signoria. They came in procession with a banner of Our Lady in front of them, with all the other magistrates and officials following, crowned with garlands of olive, while all the clergy and a multitude of people came after, with men bearing spades, pickaxes and the like: “it seemed that each one was going to a wedding.” In the name of the Most Christian King, Lansac formally made over the Citadel to the Republic—the notary of the Concistoro, Ser Luca Salvini, drawing up the instrument in strict legal form. Let Sozzini, who was present, describe the scene: “When the deed had been drawn up in valid form, the Captain of the People first and then the most illustrious{227} Signori, with pickaxes and other instruments began to destroy the said Citadel; and all the people shouted, with tears of joy in their eyes: ‘Liberty, Liberty!’ ‘France, France!’ ‘Victory, Victory!’ Now whoso had seen the great multitude of gentlemen and shopkeepers, who raced to come first to the destruction of the Citadel, certainly would have been astounded; seeing that, in the space of one hour, more was destroyed facing the city than would have been built in four months. When the Signoria and the procession departed to return to the Palace, many gentlemen and shopkeepers remained to continue the destruction, and continually fresh folk arrived there.”[120]

Siena was now under the protection of France, with a French garrison. The people were in a fever of delight. Sonnet after sonnet, abusing the Spaniards and extolling the French, satirising the Catholic Majesty and praising the Most Christian, appeared on the Loggia di Mercanzia. With no thought or talk of war, the Sienese gave themselves up to sport and pleasure. The Balìa was abolished, or rather combined with the Concistoro in one chief magistracy composed of the Signoria and twenty others elected by the Senate; the two councils (the General Council of the Campana, or Senate, and the Council of the People) were reduced to one; the Monti were nominally annulled, or united in one body of the “Cittadini Reggenti della Città di Siena.” In November the Cardinal of Ferrara, Ippolito d’Este the younger, with a goodly guard of Swiss, came as lieutenant of the King of France, received by the government with the utmost honour, and welcomed by the people, says Malavolti, con incredibile allegrezza. Hearing that the Emperor was massing troops in the Kingdom of Naples to come against Siena, the Cardinal had new forts built outside the Porta Camollia. The men of the contrade{228} came to work upon them, “always gladly to the sound of drums and trumpets,” while one of the Cardinal’s guard played on the flute, so sweetly “that every one stayed to listen to it as a thing most rare.” But wiser folk shook their heads, noticing that the forts were being designed in such a way that they would serve equally to bombard the city, “from which thing many took a right sinister impression.”[121] And again the strange weird figure of Brandano appeared, wandering up and down the streets, gazing upon the new fortifications, singing in a quaint doggerel of his own: “Little good, O Cardinal, may’st thou bring us! Siena, Siena, the physician will come who will cure thee of thy madness.”[122]

The first attempt of the powers of Spain and the Empire to avenge their discomfiture failed signally. At the beginning of 1553, a great army of Germans, Spaniards and Italians under Don Garcia de Toledo (the brother-in-law of Duke Cosimo) invaded the dominion of the Republic, occupied the Valdichiana, took Pienza, and captured Monticchiello after a heroic defence in which the garrison of the little castle, commanded by Adriano Baglioni, only surrendered when all the powder for the arquebuses was spent and they were reduced to fighting with stones. In the Maremma, Cornelio Bentivoglio sallied out of Grosseto and routed the imperial reinforcements that had landed at Piombino from Sicily. In the latter part of March the invading army laid siege to Montalcino, which Giordano Orsini








at the head of two thousand infantry defended for the Republic, with the utmost valour and heroically supported by the inhabitants, for more than two months. On the night of the 14th of June, the Sienese saw great fires blazing round Montalcino, and on the morning of the 15th heavy clouds of smoke still hung over it. The appearance of the French and Turkish fleets off the shores of Italy had forced Don Garcia to raise the siege; he had burned his lodgings, and was about to hurry southwards for the defence of Naples. “Now,” writes the diarist of Montalcino, “whoso this morning had seen our afflicted city in such great gladness and triumph, would have made the hardest heart grow tender. When the bells had ceased ringing, Masses have been celebrated and there has been a devout procession around the piazza, with such great contrition; all injuries have been forgiven, men have gone to embrace one another and to give the kiss of peace; always thanking God and the Most Holy Virgin, our protectress, that in their pity and mercy they have deigned to deliver us from so great a disaster.”[123]

In the meanwhile, through the intrigues of Cosimo, who was only biding his time for the Marzocco and the Lupa to be bound together in his golden chain, a conspiracy had been formed in Siena, to admit the Florentines through the Porta Ovile and expel the French. It was discovered; the three principal conspirators, Giulio Salvi, Captain of the People, his brother Ottaviano, Proposto of the Duomo, and the canon Gismondo Vignali, were beheaded in the cortile of the Captain of Justice—the two priests having been degraded in the Sala del Consiglio on the previous day. But the Sienese factions continued, even in the face of the imminent danger. The French agents themselves were divided, Monsieur de Termes{232} taking one side, the Cardinal of Ferrara the other. “And always as many of them as were sent to us from the King, up to the last, behaved in this fashion, as though the discords of the city of Siena were like to a contagious illness, so that whoever came near them was obliged to take part in them.”[124]

The breathing space was but short. With the new year, 1554, the tempest burst upon Siena. Piero Strozzi, the deadliest enemy of the Duke of Florence, came to the city as vicar-general of the Most Christian King—in spite of Orlando Malavolti, then one of the Eight of War, who urged that he should not be received without an express order from France, as it would give an excuse to the Duke to declare war, being a breach of one of the conditions, which stipulated that the Sienese should not shelter Florentine fuorusciti. In his history, Malavolti remarks upon the analogies between this last war of Siena and that ancient one of Montaperti, both begun by the Florentines on the pretext that the Sienese had broken treaties by receiving their exiles; and he declares bitterly that Strozzi, unlike Giordano, “had intentions quite other than the defence and salvation of the city of Siena,” that he had sent away a number of the soldiers, and left unprotected the forts outside Porta Camollia. Similarly, Sozzini declares that Piero’s coming was held to be the ruin of Siena, since it brought the Duke of Florence into the field, without whom the Caesarian Majesty could have done them little harm.[125] But these are mere words; Strozzi or no Strozzi, Cosimo and Charles were equally bent upon the subjugation, complete and final, of Siena.

The armies of the Emperor and the Duke of Florence entered the dominions of the Republic, under the command of the last and most formidable of the condottieri, Gian Giacomo de’ Medici, Marchese di Marignano. The{233} sudden capture, on the night of January 26th, 1554, of the forts outside the Porta Camollia began that last tremendous war of the Sienese, that siege—no less heroic and more prolonged than that of Florence twenty-four years before—in which the last great Republic of the Middle Ages died a giant’s death. The war lasted till the April of the following year, both round the city and in the contado, and was most ruthless in its character. For ten miles around, the once smiling country became a desolate, fire-stained and blood-soaked wilderness—a few trees being left standing, merely that the Spaniards might hang the hapless contadini who attempted to bring supplies through their lines to the starving people in the beleaguered city. The earlier engagements mostly resulted in favour of the Sienese with their French allies and German mercenaries. At first they had so many prisoners in their hands that, when the Marchese di Marignano raised a gallows on the captured forts, they raised another on the citadel, and threatened to hang ten of their prisoners for every one that the imperialists executed—a threat averted by the intervention of the Spanish soldiers themselves, who sent a message to Strozzi that they would force their own general to act a buona guerra; which, alas! was held only to apply to combatants, and not always even to them.

At the beginning of June the Cardinal of Ferrara, tardily obeying the summons of the King, left the city, and went home with a safe conduct; French and Swiss reinforcements arrived under the command of Blaise de Montluc, afterwards Marshal of France, who came to take charge of the city that Strozzi might have a free hand elsewhere. There had been some question as to the safety of sending this dashing Gascon to Siena; his enemies assured the king that he was (to use his own phrase) un des plus coleres hommes du monde, et le plus bisarre, and that, “considered the humours of the Sienese, it would be fire against fire.” As it turned out, his{234} dauntless heroism, his never failing high spirits (even when he lay at the point of death), his amazing harangues (for he prided himself upon his Italian, and had got up some Sienese history to serve his need), chimed in precisely with the temper of the people, and the name of the gallant Gascon general is ever to be linked with that of the glorious Italian republic, whose liberties he was to defend. The third book of his Commentaires, taken with the Diario of Alessandro Sozzini, lets us follow every phase of the siege. He found, he tells us, that “the Sienese were stark mad of fighting, and I do believe, fighting for their liberty, would have played the devils.” The heroic devotion of the ladies of the city—to whose prayers he professed to owe his recovery from sickness—especially moved his enthusiasm:—

“It shall never be, you Ladies of Siena, that I will not immortalise your names so long as the Book of Montluc shall live; for in truth you are worthy of immortal praise, if ever women were. At the beginning of the noble resolution these people took to defend their liberty, all the ladies of Siena divided themselves into three squadrons; the first led by Signora Forteguerra, who was herself clad in violet, as also those of her train, her attire being cut in the fashion of a Nymph, short, and discovering her buskins; the second was the Signora Piccolomini, attired in carnation satin, and her troop in the same livery; the third was the Signora Livia Fausta, apparelled all in white, as also her train, with her white ensign. In their ensigns they had very fine devices, which I would give a good deal I could remember. These three squadrons consisted of three thousand ladies, gentlewomen and citizens; their arms were picks, shovels, baskets and bavins; and in this equipage they made their muster, and went to begin the fortifications. Monsieur de Termes, who has often told me this story (for I was not then arrived at Siena), has assured me that in his{235} life he never saw so fine a sight. I have since seen their ensigns, and they had composed a song to the honour of France, for which I wish I had given the best horse I have that I might insert it here.”[126]

This first comparatively bright and hopeful phase of the struggle ended with the summer. Piero Strozzi with the flower of the French army retreated from the city, hoping to make a diversion, to unite with reinforcements that he expected, to carry the war into Florentine territory. At the beginning of August he came to a pitched battle with Marignano’s forces, on the hills of Scannagalli near Marciano in the Valdichiana. Over his army, together with the golden lilies of France, there floated a green banner with the Dantesque text: Libertà vo cercando, “I go seeking Liberty.” Under a blazing sun, Swiss and Frenchmen, Spaniards, Germans and Italians, dashed together in a terrible melée; but the victory on the part of Spain and the Empire was complete and crushing. Four thousand men of Strozzi’s army are said to have been killed. The hospitals of Siena were filled to overflowing with the wounded, who made their way in from the scene of disaster; while the rest limped slowly along the streets or lay about in the squares, utterly broken in spirit, wailing for aid. No one who beheld this piteous spectacle, says Sozzini, “could have possibly kept back his tears, even if he had had a heart of hardest stone.” It was said that the defeat had been caused by the treachery of a French ancient—though Montluc will not assert this—and Strozzi, while he lay helpless with his wounds at Montalcino, got the man into his hands, extorted a confession by torture, and executed him together with one of his own officers to whom he ascribed his overthrow.

The doom of Siena was now sealed. The imperialists{236} drew their lines closer and closer round the city, while the heroism of Montluc and of the Sienese themselves prolonged the resistance for eight months. There were the usual attempts to storm Heaven on behalf of the Republic. The “Madonna delle Grazie” was carried through the city preceded by three hundred little girls, white-robed and barefooted, crying: Christe audi nos! And then procession was made with the wooden Crucifix of the Duomo, said to have been that carried by the victors of Montaperti, with all the children of the Spedale and a thousand young maidens of the city walking in front, followed by the Disciplinati of Our Lady, all the friars and clergy, and, after the Crucifix, a great multitude of men and women. Then it was decreed that the “useless mouths,” le bocche disutili, should be expelled from the city; and these sweet voices of the children grew silent. Four officials specially appointed, the Quattro sopra le bocche disutili, on September 22nd at nightfall, drove out more than a thousand men, women and children, weeping with sorrow and terror. Then Piero Strozzi, who had temporarily returned to Siena with the Archbishop and others, bade the Rector of the Spedale expel 700 more, in order that the soldiers might make use of the supply of grain that the Spedale possessed, an escort being promised to guard them out of danger. On October 5th, 250 little children, from six to ten years old, mostly in litters, with a number of men and women, passed out of the Porta Fontebranda, escorted by four companies of soldiers. They fell into an ambuscade, a number of them were slaughtered and the rest driven back towards the city. “And next morning they were all outside Porta Fontebranda (at the place where the annual market of the pigs is held), all lying on the ground with the greatest cries and lamentations. It was the most pitiful sight to see these little despoiled children, wounded and beaten, lying on the ground, and would{237}






have made a Nero weep. And I would have payed twenty-five scudi not to have seen them; for, for three days, I could neither eat nor drink anything that did me good.”[127] The Rector of the Spedale resigned his post, rather than be a party to any further cruelty of this kind. A few weeks later, a number of the elder children, from ten to fifteen years old, were sent out openly in the daytime without any escort, under the impression that the enemy would let them pass. They went out by the Porta Pispini, tutti piangendo, and came back at midday, stripped to their shirts, “and returning to the Spedale two and two, as in procession, they moved the folk to such compassion that many wept.”[128] Presently they were reduced to wandering through the city, knocking at the doors of those who had been wealthy, begging for a morsel of bread. But all this was mercy itself, compared to the fate of the bocche disutili later, and compared to what was done elsewhere. At Turrita, in the contado, a band of Germans in the Florentine pay crucified an old woman, under circumstances of appalling atrocity, for cursing the Duke of Florence and for crying Lupa, Lupa, when they bade her shout Duca.

Piero Strozzi now left Siena to its fate, in a vain hope of collecting reinforcements elsewhere. The Archbishop Francesco Bandini, Enea Piccolomini and others broke through the Spanish lines, and escaped to Montalcino. Montluc was made Dictator. Too long would it take to tell here in full detail the whole story of protracted heroism; the incessant bombardment; the assaults repulsed time after time; the gallant sallies of the besieged; the games that they still played at intervals in the Campo—interrupted by the sudden call to arms—at one of which, a vigorous giuoco delle pugna, Montluc wept for mingled joy and pity at their valour. The ladies of Siena—now laying{240} aside the sportive spirit and gay dresses in which they had at first worked—laboured again on the fortifications, and in destroying the buildings, where these encumbered the movements of the soldiers; especially at the Porta Ovile, which had become the most dangerous place in the city, since the Marchese had planted artillery upon the hill between it and the Osservanza. At last the brave German mercenaries of France grew impatient at the lack of bread and wine, and Montluc sent them out of the city, to join the flying army that Strozzi was supposed to be raising. Once more all the bocche disutili were expelled—but this time there was no mercy shown them by friend or foe.

“The list of these useless mouths,” writes Montluc, “I do assure you amounted to four thousand and four hundred people, or more, which of all the miseries and desolations that I have ever seen was the greatest my eyes ever yet beheld, or that I believe I shall ever see again; for the master was thereby necessitated to part with his servant, who had served him long, the mistress with her maid, besides an infinite number of poor people, who only lived by the sweat of their brows; which weeping and desolation continued for three days together; and these poor wretches were to go through the Enemy, who still beat them back again towards the City, the whole camp continuing night and day in arms to that only end; so that they drove them up to the very foot of the walls, that they might the sooner consume the little bread we had left, and to see if the City out of compassion to those miserable creatures would revolt. But that prevailed nothing, though they lay eight days in this condition, where they had nothing to eat but herbs and grass, and above the one half of them perished, for the Enemy killed them, and very few{241} escaped away. There were a great many maids and handsome women, indeed, who found means to escape, the Spaniards by night stealing them into their quarters, for their own provision; but it was unknown to the Marquis, for it had otherwise been death; and some strong and vigorous men also forced their way, and escaped by night. But all those did not amount to the fourth part, and all the rest miserably perished.”

Even more horrible is the description given by Scipione Bargagli of the fate of these hapless victims, inclosed between the walls of their countrymen and the trenches of the foe, their bodies devoured by the birds and starving dogs, who frequently returned to the city with the skulls or bones.[129]

Treachery failed to induce a surrender, but the agony of the city had become unendurable. When March came, there was not a drop of wine left in Siena; all the horses but two, all the mules and asses and rats, had been eaten; it was necessary to make costly sallies in order that the women and children might pick grass and herbs outside the walls. The ladies could no longer be recognised by their features. People fell dead in the streets, and the trenches were brought up to the very gates. But the imperial army had begun to suffer too, and there was nothing on the ground for the horses to eat, from Montalcino to Siena and from Siena to Florence.

An appeal to the Pope failed. Although Julius III. was Sienese on his mother’s side, he coldly recommended an unconditional surrender to the Caesarian Majesty.{242} Once more the city was solemnly offered up to the Madonna; there were wild, useless appeals to Venice and the Duke of Ferrara to interpose. Then, no help being forthcoming from heaven or earth, the starving Sienese capitulated to the Emperor through the Duke of Florence, in April 1555. On April 21st the French marched out of the Porta Romana, Montluc receiving a well-deserved ovation from the enemy. With them went a number of Florentine exiles and others, “exiles and rebels to the State of the Emperor, the King of England (who was King Philip) and the Duke of Florence”; for Montluc had insisted upon a clause in their favour being inserted into the capitulation, and the Marchese di Marignano himself had no desire of glutting the Medicean headsman with more blood. With them went a number of Sienese headed by Mario Bandini (the last Captain of the People in free Siena), Fabio Spannocchi, who was one of the Priors, and Giulio Vieri, one of the three Gonfalonieri. These were about 800 in all, men, women and children; the old women and some of the children went on carriage mules, which Marignano had provided at Montluc’s request, the rest tramping wearily on foot. The Spaniards had some pity, and succoured them with food on the way. “I had seen a sad parting,” writes Montluc, “at the turning out the useless mouths; but I saw as sad a one at the separation of those who went out with us and those who remained behind. In my life I never saw so sad a farewell; so that although our soldiers had in their own persons suffered to the last extremes, yet did they infinitely regret this woful parting, and that they had not the power to defend the liberty of these people, and I more than all the rest, who could not without tears behold this misery and desolation of a people, who had manifested themselves so devout for the conservation of their liberty and honour.”

Then, suddenly, all the bells of the churches and{243} towers began to ring. The imperialists—Spaniards, Italians, Germans—marched in by the same gate. They entered quietly and in an orderly fashion, but made a great shouting and uproar when they reached the Campo. Surrounded by a splendidly equipped guard of German halberdiers, the Marchese di Marignano rode to the Duomo and had the Mass of the Holy Spirit solemnly sung. But the choristers broke down in sobs and tears, and the lamentations of the people drowned the music. Vast supplies of provisions, brought from Florence, appeared in the Campo; white bread and wine, grain, fresh and salt meat, and eggs. The starving Sienese, rushing to buy, instantly swept the piazza clear of these provisions, like the advent of a sudden whirlwind.

For some while the ultimate fate of the once mighty Republic hung in doubt. Cosimo had conquered as the lieutenant of the Emperor, and the latter first invested his own son, Philip II. of Spain, with Siena and its dominion as a vacant fief of the Empire. Philip ruled it for two years by means of the tyrannical Cardinal of Burgos, who, in defiance of the articles of the capitulation, began to build a fortress and filled the prisons with suspected persons. There was even some talk of ceding the Sienese State to Pope Paul IV., that he might invest his nephews, the Caraffa, with it. But at length Cosimo de’ Medici had his will, and in July 1557, he obtained from Philip the investiture of Siena, its city and dominion, to be held as a fief from the King of Spain. But the Spanish monarch reserved to himself the seaboard of the late Republic—including Talamone, Orbetello, Port’ Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano—which henceforth, until the eighteenth century, formed what were known as the Spanish Praesidia.[130]


But Montalcino still held out under French protection. Mario Bandini had carried off the public seals; and, although he sent these back after he had copied them, the Sienese in Montalcino, declaring that ubi cives, ibi patria, still represented the old Republic of Siena, coined money, and for some time kept a large portion of the Sienese State in obedience to them and France. Mario Bandini died there in 1558; that other hero of the last days of the Republic, Enea Piccolomini, had died a month before the capitulation of Siena itself. At length, the treaty of Câteau Cambresis, which decided the fate of Italy, decided the destinies of Montalcino as well. The heroic little Republic sent two ambassadors to Cambresis, Bernardino Buoninsegni and Annibale Buonsignori, pleading either for liberty or for the rule of France. That failing, they capitulated in August 1559, to Spain and Cosimo upon honourable terms, and the Republic of Siena was a thing of the past.

Remains of a Mural Tower

Remains of a Mural Tower

In 1561 Cosimo, Duke of Florence and Siena (he did not become Grand Duke until 1570), made his triumphant entry into Siena. Henceforth he ruled the city by means of a lieutenant-general and a Balìa appointed by himself; the other forms of republican government were preserved, as the Duke was anxious to{245} attract back to Siena those whom Spanish brutality had driven away, but with hardly the shadow of any political authority. The great grand-ducal citadel of Santa Barbara, now that most pleasant of lounging-places at sunset, tells its own story.

Deprived of liberty and independence, without even the showy compensation of the presence of a Court, Siena became a kind of glorified provincial city. The energies of nobles and people alike manifested themselves in the numerous academies for which the Sienese were always famous, in the wild sports of the contrade, in the social and literary gatherings, veglie and trattenimenti, which became proverbial throughout Italy.

For the rest, Siena followed the fortunes of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and shared in the great national awakening of Italy that our own days have seen.{246}


Through the City of the Virgin

AT the famous Croce del Travaglio, where the Bohemian Caesar learned to respect the might of a free people and Giovanni Martinozzi routed the hireling soldiery of the last of the Petrucci, the three chief streets of Siena lead off into the three Terzi: the Via Cavour into the Terzo di Camollia, the Via Ricasoli into the Terzo di San Martino, the Via di Città into the Terzo di Città.

“In every good city,” so runs a report of a commission of the Council of the People in 1398, “provision is made for the adornment and improvement of the city. And you have this your piazza of the Campo which is the most beautiful that exists, and you had that ornament of the Strada de’ Banchi which began at the piazza of the Tolomei and came down as far as Porta Salaia, such that, neither in Venice nor in Florence nor in any other town in this country, was there a more beautiful street. Now it is spoilt; for shoemakers and tailors have returned to it, and it is spoilt. Let therefore our Signori choose four citizens, who shall have to embellish it, so that the bankers shall be together in one part of it, the drapers and goldsmiths in another, the furriers and armourers in another, and that within these limits no other trades can be exercised save those that shall be ordained by these four.”[131] During the{247} fifteenth century, there was a regular magistracy of three citizens elected annually to have the full authority of the General Council in all matters pertaining to the adorning of the city; they were called the Ufficiali sopra l’ornato, and were even empowered to force people to sell houses and sites, when these, from jealousy or other motives, were preventing wealthy citizens from building goodly palaces, bellissimi casamenti—“the which thing causes shame and damage to the city.”[132]

The street referred to in the above document now includes the first sections of the Via Cavour and Via di Città, and is the most animated part of Siena. Turning up the Via di Città, we have on our left the Loggia di Mercanzia, the meeting-place of the merchants of the Republic, the centre of the commercial life of the city in the fifteenth century, which afterwards became the Casino de’ Nobili. It was designed by Sano di Matteo in 1416, and mainly executed about 1438 by Pietro del Minella, in a style (like that of the Loggia dei Lanzi at Florence) intermediate between Gothic and Renaissance. Of the saints on the façade, St Peter and St Paul are by Vecchietta, Victor, Ansanus and Savinus by Antonio Federighi; the two marble seats, to right and left, are by Federighi and Il Marrina respectively. On the right, past the meeting-place of the Accademia de’ Rozzi (an institution dating from the early part of the Cinquecento), under a kind of colonnade begin the curious Via dei Beccari, the street of the butchers, with the oxhead of their guild prominently displayed (becoming presently the most picturesque of Siena’s old streets, the Via della Galluzza), and the long Via Fontebranda. Then, on the left, the Costa dei Barbieri leads down into the Campo; here in old times was the Porta Salaia, the name of which is still preserved in the Vicolo di Macta Salaia, a little{248} further on. Guarding the Costa is a fine old tower, called of the “Sette Seghinelle,” with various armorial bearings; opposite it, on the right side of the Via di Città, the Podestà lived, before the building of the present Palazzo Comunale.

Opposite the Costa, the Via dei Pellegrini leads off to the Baptistery. On the right is the Palazzo Bindi Sergardi, with ceiling frescoes by Beccafumi, which were greatly admired in their day, and gained for him the commission to decorate similarly the Sala di Concistoro. On the left, at the foot of the Baptistery, is the famous Palace of the Magnifico, built for Pandolfo Petrucci in the early years of the Cinquecento from the design of Giacomo Cozzarelli, who also cast the splendid metal work on the exterior. The arms of the Petrucci are still to be seen under what was the chief entrance, but the lower part of the palace is very squalid now. Of the frescoes that Luca Signorelli, Girolamo Genga and Bernardino Pinturicchio painted for the Magnifico, there now remains nothing but a few fragments in one room, doubtfully ascribed to the last-named master. Hardly can we now conjure up in imagination the days when Machiavelli, coming here as ambassador of the Signoria of Florence, found Pandolfo after dinner surrounded by the chief men of his faction, whom he had invited to talk over the matter, or when Borghese gathered together all the loveliest women of Siena at a banquet to do honour to the younger Lorenzo de’ Medici.

From the Costa de’ Barbieri, the Via di Città leads up into the very heart of old Siena—the Castello Vecchio. On the left is the Palazzo Saracini, a Gothic palace of the thirteenth century completely restored, which came into the possession of the Saracini—whose Saracen’s head and eagle adorn the façade—at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In the olden days it was the Palazzo Marescotti, and the tower that we see, if not in






all respects the same, undoubtedly stands upon the site of the one from which Cerreto Ceccolini announced the varying fortunes of the battle of Montaperti. In the courtyard is a statue of Pope Julius III. (1550-1555), Giovanni Maria del Monte, whose mother belonged to the house of the Saracini. The palace contains a large collection of pictures in a long series of rooms. A few only are of importance. Here are several pictures by Beccafumi, conspicuous among which is a large altarpiece, curiously imitating the style of Fra Bartolommeo’s stately creations in this kind and representing the Sposalizio of St Catherine of Siena, in the presence of St Peter and St Paul and other Saints. It was originally in Santo Spirito. “This work,” says Vasari, “which was executed with much judgment and design, gained for him great honour.” Here is also what is said to be the first sketch of Beccafumi’s Nativity in San Martino. There are two characteristic Madonnas by Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi. Andrea del Brescianino is represented by a Holy Family, two exceedingly beautiful tondi very much above his usual level, and a small painted shrine. An attractive Florentine portrait of a golden-haired girl in a red dress, with the attributes of St Catherine of Alexandria, shown as a Botticelli, is ascribed by Mr Berenson to Sebastiano Mainardi, the painter of San Gimignano. The earlier works by Giovanni di Paolo, Sassetta and others, are mostly unimportant. There is an excellent modern picture by Amos Cassioli representing the visit of Galeazzo Maria Sforza to Lorenzo de’ Medici in 1471. In one of the rooms of the palace there is a small Madonna, much repainted, by Sano di Pietro.

On the right is the Palazzo Piccolomini “delle Papesse,” adorned with the arms of the Piccolomini and now occupied by the Banca d’Italia, begun in 1460 by the sister of Pope Pius II., Caterina Piccolomini, who in{252} the October of that year petitioned the Signoria for exemption from the Gabella for the various stones and marbles required, on the grounds that “the said Madonna Caterina intends and wishes to make the said house in the most noble fashion and with great cost, to the honour of this magnificent city and of your Magnificences and lofty Lordships.”[133] In style it shows a peculiar harmonising of the Sienese Gothic with the domestic architecture of the Florentine Quattrocento. The façade is an effective combination of a rusticated basement with smooth grey stone above. The original designer was probably Bernardino Rossellino, the Florentine master whom Pius was employing at Pienza, the actual architects Antonio Federighi and Urbano da Cortona. The work was interrupted in 1472, owing to Madonna Caterina’s lack of means, and finished in 1595 by the Archbishop Ascanio Piccolomini. In the days of this latter genial prelate the palace was a great centre for social gatherings, “to hearken to gracious discussions, judicious discourses, and also disputations touching every noble matter.”[134]

Beyond the Palazzo delle Papesse is the Palazzo Marsili, a Gothic edifice in red brick—one of the oldest in Siena, but practically rebuilt by Luca di Bartolo in the middle of the fifteenth century. Between these two, the Via del Castoro leads up through the abandoned façade into the Piazza del Duomo. In the days when it was proposed to build the new Cathedral, the Palazzo delle Papesse naturally did not exist, and in its place there would have been a piazza with the chief approach to the Duomo. At the end of the Via di Città is the{253} grey tower, half stone and half brick, of the Forteguerri de’ Grandi, one of the oldest noble families of Siena, which was originally connected by a bridge with the palace opposite, which was also of the Forteguerri (later one of the numerous palaces of the Piccolomini). It was here that Niccolò Borghesi was murdered in June, 1500. He was returning from Mass at the Duomo with several armed servants—for he had been warned that Pandolfo was meditating violence—and passing down the Via del Capitano, when Pandolfo’s emissaries set upon him, killed his servants on the spot, and left him with just enough life to crawl to the foot of the tower, where he was taken into the house of Giovanni Borghesi, to die with that harmonious blending of the devout Christian and the Stoic philosopher that had characterised him throughout.

The Via di Città ends in the Piazza di Postierla, whence the Via del Capitano, Via Stalloreggi, and Via di San Pietro diverge. There is a “Lupa” of the Quattrocento in the square, with a banner-holder in the fine metal-work of the same epoch. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the Postierla was a favourite resort of the Sienese nobility, one of the most fashionable places in the city. During the siege, the four ladies of Scipione Bargagli’s Trattenimenti—Clarice, Celia, Olinda and Clizia—met in Clarice’s house, which was one of those with windows that looked out upon the Postierla. They were “all certainly as young and pleasing, as they were clever and honest”; and, it being the Sunday of the Carnival, they resolved, in spite of the cruel enemies of the Republic, to keep the three days of the Carnival, as Clarice suggested, “with some form of pleasant and gentle conversation, according to what will be most agreeable to us all.” But men were needed to make the plan a success. “Indeed,” said Celia, “our delight, however great, would not have its savour unless{254} the presence, at once grave and sweet, of a man brought its condiment to it.” And at that moment there appeared five young men of the city, coming up the street, of course as wise and admirable as they were rich and noble. “In these ardent youths, neither hardships nor loss of means, nor of parents or friends, nor the danger that hung over themselves, had ever been able to cool, much less quench, that quick amorous fire wherewith they, without any fuel, bore their breasts inflamed.” At this sudden apparition the ladies gave devout thanks to Heaven in their hearts, and the bella ragunanza was complete.

On the right of the Postierla is the handsome palace built by the Chigi in the latter part of the Cinquecento. In the Via del Capitano, on the left, is the palace where the Capitano della Guerra or Senatore resided, during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.[135] Under its battlements runs a series of coats of arms of these captains or senators, among which the student of Dante will recognise the Lion of the Ordelaffi and the Column of the Colonna. The palace has been completely restored. The cortile, with a staircase guarded by the Lion of the People, somewhat resembles—on a smaller scale—the Palazzo del Podestà at Florence. The palace (which now belongs to the Count Piccolomini della Triana, as the arms on the shield which the Lion holds indicate) was sold by the Republic in the fifteenth century to Tommaso Pecci, one of the leaders of the Noveschi. In his days it was a centre of gay courtly life, and when distinguished visitors, especially those of the gentle sex, passed through Siena, they were usually entertained by the Republic in this palace. That noblest of ladies of the Renaissance, Eleonora of Aragon (the sister of Duke Alfonso of Calabria), on her way to Ferrara to become the wife of{255}






Ercole d’Este, stayed here for four days in June 1473. On Sunday, writes Allegretto, “the Commune of Siena, or rather the Signoria, arranged a most beauteous dance before the house of Tommaso Pecci in the street, and all the fair ladies and girls of Siena were invited. And my wife either lost there or had stolen from her a goodly knife, ornamented in silver, which cost me eighteen lire the pair. And in the street there was arranged a great vat of forty measures, divided in half, and a column in the middle upon which were a lion and a wolf, so that the lion threw white wine on one side of the vat and the wolf threw red wine on the other side, and a fountain in the midst between the lion and the wolf threw water. And in the vat stood always silver cups, in order that every one could drink. At the Loggia of the Officers of the Mercanzia, ninety-eight couples of ladies assembled and went to the dance in order, accompanied by as many youths, and in front of the house they danced until nightfall, when there was made a rich and fine collation of all kinds of confectionery.”[136]

Opposite the Palazzo del Capitano, at the corner of the street and the Piazza del Duomo, is the Palazzo Reale, which Bernardo Buontalenti built at the end of the sixteenth century for the Medicean Grand Dukes of Tuscany. In part, it occupies the site of the palace of Giacoppo Petrucci in which his cruel and tyrannical son, the Cardinal Raffaello, resided. Raffaello left it to his nephew, Anton Maria Petrucci. It was here that the Emperor was lodged in 1536; from here Granvelle and Sfondrato made their “buonissima riforma” of the State, and afterwards the Cardinal Ippolito d’Este with his guard of Switzers.

In the Via di San Pietro is the great red brick Palazzo Buonsignori, with a richly ornamented façade, one of the finest private palaces in Siena in the Gothic style. It{258} was originally built in the fourteenth century, but has a fine court and stairway of the Quattrocento. Between it and the steps to the church is a small Gothic palace of the thirteenth century (completely restored), known as the Casa della Pia. This was the house of Count Nello de’ Pannocchieschi, whose fair fame (in spite of painters and novelists) recent research has cleared from the imputation of his having been the husband—and therefore the murderer—of La Pia, that hapless lady whom Siena made and Maremma unmade, whom the divine poet met among the dim shades of those who died a violent death.[137] San Pietro alle Scale, the parish church of San Pietro in Castelvecchio, is a structure of the thirteenth century, with a modernised façade and interior. There are two small tondi by Sano di Pietro, representing the Archangel Gabriel and Santa Lucia, in the sacristy. The picture over the high altar, the Repose on the Flight into Egypt with a handsome swarthy Madonna, is a decidedly meritorious work by Rutilio Manetti. At the end of the Via di San Pietro the Porta dell’Arco leads out beyond the older circuit of walls which represented the limits of the city proper, until the Nine inclosed the suburb in the still standing walls of the fourteenth century.

The Via Stalloreggi is the continuation of the Via di Città as the Via di San Pietro is of the Via del Capitano. Inclosed by the two, bounded outside by the Via delle Cerchia and the Via Baldassare Peruzzi, is the oldest part of the city. At the corner of the Via di Castelvecchio in the Via Stalloreggi, at a house once belonging to one of the Marescotti, is a fresco by Bazzi, “where a dead Christ, who is in the lap of His Mother, hath a marvellous grace and divinity.”[138] The Via di Castelvecchio intersects this oldest part of Siena. It is a tall, narrow winding street, in parts squalid, but with here and{259}






there a sudden glimpse of a rose garden, or a fig tree in a little cortile bending its branches over the way. In the less picturesque Via San Quirico is the church of San Quirico, perhaps the oldest in Siena, but now modernised. By the side of it, an irritating piece of wall cuts off what should be a superb view of the Duomo. In the same street are the remains of the little church of Sant’ Ansano in Castelvecchio, which was possibly the first baptistery of Siena and of which there is documentary evidence as far back as the year 881.[139] Near it stands an old tower, the Rocchetta, which is probably the only remnant of the first castle and certainly the most venerable piece of masonry left in Siena; according to the legend, it was here that St Ansanus himself was imprisoned by the Roman governor before his martyrdom. In the Via delle Murelle (now Via Tommaso Pendola) is the chapel of the Contrada della Tartuca. This part of Siena is rich in charitable institutions. On either side of the street is a great institute for the Deaf and Dumb, and in the refectory of an old convent of the Poor Clares (now the female side of the Institute) the Sisters of Charity show you a beautiful fresco of the Last Supper with scenes from the Passion above. It appears to be the work of some Sienese master of the latter part of the Quattrocento, who had, perhaps, seen Andrea del Castagno’s rendering of the same theme in Santa Appollonia at Florence. The last house in the Via Stalloreggi, on the left, is the one in which Duccio painted his glorious masterpiece, and it was hither that the procession came, to take it in triumph to its place beneath the cupola of the Duomo. Then we pass out of the old city, under the Arco delle due Porte, into the Piazza del Carmine, now a part of the Via Baldassare Peruzzi.

The present church and convent of Santa Maria del Carmine were built early in the sixteenth century,{262} possibly from Peruzzi’s designs; the cloisters are particularly graceful. The convent itself is of very ancient origin, and in the further cloister is the famous Pozzo della Diana—which, however, may possibly have no connection, save by name, with Dante’s cut at the vain hopes and foolish expenditure of the Sienese.[140] The church contains some good pictures: the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin by Bazzi; the Ascension of Christ by Pacchiarotti; the Adoration of the Shepherds, begun by Il Riccio and finished by Arcangiolo Salimbeni. But finer than any of these is Beccafumi’s St Michael casting down the rebellious Angels, over the altar opposite the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, a work of much beauty and great imaginative power, enthusiastically—but hardly excessively—praised by Vasari. Baldassare Peruzzi, Messer Giorgio tells us, was never tired of praising it; “and one day that I saw it with him, uncovered, as I was passing through Siena, I was struck dumb with admiration.” The sacristy contains a statue of St Sigismund, ascribed to Giacomo Cozzarelli. The Palazzo Celsi opposite is ascribed to Peruzzi and contains three ceiling paintings attributed to him, ruined by repainting.

From the Via Baldassare Peruzzi, the Via della Diana and the Via di San Marco lead to the most picturesquely placed of Sienese gates—the Porta San Marco, outside which is a pleasant and shady piazzale with a view over the sweeping country to the distant hills, the Monastery of Sant’ Eugenio standing out conspicuously on its eminence in the foreground. The picturesque Via delle Sperandie leads to the same gate, past a large abandoned convent—the cloisters of which have been deserted even by the{263}






soldiers, a frescoed Crucifixion alone remaining to show that it was once a religious place.

The Via delle Cerchia, skirting the older circuit of walls, brings us to the piazza and church of Sant’ Agostino, an ancient edifice completely modernised in the eighteenth century. Over the second altar on the right is the Crucifixion, a late work by Perugino, with a number of saints and the Madonna at the foot of the Cross; the group of St Augustine kneeling, with St Monica standing behind him, is finely conceived. The chapel of the Blessed Sacrament is the chapel of the Piccolomini; the decorations of the altar were undertaken by the Archbishop Ascanio Piccolomini in 1596, “for the worship of God Almighty and the honour of his own family.” The altarpiece, Bazzi’s Adoration of the Magi, in spite of the blackening of the shadows and the overcrowding of the figures, is an exceedingly fine work, thoroughly Lombard in composition and feeling, the beautiful young King on the right curiously recalling Luini’s types; “there is,” says Vasari, “a head of a shepherd between two trees, which seems verily alive,” and which is said to be the painter’s own portrait. The picture was painted for two of the Arduini family, and the name and arms of the Archbishop Ascanio are obviously a later addition. On the left is a marble statue of Pius II. by Duprè, and on the right the Massacre of the Innocents by Matteo di Giovanni. This latter picture shows sufficient dramatic energy and sense of beauty to make us wish that these were displayed upon a less horrible subject. The groups of unconcerned children and the classical bas-reliefs remind us of Matteo’s admirable work upon the pavement of the Duomo, but the king and soldiers are mere hideous caricatures. In the choir is a picture in three divisions—a work in which Mr Berenson calls attention to the “extraordinary grace of motion and beauty of line”—{266}by Simone Martini, representing the blessed Agostino Novello (a courtier of King Manfred, who became a hermit) and four scenes of his miracles. The later Sienese school is fairly well represented by a Way to Calvary by Ventura Salimbeni, and a curious picture (on the last altar to the left of the choir) by Rutilio Manetti, representing the Temptation of St Antony. Beyond Sant’ Agostino is the Porta Tufi, so often mentioned in the story of Siena, outside which, on the site of the present Cimitero della Misericordia, was the famous convent of the Olivetani where Bernardo Tolomei died.

From the piazza, the Via Sant’ Agata leads down to the church of San Giuseppe, where, under a picturesque arch, we re-enter the older circle of walls by the Via Giovanni Duprè, in which the house is shown where Siena’s great modern sculptor was born.

Perhaps the most characteristic street of the Terzo di Città is the Via del Casato, or more simply the Casato, which, running a winding course, joins the Via di San Pietro with the Campo. This was once the most aristocratic street in Siena, where the nobles and wealthy Noveschi surrounded themselves with armed retainers and gave those sumptuous entertainments that were a feature in the social life of the “soft” city. There are still old palaces on either side; steep vicoli wind and radiate off from it, with sudden glimpses beyond of distant hills and towers. Where the present Palazzo Ugurghieri stands, and down the steep vicoli on either side, was once the palatial castle of the proud old house of the Ugurghieri, who, Lombard or Frank in origin, were descended from the Counts who in the ninth and tenth centuries governed Siena.

Crossing the Campo, we enter the Terzo di San Martino at the Porrione, as the opening of the Via San Martino was called—a point of strategical importance in{267}

Via della Fonte

Via della Fonte

the furious factions of mediaeval Siena. At the corner of the Via Rinaldini (originally the Chiasso Largo, the street of the silk merchants) is the superb grey Palazzo Todeschini Piccolomini, the Palazzo de’ Papeschi, as it was called, now the Palazzo del Governo, adorned with the arms of the Piccolomini and the Todeschini. It was built for the nephews of Pius II., the sons of Nanni Todeschini, by the Sienese architect, Pietro Paolo Porrini called Il Porrina, and begun in 1469; the Ufficiali sopra l’Ornato, on October 28th of that year, reporting to the Signoria that “the Palace begun by the Respectability of Messer Giacomo and Messer Andrea Piccolomini, will be a marvellous work and a most worthy ornament in your city, according to the intention and design of their Respectability.”[141] The stone work,{268} within and without, was for the most part carved by Lorenzo di Mariano. This palace now contains the Archivio di Stato of Siena; to do justice to its multifold interest, a book would be required larger than the present volume. In the Sala della Mostra a number of documents of all kinds are exhibited, illustrating Sienese life and politics from the year 736 downwards, including a whole series of Imperial diplomas from Louis the Pius in 813 to Charles V. in 1536. Here we may read, on the very parchment on which they were written, the letter from the Commune of Florence to that of Siena concerning the massacre of Cesena; the bull of Pius II., with a postscript in his own hand, exhorting the Sienese to admit the nobles to the government; Giovanni Torriani, general of the Dominicans, announcing his intention of sending Frate Girolamo Savonarola to Siena to reform the convent of Santo Spirito; or Cesare Borgia’s ferocious threats of destruction from Pienza.[142] There are special series of autographs of famous ladies and of soldiers of fortune, as also of artistic documents, such as the agreement between Frate Melano, Operaio of the Duomo, and Maestro Niccolò Pisano for the work of the pulpit (Sept. 29th, 1266), and the assignment of the tavola of the high altar to Duccio di Buoninsegna (Oct. 9th, 1308). Here, too, are shown the documents of the last days of the once mighty Republic—“Il Governo della Difesa della Libertà Senese ritirato in Montalcino”—down to the surrender of that last stronghold of Sienese liberty. There is, further, a whole collection—of the utmost{269} interest to students of Dante—of documents illustrating the Divina Commedia, with the Will, testamento, of Messer Giovanni Boccaccio of Certaldo.

Even more interesting than these, and absolutely unique of its kind, is the collection of Tavolette dipinte della Biccherna e della Gabella, the painted covers of the Treasury Registers of the Republic of Siena, which “offer a true museum of exquisite paintings, which is likewise a history of national sentiment [del sentimento cittadino], from Don Ugo, monk of San Galgano, seated at his desk of the Biccherna to regulate accounts and taxes with the feudatories, to the allegory of the sufferings endured during the last, heroical siege.”[143] The officers of the Biccherna—Camarlingo and four Provveditori—administered the revenues of the State; the officers of the Gabella—Camarlingo and three, afterwards four, Esecutori—were mainly concerned with the collection of taxes. Every six months a fresh set of Provveditori and Esecutori came in, fresh registers were begun, and at the end of the year the retiring Camarlinghi of Biccherna and Gabella (and sometimes the other officials) had the covers of the books of their term of office painted with their arms and those of their colleagues, and with either their portraits or some religious or allegorical device, or with the representation of one of the chief political events of the past year. This lasted until long after the fall of the Republic; but by that time the old book covers had been replaced by regular pictures, but still, to show their origin, marked with the arms of the Camarlinghi and their colleagues. Here I need enumerate only those tavolette or tavole that are more important, historically or artistically. For the registers{270} of the Biccherna in 1258, two years before Montaperti, we have the portrait (by Gilio di Pietro) of Don Ugo the Camarlingo, who was re-elected repeatedly, and whom we have already met in connection with the cession of Montepulciano to the Republic. Later on we frequently find the arms of the Podestà, and also the portrait of the Scrittore, or scribe, who had to make the entries as the Camarlingo dictated. For the Gabella of 1344, when the rule of the Nine was nearing the end of its triumphant course, we have the Government of Siena enthroned over the Lupa, painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti; for the Biccherna of 1385, after the fall of the Riformatori and the establishment of the new Monte del Popolo, there is a similar allegory by some later follower of the Lorenzetti, in which the citizens, bound together in the white bonds of pure concord, assemble before the Genius of the Commune. Apart from their great historical interest, many of the tavolette of the Quattrocento are little gems of Sienese painting. That of the Biccherna of 1433 represents the Coronation of the Emperor Sigismund; the Biccherna of 1436 gives us a striking St Jerome by an unknown painter; the Gabella of 1440 and 1444, St Peter of Alexandria and St Michael, both ascribed to Giovanni di Paolo. The Tavoletta di Biccherna of 1449 shows the Coronation of Pope Nicholas V.; that of 1451 represents Ghino di Pietro Bellanti washing his hands in the presence of the Blessed Virgin, to manifest his loyalty and the purity of his administration—whereas he was a traitor of the deepest dye who, five years later, was implicated in the plots to betray Siena to Piccinino and the King of Naples, and forced to fly for his life. The Tavoletta di Gabella of 1455, by an unknown artist, refers to the crusading zeal of Pope Calixtus III.; it represents the Annunciation, between St Bernard, as the preacher of the second Crusade, and the Pope himself{271} blessing the youths and maidens of Siena who took part in the processions that he ordered, to pray Heaven for the downfall of the Turk.[144] The curious design of the Biccherna of 1457, of the school of Sano di Pietro, is, according to Mr Heywood, “symbolical of the peace made between the Sienese Republic and the Count Jacopo Piccinino.” Both tavolette, of the Biccherna and of the Gabella, of 1460, are concerned with Pius II.; in the one he is crowned by two Cardinals, under the special patronage of the Madonna, while Siena is seen below guarded by her lions of the People (probably a reference to the papal attempt to restore the nobles to the government); in the other, he confers the cardinal’s hat upon his nephew, Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini; Mr Berenson ascribes the one to Il Vecchietta, the other to Francesco di Giorgio Martini. Also by Francesco di Giorgio is the Biccherna cover for 1467, representing the Madonna with Angels protecting Siena in the time of the earthquake, when the people fled from their homes into huts and tents. For the Gabella of 1468, there is a quaint allegory of Peace and War, of uncertain authorship; on the one side citizens pay in their money, and on the other the Camarlingo deals it out to the mercenaries, while genii of Peace and War hover in the air.[145] Then follow two exquisite little paintings by Sano di Pietro, the Tavolette di Gabella of 1471 and 1473, respectively representing Wisdom proceeding from God, and the marriage of Lucrezia di Agnolo Malavolti (Messer Agnolo being one of the Esecutori in 1473) to Count Roberto da San Severino, a great Lombard{272} condottiere. In 1474, also Gabella and of doubtful authorship, we have a later version of the old allegory of good government; Liberty, in the black and white of the Commune and holding the balzana, sits between the Camarlingo and the Scrittore, with the legend: “He rules who ministers well.” Until 1497 the pictures that follow all belong to the Gabella. For 1479 is the entry of the allied forces—Sienese, Neapolitans, papalini—into Colle di Val d’Elsa, an episode of the war against Florence in the days of Pope Sixtus IV. and Alfonso of Calabria; while in 1480, that year when the Duke’s intrigues against the liberties of Siena came to a head, the Madonna is seen recommending the city to her Divine Son. Both are ascribed to Francesco di Giorgio, though the latter—a singularly beautiful painting—is attributed by Mr Berenson to Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi. Specially interesting (though of less artistic importance) is the tavoletta of 1483, which represents the solemn presentation of the keys of Siena to the Madonna delle Grazie in the Duomo, when all the four Monti were reduced to one. The painter has combined in one representation two of the great events of that year, which are thus described by Allegretto Allegretti, who in the previous August had himself been admitted to the Council of the People:—

“On Saturday, March 22nd, there was held a council of all the government, and there were 256 councillors present, in which a general resolution was brought forward on the motion of Messer Bartolommeo Sozzini, who was Captain of the People, concerning the well-being of the city and to make of all the government one Monte. It was supported by many persons, and carried by 245 white beans to 11 black. Afterwards a resolution was carried to give a hundred lire in alms to churches, for prayers to God. And Messer Andrea Piccolomini moved that every year for Holy Mary of{273} March a palio should be run of the value of 50 florins. The beans were all white. He further moved that all the Council should accompany the Signori to the Duomo. And at the altar of the Madonna of the Duomo, together with the Cardinal Malfetta, they offered up prayers and rendered thanks, and the Te Deum Laudamus was sung; after which the Cardinal made one of his bishops attach to the said Madonna delle Grazie an indulgence of seven years and seven periods of forty days; and in the evening salvos were fired and bells rang a gloria.”[146]

This was after the exclusion of the Noveschi from the government, but before their expulsion from the city—after which latter event the scene represented in the tavoletta took place:—

“On the 24th day of August the old Signoria and the new, with the officers and orders of the city and with the greater part of the People, went to the Duomo and heard the High Mass, together with the Cardinal of Siena, the nephew of Pope Pius of the House of the Piccolomini. And when Mass had been said, Frate Mariano da Genazzano, of the Hermit Order of St Augustine, made a fine sermon. And when the sermon was ended, the Signoria, Cardinal, canons, and all the clergy and all the People went to the altar of the Madonna. After certain prayers, the Prior of the Signori, in the name of the magnificent Commune of Siena, offered up the keys of the City of Siena upon the altar of the said Madonna. Lorenzo d’Antonio di Ser Lorenzo was the old Captain of the People, and Andrea di Sano Batteloro was Prior, and Crescenzio di Pietro di Goro the new Captain. Then the Te Deum Laudamus was sung; and of all these things the deed was drawn up by Ser Giovanni Danielli. The Cardinal took the keys as Procurator, and in the name of Our Lady gave{274} them into the hand of the Prior of the Signori, recommending to him the city, that he should hold and govern it in the name of Our Lady, and that he should make no other contract concerning it. Then the Prior gave to each Gonfaloniere his keys.”[147]

Perhaps in the two following years, stormy and blood-stained for Siena, it was not thought safe to venture upon politics in painting; at least the tavolette of 1484 and 1485, by Guidoccio Cozzarelli, represent purely religious scenes—the Presentation of Mary in the Temple and the Sacrifice of Isaac. Then in 1487 we have an allegory (ascribed by Mr Berenson to Fungai) of the triumphant return of the Noveschi—the Sienese ship of State guided into harbour by the Madonna herself. For the Gabella of 1489 we have another political religious allegory, the officials beseeching the Madonna and Child to visit their city once more. The Tavoletta di Biccherna of 1497 represents a band of horsemen entering Siena—probably either the escort of the French ambassador or (I would suggest) the provvisionati who were hired by the Balìa in that year to support the prepotency of the Monte de’ Nove. The Tavoletta di Gabella of 1499 (perhaps by Guidoccio Cozzarelli) represents St Catherine receiving the Stigmata, and reflects the suddenly revived cult of her which was curiously noticeable—as a kind of protest against the corruption of the Curia—during the jubilee of the following year. For the Gabella of 1526 we have the splendid victory of Camollia, ascribed to Giovanni di Lorenzo Cini. For 1542—painted for the Camarlingo di Gabella, Conte del Rondina—is an allegory of the reforms attempted by Granvelle and Sfondrato. The Sienese ship of State is borne safely to port over perilous seas by a great sail (gran vela), with a leafless tree{275} (sfrondato) for mast, while her predecessor has been shattered to pieces upon the rocks.[148] The Tavola di Biccherna of 1548 is a beautiful Madonna of the school of Beccafumi. Then come four pictures of the heroic last days of the Republic, all four ascribed to Giorgio di Giovanni; for both Biccherna and Gabella of 1552, the destruction of the Citadel that Don Diego had built; for the Biccherna of 1553, the defence of Montalcino; for 1555, the last year of the free Republic, an allegory of the siege—St Paul with Siena in the background and the inscription: “All, who wish to live justly, suffer persecution.” The Medicean arms appear in a tavoletta of 1558; after which, in 1559, the Biccherna gives us the treaty of Câteau Cambresis, the Gabella the surrender of Montalcino; and in the Tavola di Biccherna of 1561 we see Cosimo de’ Medici making his entry into Siena. After this, the note is changed. We have a few tavole dealing with the efforts of Christendom to roll back the Turk (1566, 1568, 1571), and with such events of universal interest as the Reform of the Calendar or the fall of Ferrara; but, for the most part, the Camarlinghi under the new regime contented themselves with recording the domestic affairs of their Medicean masters in the spirit of a Court chronicle, or adding their tribute to the devotion to the Madonna of Provenzano.

There are also some excellent miniature paintings shown here, especially by Sano di Pietro in the Statutes of the Arte di Mercanzia, 1472, and by Niccolò di Ser Sozzo Tegliacci representing the Assumption, 1336, one of the finest miniatures of the fourteenth century.

Beyond the palace is the Piazza Piccolomini, with the Loggia del Papa that Antonio Federighi built for Pius II. in 1462, inscribed “Pius II., Supreme Pontiff,{276} to his Kinsmen the Piccolomini”—a kind of architectural glorification of discriminating nepotism. The church of San Martino, in its present form, dates from the latter part of the Cinquecento. On the right of the entrance is the votive picture of the Battle of Camollia, commissioned by the Balìa in honour of the Immaculate Conception in 1526, and painted by Giovanni di Lorenzo Cini. While the battle is raging outside the walls, Heaven opens and the Madonna appears with Angels, to protect her chosen city from papal aggression. Over the third altar on the left is a poetically conceived Nativity by Beccafumi, unfortunately much darkened, painted about 1523, with what Vasari calls un ballo di Angeli bellissimo—exquisite Angels clustering round the Divine Child, or circling ecstatically round the Mystical Dove that hovers above the ruins of the pagan world. The marble framework of the altar is by Il Marrina. The church contains also a Circumcision by Guido Reni. There was a great burning of vanities here in the piazza on June 1st, 1488, after a sermon by Fra Bernardino da Asti; false hair, dice, cards, masks and the like were heaped together, with a figure of a devil on the top, and the whole fired.

The Via di Salicotto—or more simply styled Salicotto—is the headquarters of the Contrada della Torre, the energetic rivals of the Oca. The tall ruined houses opposite the Palazzo Pubblico, the narrow viali with over-arching masonry, give it a most picturesque appearance. Here, past where the Via de’ Malcontenti runs into the Mercato, is the little church of San Giacomo, now the oratory of the Contrada. It was built in 1531, in commemoration of the great victory over the papal forces in 1526, and contains a famous miraculous picture of the Immaculate Conception—the Madonna between St James and St Christopher—painted in 1545 in honour of the same event by Giovanni di{277} Lorenzo Cini, who was also one of the operai presiding over the construction of the oratory, and had himself fought in the republican ranks on the day of battle.[149] Further on are the church and convent of San Girolamo—at present in the hands of the Sisters of Charity. In a niche in the cloister is a frescoed Assumption by Fungai. There are some good pictures in the church and sacristy, including a Madonna by Matteo di Giovanni, a St Jerome by Girolamo del Pacchia, and a Coronation of the Madonna by Sano di Pietro.

The church of the Servites, or of the Santissima Concezione, beyond the original circuit of walls, is a good early Renaissance building, raised between 1471 and 1528. From its platform, especially at sunset, there is a fine view of Siena. In the right aisle are: the much venerated Vergine del Bordone, in the Byzantine style, painted in 1261 by a certain Coppo di Marcovaldo; the Massacre of the Innocents, by Matteo di Giovanni—quieter and less violent, but also less dramatic and no more convincing than his other representations of this subject—with above it the Madonna and Child with Angels, and the two donors presented by their patron saints; and, up above Matteo’s picture, a little Nativity, by Taddeo di Bartolo. In the left aisle is the Madonna del Belvedere, painted by Giacomo di Mino del Pellicciaio in 1363, his best work; the figures on either side, St Joseph with the Divine Child holding a crown of thorns, the Magdalene with the baby Baptist, are ascribed by Mr Berenson to Fungai. By Fungai too is the Coronation of the Madonna on the high altar. In the second chapels, to right and left of the choir, are the remains, much restored, of frescoes ascribed to Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti; the Massacre of the Innocents and St Agnes, the Dance of the Daughter{278} of Herodias and the Resurrection of St John—these latter somewhat recalling Giotto’s work in Santa Croce. Over the sacristy door is the Madonna del Popolo, a lovely little picture by Lippo Memmi. In the sacristy is the Madonna del Manto, Our Lady taking the people of Siena under her protection, by Giovanni di Pietro, 1436, an otherwise almost unknown master. The Oratory of the Santissima Trinità, beyond the Servites, contains a Madonna by Neroccio Landi.

To the left of San Girolamo is the Fonte San Maurizio, at the place, just outside the older circuit of walls, where the horse and cattle markets were held before the present fourteenth century walls were built. The arch over the beginning of the Via Ricasoli, with a seventeenth century fresco, representing the Blessed Trinity with St Maurice and St Jerome, marks the place of the old gate. The Via Romana runs out hence to the Porta Romana. On the left is a somewhat ruined palace, in the style of the Florentine Quattrocento, now known as the Rifugio, built about 1474, probably by Giuliano da Maiano, for the Abbot and monks of San Galgano, whose device of the sword stuck fast in the rock is seen still on the exterior. There is a curious petition of theirs to the Signoria, dated May 31st, 1474, in which they explain that they have begun this palace, “having a desire to convert their little income to the honour and ornament of your City, and in some part to the perpetual utility of that Abbey of yours,” and that, as times are bad, they want to be exempted from the Gabella, and to have further aid from the State.[150] Further on is the great Augustinian convent of the Santuccio, in the church of which the head of San Galgano is preserved in a richly decorated reliquary. The Porta Romana, formerly the Porta Nuova, was built early in the fourteenth century by Agostino di Giovanni and Agnolo di{279}






Ventura; the frescoed Coronation of the Madonna is by Taddeo di Bartolo and Sano di Pietro; the distich in her honour was written later by Niccolò Borghesi. It is thus the same gate through which Enea Piccolomini led the French deliverers in 1552, and that witnessed these French march out in 1555, with the long line of republican exiles, and the triumphant entry of the Marchese di Marignano. A short way beyond the gate is the church of Sta. Maria degli Angioli, a building of the latter part of the Quattrocento; the altar-piece (in a rich frame by Antonio Barili), the Madonna and Child with four Saints, a lunette and predella, is signed and dated 1502, by Raffaello di Carlo, a Florentine painter, by whom there are also works in the Palazzo Corsini and Santo Spirito at Florence. In the sacristy is a standard painted with an Assumption by Riccio.

The other south-eastern gate, the Porta Pispini, has the remains of a frescoed Nativity by Bazzi. According to the legend, the name Pispini is derived from “Il Santo viene,” “the Saint cometh,”—the cry raised by the people when the relics of St Ansanus were brought to the city. Outside the gate, a little to the left, is the modernised remnant of one of the bastions erected by Baldassare Peruzzi, as architect to the Republic.

Santo Spirito, in the Via Pispini, is the chief church of the Dominicans in Siena, and its convent was one of those reformed by Savonarola. It was built about the year 1498; the cupola was designed by Giacomo Cozzarelli and built for Pandolfo Petrucci in 1508, the façade designed in 1519 by Peruzzi for Girolamo Piccolomini, Bishop of Pienza. The first chapel on the left, the Borghesi Chapel, has a glorified Madonna worshipped by St Francis and St Catherine, with child angels, and two beautiful little winged genii standing at the tomb; it is the finest of all Matteo Balducci’s works, thoroughly Umbrian in feeling. On the right is{282} the Cappella degli Spagnuoli, decorated with frescoes (circa 1530), painted in the days of the first Spanish occupation of Siena by Bazzi; the Madonna investing St Alphonso with the episcopal robes, in the presence of two radiantly beautiful virgin martyrs and Angels; St James, represented as a Spanish knight in full armour, superbly mounted, slaying Saracens; St Thomas and St Michael, St Sebastian and St Antony. The single figures are of the utmost beauty. The large terra-cotta group is by Ambrogio della Robbia. The statues of St Vincent Ferrer and St Catherine (the two followers of St Dominic who were found on opposite sides in the schism), in the second chapels, are ascribed to Giacomo Cozzarelli. The Coronation of the Madonna, over the third altar on the left, is by Girolamo del Pacchia. The Crucifixion on the entrance wall is ascribed to Sano di Pietro. There is a Coronation by Beccafumi in the sacristy, and in the cloisters a frescoed Crucifixion painted by Fra Bartolommeo’s pupil, Fra Paolino da Pistoia.

The church of San Giorgio in the Via Ricasoli is, in its present form, a work of the eighteenth century. But it occupies the site of a most ancient church, which was rebuilt in honour of the Battle of Montaperti; its curious campanile, best seen from below the walls, still dates from 1260, and its windows are supposed to represent the different companies of the Sienese who took part in the battle. Near the house of the liberal theological thinkers of the Cinquecento, Lelio and Fausto Sozzini (the founders of the Socinians), which was afterwards a palace of the Malavolti, the Via di Follonica leads to the church of San Giovanni Battista in Pantaneto, which possesses a terra-cotta statue of the Baptist, ascribed to Giacomo Cozzarelli, and several pictures of scenes from his life by Rutilio Manetti. Lower down to the right is one of Siena’s characteristic mediaeval fountains, the Fonte di Follonica, probably constructed in the early{283} years of the thirteenth century. Opposite the Palazzo del Governo, is the Studio, the famous and still flourishing University of Siena. It contains a characteristically Sienese sepulchral monument of the later Trecento, representing the professor, Niccolò Aringhieri, lecturing to his pupils. In the Via Sallustio Bandini is the graceful brick palace that Francesco di Giorgio built for Messer Sallustio, the father of Mario and Francesco, and ancestor of the celebrated man of science. On the left are the remains of one of the castellacce, or private fortresses, of the thirteenth century.

It is a curious turn of fortune that he of whom “all Tuscany sounded” after Montaperti, and of whom “they hardly whispered in Siena” after his fall at Colle,[151] should have given his name to the most conspicuous modern church in his native city. The Madonna of Provenzano was raised to the Blessed Virgin as Protectress of Siena at the end of the sixteenth century. As an inscription to the left of the church bears witness (and there is a most unsavoury novella of Pietro Fortini’s to the same effect), this part of the city was notorious for its evil living, mainly given up to houses of ill-fame, especially in the days of the Spanish occupation. According to the legend, St Catherine had set up a little shrine with an image of the Madonna here, which was rediscovered by Brandano, who declared that here was the greatest treasure of Siena, and that “hither all the most honoured ladies of the nation shall one day come.” In 1594 the image began to work miracles, and the present sanctuary was built in consequence.[152] The pictures that it contains are naturally by later Sienese masters, such as Francesco{284} Vanni and Rustichino. In the sacristy there is what purports to be a portrait of Brandano.

The great church of San Francesco was mainly built in the second quarter of the fourteenth century, from the designs of Agostino di Giovanni and Agnolo di Ventura. It was outside the walls and there was a gate of San Francesco, under the arch of which we still pass to-day. When Pius II. came to Siena, he stayed in the convent and the gate had to be kept open at night for the convenience of his numerous visitors[153]—which induced the Concistoro to decree that it should henceforth be included within the walls. Over the door of the church is a statue of St Francis, by Ramo di Paganello of about 1288. Ruined by fire in the seventeenth century, abandoned to military purposes in the nineteenth and recently restored, the building is but the shadow of its former self. Still, in spite of the modern stained-glass windows from Munich, it remains the most simple and severe, the most typical and austerely Franciscan of all the Italian Gothic churches of Tuscany. The paintings and sculptures that it contains are mere fragments of its original decorations, and for the most part transferred from other parts of the church and convent. The ruined fresco of the Visitation, on the right of the entrance, is ascribed by Mr Berenson to Taddeo di Bartolo. In the second chapel on the right of the choir is the monument of Cristoforo Felici (one of the Operai of the Duomo) of 1462, one of the best works of Urbano da Cortona. In the choir are marble half-length portraits of Silvio Piccolomini and Vittoria Forteguerri, the only remains of the sumptuous monument that their son, Pope Pius II., raised to their memory in 1458. In the first chapel on the left is a frescoed Crucifixion by Pietro Lorenzetti, and in the{285} third chapel are two scenes from the history of the Franciscan order—St Francis before the Pope and the Martyrdom of Franciscan Missionaries—by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Ruined and repainted, these latter appear to be the remains of a series of frescoes which Ghiberti saw and admired in the cloisters here. The chapel opposite was formerly that of the nephews of Pius II., the Todeschini Piccolomini and Piccolomini d’Aragona; it was restored and modernised by a noble lady of the Saracini a few years ago. The Cardinal Virtues on the pavement were originally executed by Lorenzo di Mariano. In the cloisters, outside the Seminary chapel, there is a Madonna Lattante, entitled Sedes Sapientiae, by Giacomo Cozzarelli. The chapel itself contains a most beautiful Madonna and Child by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, and a large fresco, of uncertain authorship, of the same epoch. The Seminary further possesses several good early Sienese paintings.

Under the shadow of San Francesco rises the little oratory of his great Sienese follower, San Bernardino. On the ground floor is a Madonna and Child with St Ansanus and St Bartholomew, a beautiful early work of Andrea del Brescianino. On the upper floor, in an antechapel, are a Madonna by Sano di Pietro and a marble bas-relief, the Madonna with Angels, signed by Agostino di Giovanni. The oratory itself is the “Siena’s Art-laboratory” of Robert Browning’s Pacchiarotto poem. Its walls are covered by a series of frescoes by Bazzi, Girolamo del Pacchia and Beccafumi, painted between 1518 and 1532, among the finest achievements of these three masters, under a richly decorated roof of the end of the Quattrocento by Giuliano Turapilli. On the left wall are: St Louis of Anjou by Bazzi; the Nativity of the Madonna, by Pacchia, showing Florentine influence; the Presentation in the Temple, by Bazzi; the Sposalizio by Beccafumi; San Bernardino{286} by Pacchia. On the altar wall, between the Archangel and the Virgin of the Annunciation by Pacchia, is a grandiose fresco by Beccafumi (painted in 1537, nearly twenty years later than his other works here), representing the Madonna and Child enthroned with Apostles, Franciscans, and Angels. On the right wall are: St Antony of Padua, now ascribed to Pacchia; the Visitation by Bazzi; the Death of the Blessed Virgin, with Angels and Apostles clustering round, Christ rushing down from Heaven to receive her soul, by Beccafumi; the Assumption and St Francis by Bazzi. Between the windows is the Coronation of Mary in Heaven by the Blessed Trinity, with the Baptist and Adam as assessors, also by Bazzi.

The little church of San Pietro Ovile contains two good early Sienese paintings. On the right is the Annunciation with, above, the Crucifixion between St Peter and St Paul; the central scene is a copy, with variations and some change of sentiment, from the well-known picture by Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi in the Uffizi. Opposite to it is a Madonna and Child by Pietro Lorenzetti, between San Bernardino and the Baptist by Matteo di Giovanni.

“Before you, magnificent and potent Lords, Lords Priors, Governors of the Commune, and Captain of the People of Siena,”—thus begins a petition of February 25th, 1465 (i.e. 1466)—“the least of your children and servants, the Officers over the Adornment of your City, with due reverence set forth that they are continually thinking how to do what may be to the adorning of the city, especially on the Strada Romana where pass the strangers who give praise to all the city.”[154] This{287}






Strada Romana is the present Via Cavour, still the busiest in the city. Passing up it towards Camollia, from the Croce del Travaglio, we come to the Piazza Tolomei, in which the people assembled on the eve of Montaperti. The great grey stone Palazzo Tolomei, its portals guarded by two lions and surmounted by the armorial bearings, the three crescent moons, of that great Guelf House, was begun in 1208; it is the oldest, perhaps the most imposing of all the private palaces in Siena. The councils of the State occasionally met here in the first days of Guelf preponderance after the battle of Colle, and it was here that King Robert of Naples was entertained in 1310. In earlier times—those eventful days that preceded Montaperti—the General Council met in San Cristofano opposite. The column with the Lupa—though the present wolf only dates from the seventeenth century—was originally erected in 1260, after Montaperti, in token of this. The church itself was modernised in the eighteenth century. It contains some tombs of the Tolomei and a good picture by Girolamo del Pacchia, representing the Madonna and Child between St Luke and the Blessed Bernardo. It was in this church in 1376 that St Catherine effected a reconciliation between the Maconi, headed by Stefano and his father Corrado, and the Tolomei and Rinaldini. Behind it, round and about the Via del Re, there are a number of picturesque old houses of that epoch standing and several towers that once belonged to the Tolomei.[155]

On the left, next to the Gothic Palazzo Tolomei, is a graceful little palace in the style of the fifteenth century, decorated above with the Lily of Florence. Further on, on the right, is the Palazzo Bichi, rebuilt in 1520 for the unfortunate Alessandro. At the corner of the Piazza{290} Salimbeni is the Palazzo Spannocchi, begun in 1473 for Messer Ambrogio Spannocchi, the treasurer of Pius II. It is a perfect type of the massive, yet graceful domestic architecture of the Florentine Quattrocento. Formerly ascribed to Bernardino Rossellino, Signor Lisini has recently discovered reason for believing that it (as well as the palace in the Via Romana of the Abbot of San Galgano) was built under the direction of Giuliano da Maiano.[156]

The vast Gothic Palazzo Salimbeni, a compromise between a castle and a palace, was mainly constructed in the thirteenth, but modernised in the nineteenth century. The back of it should be surveyed from the Piazza dell’ Abbadia, where it is frequently mistaken by tourists and other casual persons (including one English writer of repute!) for a Gothic abbey; the name of the piazza really refers to San Donato, which was formerly an abbey and the family church of the Salimbeni, as San Cristofano was that of their rivals, the Tolomei. The great Ghibelline family that played so turbulent a part in the early history of Siena gradually died out; “to-day,” wrote Bargagli, in the latter part of the Cinquecento, “it is utterly extinguished; besides their arms and their palaces, nought else remains of them save the name.” We may take their palace as the background for two of the best and most beautiful love stories of old Siena. In one, Anselmo di Messer Salimbene Salimbeni, one of the richest young nobles of the city, is secretly enamoured of Angelica Montanini, whose brother Carlo is the last of a noble but now ruined house, between which and the Salimbeni there is a deadly feud. Thrown into prison on a trumped-up charge of plotting against the popular regime, a price is set upon Carlo’s life; he refuses to pay, lest his sister should be reduced to beggary, and is about to perish on the scaffold when Anselmo steps in and pays{291} the fine to excess. The expedient by which Carlo and Angelica attempt to repay their debt to Anselmo is somewhat repugnant to our modern code of ethics or conventions—it appears again in the underplot of Thomas Heywood’s A Woman Killed with Kindness—but it ends in the marriage of Anselmo and Angelica in San Donato to the great delight of all the city. In the other story, Ippolito Saracini has fallen passionately in love with Cangenova, the youngest of the three orphan daughters of Messer Reame Salimbeni, and his love is returned. But the mother, anxious first to marry her other daughters, will not suffer his addresses, and keeps Cangenova in strict seclusion. Pretending to leave Siena as a pilgrim to St James of Compostella, Ippolito lurks in a little house near San Lorenzo, which is next door to the garden in which the lady and her daughters walk. He watches Cangenova at sunrise, watering her lilies and violets in the balcony or playing with the little goldfinch that has its nest in the mulberry tree outside her window. Then one night he takes advantage of her mother’s absence to climb the tree, and draws her to the window by frightening her goldfinch. A sudden fright brings their meeting to a premature end, and presently she is dying. Disguised as a pilgrim, Ippolito visits her on her death-bed, and they interchange professions of unalterable love; he joins her funeral procession as a member of one of the confraternities, carrying a torch, and falls dead in San Francesco when the tomb is closed.[157]

In the Via delle Belle Arti, next to the picture gallery which has already been described, is the Biblioteca Comunale, once the meeting-place of the most famous{292} of the Sienese academies—the Intronati. Among its treasures are two of the original letters sent by St Catherine from Rome to Stefano Maconi; they are not, however, in her own handwriting but appear, from internal evidence, to have been dictated by her to Barduccio Canigiani.

Further on in the Via Cavour, to the left, is the exquisite little early Renaissance church of Sta. Maria delle Nevi, built shortly after 1470 for Giovanni de’ Cinughi, Bishop of Pienza, probably from the designs of Francesco di Giorgio. The altar-piece, representing Our Lady as Queen of the Snows, with a predella illustrating the legend of the building of Sta. Maria Maggiore at Rome, was painted by Matteo di Giovanni in 1477; a most poetically conceived work and one of the most beautiful pictures of the Sienese Quattrocento. This part of the Terzo di Camollia was originally the famous Poggio Malavolti, where that great family had their towers and houses in a regular fortress as far as the recently demolished convent of the Cappuccine; it was surrounded with walls and had a gate near where Sta. Maria delle Nevi now stands.

On the right the steep and picturesque Via Vallerozzi leads down the Costa d’Ovile, the scene of the massacre of 1371, to the Porta Ovile. Half way down is the oratory of San Rocco, the church of the Contrada of the Lupa, with frescoes by Manetti and Rustichino. The Fonte Nuova, a little off the street to the left, was built by Tino di Camaino in the fourteenth century. In the Via Garibaldi, on the way to the railway station, is the Casa della Consuma, the palace in which the brigata spendereccia, the extravagant young club of Sienese nobles recorded by Dante in canto xxix. of the Inferno, ran through their fortunes. There has been much throwing about of brains upon the question whether this notorious brigata spendereccia is, or is not, to be identified with the{293} brigata nobile e cortese of which Folgore da San Gimignano sung, and whether Dante’s “Niccolò who first discovered the rich usage of the clove”—who is usually said to have been either a Salimbeni or a Buonsignori—is the Niccolò di Nisi to whom Folgore dedicated his corona. However that may be, the present aspect of the Casa della Consuma is prosaic and modern. In the same street is the oratory of the Brotherhood of St Sebastian, for which Bazzi painted that most wonderful of banners now in the Uffizi. It has early seventeenth century frescoes, illustrating the life of the martyr.

Following up the Via Camollia towards the gate, we have on the right the Campansi, a former convent of Franciscan nuns, now a poor-house. Most of its artistic treasures have been removed to the picture gallery, but a certain number of frescoes have been preserved. In the cloisters is a large Assumption, mingling Sienese and Umbrian influences, the work of Matteo Balducci and (according to Mr Berenson) in part of Pietro di Domenico. On the first floor are: an Annunciation by Sano di Pietro; a Madonna and Child with St Anne, attended by the Magdalene and St Ursula (poetical in conception, but rather poorly executed) by Beccafumi; a Resurrection by Benvenuto di Giovanni. From a window in the women’s department a beautiful view is obtained of San Francesco.

The Madonna of Fontegiusta was built in 1479, as a thanks-offering for the victory of Poggio Imperiale, by Francesco Fedeli and Giacomo di Giovanni of Como. Over the outer portal is a beautiful Madonna and Child with Angels, of 1489, by Neroccio Landi. In the sixteenth century the fashionable thing was to hear vespers in this church on Sunday afternoons. In Pietro Fortini’s Novelle de’ Novizi, his five “right honest but most facetious ladies” attend vespers here, and at the holy water basin (the work still of Pacchia’s father,{294} Giovanni delle Bombarde) they join company with their “two winsome youths, most disposed to the service of love,” and walk out with them in the cool as far as the Palazzo de’ Diavoli.[158] The marble high altar, with the Pietà and exquisitely worked setting, is the masterpiece of Lorenzo di Mariano, executed in 1517 and, according to the legend, sent to Rome on mules for the edification of Leo X. The frescoed Assumption, in the lunette above the altar, is by Girolamo di Benvenuto. On the right wall is a Coronation of the Madonna by Fungai. On the left wall is the fresco of the Sibyl revealing the mystery of the Incarnation to Augustus, by Baldassare Peruzzi. It has been damaged and badly restored, and is one of the painter’s latest and less satisfactory works, showing a mannered and unsuccessful attempt to imitate the style of Michelangelo. The Madonna commending Siena to her Divine Son is by Bazzi’s pupil and son-in-law, Il Riccio. The shield and whalebones over the door are said by tradition to have been sent here as a votive offering by Christopher Columbus.

The Porta Camollia bears the famous and characteristic Sienese greeting to all that enter: Cor magis tibi Sena pandit, “Siena opens to thee her heart more than her gate.” When Pius II., on January 31st, 1460, returned to Siena from the fruitless congress at Mantua, he passed through this gate and found all the streets as far as the Duomo gorgeously decorated. Inside the gate there was a structure to look like a Paradise with a choir of boys dressed as angels; when the Pope drew near, one of them descended from his place and sung so sweetly, commending the city to him, that Pius burst into tears. When Charles VIII. of France entered here in May{295} 1495, accompanied by the Signoria who had met him at the Antiporto, he had a similar reception, a boy dressed to represent the Madonna as Queen of the city singing a Latin welcome to the sound of music. The present gate was built in 1604, in honour of the Grand Duke Ferdinand I., from the design of Alessandro Casolani.

Outside the gate is the Piazza d’Armi or Prato di Camollia, where the Spanish soldiers mustered in 1552 on the surrender of the citadel. Here is the column that marks the place where Enea Silvio Piccolomini introduced the Emperor to his bride, Leonora of Portugal. The Antiporto or Portone was many times destroyed and rebuilt, the present structure dating from the seventeenth century. A short way further on, on the road towards Florence, is the Palatium Turcorum, the palace of the Turchi (a family of the Noveschi who were connected with the Piccolomini), a red brick structure with a fine tower. It has been popularly called, from the fifteenth century downwards, the Palazzo de’ Diavoli. The chapel is a fine piece of Renaissance architecture by Antonio Federighi, with a frieze somewhat recalling that of the chapel of the Campo; in the interior are tasteful terra-cotta mouldings and an Assumption with a multitude of Angels, St Jerome and St Thomas—like a Sienese picture of the Quattrocento in terra-cotta—also by Federighi. It was little beyond this palace that the Sienese pursued the routed Florentines and papalini in 1526—but they fled for ten miles without stopping.

We retrace our steps through the Porta Camollia to the Lizza, that favourite promenade of the Sienese which now covers the site of Don Diego’s citadel, where the nightingales are loud at evening among the trees at the entrance to Santa Barbara, the Medicean fortress of Duke Cosimo thrown open to the citizens by an Austrian Grand Duke. The church of San Stefano, on the Lizza, contains over the high altar the masterpiece of St{296} Catherine’s painter disciple, the reformer Andrea di Vanni, painted about 1400. It is a typical Sienese picture, but of no surpassing merit; the Madonna and Child are enthroned in the central panel, with the Annunciation above; at the sides are the Baptist and St Bartholomew, St Stephen and St James, with the four Evangelists above them and other saints in the cuspidi and pinnacles. The faces of the virgin martyrs have something of the characteristic Sienese gentle sweetness. The predella is obviously later, being probably the work of Giovanni di Paolo.

At the older circuit of the walls

At the older circuit of the walls





Some Famous Convents and Monasteries

BEYOND the Porta Ovile, on the hill known as the Capriola, rises the convent of the Osservanza, one of the chief houses of the Osservanti—San Bernardino’s followers of the strict observance of the rule of St Francis, who have recently been united with the Riformati and others of their spiritual kindred to form one body, under what Mr Montgomery Carmichael, our chief lay authority on matters Franciscan, appropriately calls “the glorious and primitive style and title of the Friars Minor.” From the earliest Middle Ages, there stood upon this spot a little chapel dedicated to the hermit St Onuphrius. Bernardino passed this way in June 1406, and found that a crowd of people had come out from the city, to celebrate the hermit’s feast. Before the young Franciscan’s eyes lay stretched that noble panorama of Siena that we see from the convent to-day. Suddenly fired, he climbed up into a tree and addressed them in words so inflamed with divine love that, while many wept, there were some that deemed him mad. A few years later the Spedale of Sta. Maria della Scala, to which the place belonged, made it over to him, and he founded the present convent upon the site of the chapel.

{299}The present convent and church were rebuilt by

Fountain outside Porta Ovile

Fountain outside Porta Ovile

Pandolfo Petrucci, but were considerably altered and enlarged in the latter part of the seventeenth century. The church is said to have been designed by Giacomo Cozzarelli, shortly before that master reared for Pandolfo his own sumptuous palace near the Duomo, and to have been actually built by four friars of the Order—Filippo and Leone of Florence, Leonardo da Potenza, and Leone da San Gimignano.[159] It is full of terra-cotta work and early Sienese pictures. In the first chapel on the left is a perfect little gem by Sano di Pietro; the Madonna and Child enthroned, with Angels clad{300} in the green and red of hope and love, winged with the white of faith. In the next chapel is the Coronation of the Madonna, perhaps the most divinely beautiful of all the works of Andrea della Robbia, with the Annunciation, Nativity and Assumption in the predella; the motive of St Francis, with his hand upon the head of the kneeling St Clare, is especially happy. This is surely the kind of sculpture in which Dante saw the examples of humility on the wall of the first terrace of Purgatory. The altar-piece of the third chapel is also by Sano di Pietro, representing the Madonna and Child between Bernardino and St Jerome; while in the fourth is a picture of Saints by Taddeo di Bartolo, with a predella by Sano. In the chapels opposite are a Madonna and Child, with St Ambrose and St Jerome, the Annunciation above, a meritorious work by Stefano di Giovanni, and the Crucifixion, the masterpiece of Bazzi’s son-in-law, Il Riccio, but badly restored. The terra-cottas on the vaults are ascribed to Francesco di Giorgio. In the choir are statues of Mary and Gabriel of the Annunciation, of the school of the Della Robbia; and a contemporary portrait of San Bernardino, said to have been painted in 1439 by Pietro di Giovanni Pucci. Certain of his relics are preserved beneath the high altar in a silver reliquary of 1472, the work of Francesco di Antonio.

Pandolfo Petrucci is buried in the sacristy, which contains a Pietà questionably ascribed to Giacomo Cozzarelli. Among the numerous sepulchres in the crypt is that of Celia Petrucci, a fashionable beauty of the sixteenth century. Under the church is a little chapel formed of the original cell of San Bernardino—transported bodily from the older convent—with the same wooden door wherewith he shut himself out, for brief intervals, from the turbulent world for which he laboured. Thus are the memories and relics of Siena{301}’s great apostle of peace curiously linked with those of her first tyrant.

Somewhat more than a mile beyond the Porta San Marco is the Abbey of Sant’ Eugenio, usually known simply as Il Monastero. This is the castle-like building that is so conspicuous in the foreground to the south, in the view from the ramparts of Santa Barbara. It is reached from the gate through pleasant lanes, lined with vineyards and olive plantations, that in spring and summer swarm with that noblest of European butterflies, the tiger-striped Papilio Podalirius. It was originally a monastery of the Benedictines of Monte Cassino and was founded in the eighth century; Piero Strozzi fortified it in 1554, but it was soon occupied by the imperial forces. At present it is the property of a Sienese family, the Griccioli, and has been completely modernised. From one of the former cloisters there is a fine view of the mountains to the south. The best of the pictures have gone from the church, and those that remain have been repainted. There is a much damaged Bearing of the Cross, belonging to the series of frescoes that Bazzi painted for the Compagnia di Santa Croce. Two frescoes by Benvenuto di Giovanni—the Resurrection and the Crucifixion—are among that painter’s better works. In the chapel to the right of the choir is a Madonna and Child with two Angels by Francesco di Giorgio, and, in the chapel to the left, a Madonna and Child, an authentic work by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. The famous Assumption of the Madonna—somewhat too enthusiastically praised in England—by Matteo di Giovanni, which once adorned the high altar, is now in the National Gallery of London, and a Madonna by Duccio, which was formerly in the sacristy, appears recently to have followed it beyond the Alps—unless it has made a longer voyage and, like other Italian pictures, crossed the Atlantic.{302}

“Superficially,” writes John Addington Symonds, “much of the present charm of Siena consists in the soft opening valleys, the glimpses of long blue hills and fertile country-side, framed by irregular brown houses stretching along the slopes on which the town is built, and losing themselves abruptly in olive fields and orchards. This element of beauty, which brings the city into immediate relation with the country, is indeed not peculiar to Siena. We find it in Perugia, in Assisi, in Montepulciano, in nearly all the hill towns of Umbria and Tuscany. But their landscape is often tragic and austere, while this is always suave. City and country blend here in delightful amity. Neither yields that sense of aloofness which stirs melancholy.”[160]

We leave Siena by the Porta Fontebranda, along the way by which the returning Noveschi crept up to the city walls on that fateful night between July 21st and 22nd, 1487, turning back at intervals for the varied glimpses of San Domenico with its huge red bulk and tower, or the gleaming marbles of the Duomo. At the antimony works, where the road divides, we take the way to the right, westwards. Presently we mount up again, through lanes on either side that might almost be English—only, when these break away, the silvery olives, the convents on the hills, Siena’s towers and the distant mountains remind us that we are in Tuscany. “The most charming district in the immediate neighbourhood of Siena,” to quote Symonds once more, “lies westward, near Belcaro, a villa high up on a hill. It is a region of deep lanes and golden-green oak woods, with cypresses and stone-pines, and little streams in all directions flowing over the brown sandstone. The country is like some parts of rural England—Devonshire or Sussex. Not only is the sandstone here, as there, broken into deep gullies; but the vegetation is much the{303} same. Tufted spleenwort, primroses, and broom tangle the hedges under boughs of hornbeam and sweet-chestnut.” The view of Siena behind us gradually expands, as we mount up. When the little chapel is passed, we keep to the right; presently an avenue of oaks and ilex-trees leads to the villa, or castello, of Belcaro.

Belcaro, superbly situated and thickly clothed round with a magnificent grove of rich, dark-green ilex-trees, was a strongly fortified place in the early days of the Republic, and in the fourteenth century it belonged to the Savini. At the beginning of 1377 it was much decayed, and Nanni di Ser Vanni Savini gave it to St Catherine, with the consent of the government, to be made into a convent of “religious women who shall continually pray for the city and inhabitants of Siena.” She called it Santa Maria degli Angeli, and several of her letters are addressed from it. Later on, the convent became a fortress once more, and at one time belonged to the Bellanti; in 1525 it came into the hands of the Turamini, a rich family of bankers. Crescenzio Turamini had the present palace, loggia and chapel built from the designs of Baldassare Peruzzi, and employed the master himself to decorate them with frescoes. On the ceiling of a hall on the ground floor is the Judgment of Paris, which has caught not a little of the Raphaelesque grace and charm of the decorations of the Farnesina. It has been repainted. A loggia is likewise covered with decorative work, mythological scenes and arabesques, which have been so modernised by restoration that nothing really remains of Peruzzi’s original work save the invention and design. In the chapel there are a Madonna and Saints behind the altar from his hand, with Evangelists and Saints on the walls, and the arms of the Turamini above. These are practically Peruzzi’s last works, and were finished at the beginning of 1535, but have all been more or less ruined by the restorers. In a{304} room in the villa there is a Madonna and Child with St Catherine and San Bernardino—a lovely little picture by Matteo di Giovanni.

There is a typical inclosed Italian garden of romance, with its lemon-trees and pomegranates; but the chief charm of Belcaro is its noble view. Upon all sides, as we wander along its terraces and parapets, the mountains and the valleys of the Sienese dominion lie outstretched before us, Siena herself l’amorosa madre di dolcezza away to the east, the grove of ilex-trees at our feet. A trophy of canon balls records the great siege of the city. At the beginning of the war, Belcaro was held by the forces of the Republic. On April 4th, 1554, it was attacked by the imperialists in force, 2000 infantry and 50 horsemen, with two pieces of artillery. A mere handful of French soldiers, eight in number, under a Beaufort, held out till noon, when their officer was killed and the rest surrendered. Afterwards, the Marchese di Marignano had his headquarters here. Beneath Peruzzi’s fresco or among the trees of the garden, he may have drunk wine with his captains while the hapless victims, the “useless mouths,” lay perishing between the walls of the city and the trenches of his soldiery. Here, in April 1555, he received the two Sienese ambassadors, Girolamo Malavolti and Alessandro Guglielmi, who came to make the necessary arrangements for the surrender of the city, after the terms of the capitulation had been decided in Florence.

Instead of turning up at the chapel to go to Belcaro, we turn down to the right and then again down through the flowery lanes to the left, where huge white or grey oxen drawing wains block the way at intervals, and a dark-eyed boy, leading two beautiful white goats, greets us in his pleasant musical Tuscan. Suddenly the landscape changes. The lanes end and woods appear—we are approaching the great Selva del Comune. Above{305}

Alinari, Florence THE CORONATION OF THE MADONNA (Andrea Della Robbia. Osservanza, Siena)

(Andrea Della Robbia. Osservanza, Siena)
Alinari, Florence

the forest ground, over the scantier trees to the left, rises, solitary and austere, the convent of the Augustinian hermits, San Salvatore di Lecceto: “a blessed place,” writes Ambrogio Landucci, “in which the Most High chose to work so many wonders.” According to tradition, the disciples of St Ansanus fled to these woods when the Roman persecutors discovered their hiding-places in the city; St Augustine found hermits here in the fourth century, and gave them a rule of life. St Monica and St Jerome are said to have visited the place, and William of Aquitaine (this, at least, seems a historical fact), whom Dante afterwards saw among the warriors of the Cross in the rosy sphere of Mars. “Our ancient hermitage,” says Landucci, “was ever a sweet attraction for sanctity.” Francis, the Seraphic Father of Assisi, came here too, and plucked from one of its ilexes the stick which he afterwards stuck into the ground at Capraia, and which grew up into a goodly tree. The place was originally known as the Convento di Selva, the Convent of the Wood, which was also called the Selva di Lago, because of the lake or swamp (afterwards drained) that lay at the foot of the hill. The name Lecceto is derived from the abundant ilex-trees which, though much reduced in numbers, are still one of the glories of the district. The golden age of the convent begins after 1256, when Pope Alexander IV. united all the Augustinian hermits into one order, and Lecceto became the head house of Tuscany. It produced an enormous number of beati, of whom Fra Filippo Agazzari, the pious novelist, and William Flete, St Catherine’s correspondent, an Englishman who had settled here, are the only ones whose fame has penetrated beyond the boundaries of Tuscany.

Wonderful legends linger round the convent and the forest, told with much vividness and simplicity by Fra Filippo, with much unction by Landucci. Angels are{306} said to have descended in human form, to eat with the hermits in their refectory or to succour them in their needs; the flowers of this forest, when sent to other places, healed the sick and worked miracles, “all evident signs that here flourished a continual spring of Paradise.” The Dominican Ambrogio Sansedoni, then a young knight, coming from Siena up through the wood to the convent (the very way in which we are treading now), was assailed by the fiend in the guise of a beautiful girl whom two ruffians had bound to a tree. The pious historian assures us that the knots had been tied by the Gordius of Hell to entangle Ambrogio’s soul, but that, while he laboured to untie them, he discovered the snare and repulsed the foe by the sign of the Cross.[161]

Very sweet and pleasant are the pictures that Fra Filippo gives us of the priors of Lecceto in his day; for “the friars who had to choose them, always put in that convent for prior the best friar and the one of most holy life that there was in the province.” He tells us of Frate Bandino de’ Balzetti, who was so strict in the rules that when he saw a thief taking away the convent donkey at the time of silence, rather than break the silence or cause the friars to break it, he let him lead it off, while he himself went into the church to pray for the redemption of that thief’s soul. Of course the thief was miraculously moved to repentance, and the prior sent him away in peace with a plenteous alms.[162] He tells in full the life of Frate Niccolò Tini, a friar of the convent of Sant’ Agostino in Siena, young in years but old in wisdom and sanctity, who was made Prior of Lecceto in 1332 and ruled it until his death in 1388. It was under him that Filippo himself entered as a novice in 1353, and he records with enthusiastic love and{307} admiration the man’s boundless humility and meekness, patience and charity. Suffering agonies from two horrible complaints, the Prior was always bright and kind, though his face would show sometimes the agony he endured. He loved to tend the sick with his own hands, to distribute all that the convent had of bread and wine to the poor—himself going to the gate to do it, because he knew that they would not fare so well at the hands of the other brethren. “His joyous face seemed that of Moses, so burned his heart with love and charity, and with such gladness did he receive strangers, especially the servants of God.” Many times during his priorate the friars had to fly from the place, when the wandering companies of mercenaries were ravaging the contado. “One morning,” says Fra Filippo, “I arrived there with a companion at the dinner hour, in the days when a company was expected, and already all the place was cleared, and we found the Prior alone, for the other friars had fled with the goods from the place. And as soon as he saw us, that blessed Prior received us with so much love and charity and with such gladness, that it was a wondrous thing. And in all the place there remained nothing to eat, save only two rolls which he had kept for himself, very small, and some wine and some leeks. And with a holy charity he constrained us to eat with him, and he set those two rolls on a table without a cloth, and the wine and the leeks. God knoweth that I do not lie, but I never found myself at feasts nor at weddings nor at any banquet, where I seemed to myself to fare so well and so abundantly or where the food did me so much good; and the like befell my companion. For the sweetness of the words of God that were on his lips was meat above all the meats of the world.”

Once whilst Frate Niccolò was prior—it must have been a few years after Filippo entered the convent—Lecceto was threatened by the Sienese themselves.{308} Shortly after the fall of the Nine in 1355, when Massa and Casole and other places were in arms against the new regime of the Twelve, a son of Messer Ranieri da Casole was seen to come into the wood with certain foot soldiers. The rumour spread that the Prior of Lecceto was sheltering outlaws, who came to do evil to the city of Siena. More than four hundred armed contadini threatened the convent, captured three of the men in the wood and sent them to the Podesta, while in Siena there uprose an uproar in the Campo, and the people shouted to go to Lecceto and burn the place down. The friars of Sant’ Agostino sent a warning to the Prior, that the people were already on their way to waste the place. While the armed crowd of peasants broke into the convent and rang the bells a martello, the Prior shut himself into the chapel and prayed earnestly before the image of the Saviour. At once a sudden rain fell; the three prisoners, whom the mob had been going to hang, were led back to the Podesta and proved innocent; the armed forces of the people turned back, the contadini went quietly home, “so that in a short while all the Place was cleared of folk, and that blessed Prior remained in peace with his friars.”[163]

Perhaps, St Catherine preferred saints of a more robust temper. It is somewhat curious that she appears to have had no intercourse with Frate Niccolò, though we have several letters of hers addressed to other friars of Lecceto, especially Antonio da Nizza and William Flete. They were among the men of holy life whom Pope Urban summoned to Rome, to assist in the reformation of the Church, and neither wished to leave their beloved solitude. “I shall see,” she wrote to them, “if we really have conceived love for the Reformation of holy Church. For if it is really so, you will follow the will of God and of His Vicar, you will{309} leave the wood and come to enter upon the field of battle. But if you do not do it, you will be disregarding the will of God. And, therefore, I pray you, by the love of Christ crucified, that you come soon, without delay, at the demand that the Holy Father makes of you. And do not fear that you will not have a wood; for here there are woods and forests.”[164]

We pass up through the oaks and ilex-trees—the latter, scanty in parts and freshly planted round the convent buildings, are grand and dense enough further on to make a real forest still—until we reach the Eremo, with its small church and castle-like square tower of the monastery. The present buildings, though restored, date from the fourteenth century, and the tower was built in 1404, when Filippo himself was Prior. The place is silent and deserted now, left in the charge of a family of contadini, save for a month or so in the year, when the students of the Archbishop’s seminary of Siena come here for their villeggiatura.

Outside the church, in the portico, are frescoes painted about 1343 by a certain Paolo di Maestro Neri, a follower of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, somewhat recalling the style and spirit of those of the master himself in the Sala de’ Nove, or those by that other unknown pupil of his in the Campo Santo of Pisa. The whole portico in front of the church is covered with them, mainly in monochrome; partly obliterated, they originally formed one of those vast allegories of human life in which the painters of the Trecento—above all the Sienese—delighted. The artist here is as severely ascetical and monastic in spirit as the unknown master of the “Triumph of Death.” On the one side is Paradise; on the other side is Hell. The long wall between them sets forth the life of the cloister and the life of the world, the one leading to Heaven, the other to Hell. In the one, we have peace and war;{310} love-making and dancing; feasting and dicing, the loser seizing the winner by the throat; the car of pleasure, over which Cupid flies, while youths and ladies are with musicians within; a great boar-hunt; money-changing; a court of law; travellers waylaid by robbers. The devils are in it all; they wait by the gaming-table, they sit on the horse that draws the car of pleasure, they watch the hunting and all man’s ordinary business, they pounce upon the soul of the murdered, they preside over the death-bed of the impenitent. War is raging in earnest; a grim sea-fight is in progress, the devils are blowing on the ships and urging them against each other; there is the storming of a castle—the demons sound the trumpets for the onslaught, and carry off through the air the souls of those that fall. But above, behind the city from whose gates the pleasure-seeking crowd of worldlings has passed out, is Christ with the banner of the Resurrection—ready to save, if only they will turn to Him.[165] And in the other fresco to our left, a number of men of all ages and conditions have taken their crosses upon their shoulders, to carry them after Christ. We are shown the Works of Mercy and the life of the Evangelical Counsels. The devil is here too—but only to be vanquished and put to flight. Then we have the death of the just—in the corner, to match the death of the impenitent sinner at the end of the other fresco. And after that, comes only the Paradise.

The frescoed Christ over the door of the church is probably by the same painter. In the second cloister there are a number of frescoes originally painted at the beginning of the Quattrocento. They are greatly damaged, obliterated in parts, completely restored in others; we get a vague general impression of hermits{311} doing works of mercy and seeing visions, of St Augustine giving his rule, of holy deaths in convents and hermitages. Further on are five better preserved. The first is the story of Giovanni di Guccio, told by Fra Filippo.[166] Giovanni di Guccio, who belonged to a wealthy family of the Monte de’ Nove, entered Lecceto as a boy, but in the noviciate found the coarse food so trying that he thought that he would have to leave the Order. In the wood he met “an ancient man of right venerable aspect,” who confirmed him in his vocation. “And suddenly He showed him the wounds of His side and of His hands and feet, from which there issued such great splendour that that of the Sun is nothing in comparison with it, and they all seemed bleeding. Then, straightway, He vanished.” This Giovanni was prior in 1323 and often told this story as an example, as of another person, and not until his death did the brethren know that he spoke of himself. In the other frescoes, we see an abbot preaching in front of the convent, a painted ideal of penitential life and pious death, the monks journeying with a sainted prior in their midst, and the return of the lost sheep to the fold. The whole cloister, with the well in the middle, is picturesque. There is little to see in the church, where a few frescoed saints seem striving to emerge from the whitewash.

Down among the vines (on the left of the entrance as you face the convent) is the famous holy well, the “Poggio Santo,” now dilapidated. According to the legend, piously recorded by Landucci, there was at first no water to be had, but one of the hermits, novella Moisè “novello” Moisè, struck the arid soil with a rod, and at once a spring of limpid water gushed out, with miraculous powers of curing those stricken with fever. One of the original hermits is said to have been buried in this field, and our pious historian even discovers some hidden mystery of{312} divine things in the colours of the stones that lie around.

In a clearing in the wood on the eminence opposite the convent is the little chapel, now restored, of San Pio. In November 1460, the friars of the chapter and convent of San Salvatore, otherwise Lecceto, presented a petition to the Signoria of Siena, to the effect that they wanted to build an oratory under the name of San Pio and could find no place more suited to their purpose than the hill opposite the Place of Lecceto, “the which hill belongs to the magnificent city of Siena, and is a woody and stony place, from which no fruit can be got.” They therefore beg the Magnificent Signoria to give them enough land on the said hill to build their chapel: “which thing will be acceptable to our Lord God, and also will greatly please the Holiness of our Lord Pope Pius the Second, who has many times been to the said place. And your petitioners undertake ever to pray to God for your Magnificent Signoria, that it may prosper and increase in a good and pacific state.” The name of “the Holiness of our Lord Pope Pius” was at that time one with which to conjure, and their petition was approved successively by the Concistoro, the Council of the People, and the General Council.[167]

At the bridge below Belcaro, we keep to the right and then turn off to the left, skirting the wood, to San Leonardo al Lago, the remains of a hermitage in the forest which was connected with Lecceto. Here Agostino Novello, who had been Manfred’s minister, lived in his austere old age and died. A few picturesque ruins of the hermitage remain, with the woods rising up behind them, but the rest are farm buildings. The church contains, in the choir, a beautiful series of frescoes: the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin in the Temple, the Annunciation, the Sposalizio; with, on the{313} four segments of the vault, four choirs of Angels, singing and making music, gazing down on the sacred scenes on the walls or assisting at the Mass on the altar below. They appear to be works of some later follower of the Lorenzetti, but are ascribed to a certain Pietro di Lorenzo, a mediocre painter of the early Quattrocento. Four small miracles of St Leonard, on the left, almost obliterated, are of no artistic importance, but one of them gives a most vivid representation of the torture of the corda or strappado, with the scribe taking down the confession; in this case, the Saint is upholding the victim. In the crypt is the original burial-place of Agostino Novello.

The Abbazia di San Galgano, a long drive from the Porta San Marco, was a Cistercian house whose monks at one epoch regularly served the Republic as Camarlinghi di Biccherna. According to the legend, Galgano Guidotti came hither in 1180, and on Monte Siepi, above the Merse, struck his sword into the rock. Here he died in 1181. A few years later the Bishop of Volterra, Ugo dei Saladini, built a round chapel over the hermitage and founded a small house of Cistercians. This chapel still remains. The great Cistercian monastery and abbey-church of San Galgano, in the plain of the Merse, were built in the thirteenth century, being probably begun in 1220 and 1224 respectively. Of the monastery, only a few ruins remain. The abbey-church, magnificent still in its ruin, is one of the purest and noblest pieces of Gothic architecture in Italy; it is a typical building of the Cistercians, whose churches and convents, purer in style and earlier in date than those of the Friars Minor and Friars Preachers, have caught more of the true spirit of northern Gothic than have theirs.[168]

The most famous, and perhaps still the most interesting,{314} of all the monastic houses in the State of Siena is that of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. It can be reached either from Asciano, a picturesque little town with a number of paintings of the Sienese school in its churches, or by driving all the way from Siena by Buonconvento. Pedestrians, if they do not intend to spend the night at the convent, should take the morning diligence to Buonconvento, and walk down to Asciano from Monte Oliveto in the afternoon to catch the evening train back to Siena. We drive out of the Porta Romana, Siena gradually growing more distant behind us, Monte Amiata rising nearer and more distinctly in front. About two miles from Buonconvento we cross the Arbia, and then again by an old bridge outside the gate.

The little townlet of Buonconvento itself, where Henry VII. died in 1313 and Alfonso of Calabria had his headquarters in 1480, is inclosed in well-preserved walls of the fourteenth century, with the balzana and lion of Siena’s Commune and People over the gate. In the one street, which is practically all the place, is an old tower with armorial bearings of generations of Podestàs. The church of San Pietro and San Paolo, near the gate, deserves a visit for a most beautiful little Madonna and Child by Matteo di Giovanni, over the high altar. To the left of the altar are pictures by Sano di Pietro (the Madonna with St Catherine and San Bernardino) and Pacchiarotti (an early work according to Mr Berenson). There are also a frescoed Coronation of the Madonna ascribed to Sano, on the right wall, an Annunciation with the Magdalene and St Antony by Girolamo di Benvenuto, on the left, and a Madonna in glory with Saints in the manner of Pacchia.

From Buonconvento we gradually mount upwards, partly through oak woods, to Monte Oliveto. Long before we reach it, the great red-brick convent becomes visible, with the curious little townlet of Chiusure, once{315}

Lombardi, Siena A MIRACLE OF ST BENEDICT (Bazzi)

Lombardi, Siena

a place of some slight importance, high up on the hill above it, looking like a part of the bleak mountain side. This whole region, the desert of Accona, is wild and barren in the extreme, save where the strenuous labour of these Olivetan monks has effected some cultivation; the convent itself appears as an oasis in a wilderness of cretaceous precipices, or balze. As we mount, it gets wilder and more bare in front, while round and behind us an ever grander and more spacious outlook opens; Siena is dimly seen in the distance, Monte Amiata rising higher and higher to the south, and, more westward, that loftily placed last home and refuge of the battered Republic, heroic Montalcino with its towers. At last we reach the monastery portal, guarded with a machicolated tower like a fortress; a long avenue of cypresses leads down to the church with its massive square tower and the convent buildings, built into the ravines. They are built of a rich red brick which, as Addington Symonds notes, “contrasts not unpleasantly with the lustrous green of the cypresses, and the glaucous sheen of olives.”

It was, as we have seen, in the very year of the Emperor’s death in Buonconvento below, 1313, that Bernardo fled to this solitude. The son of Messer Mino Tolomei (the head of the Ghibelline section of that normally Guelf house) and Fulvia Tancredi, he was born in 1272, and christened Giovanni. After a boyhood of piety and study, he was made doctor by the Studio of Siena and knight of the Holy Roman Empire by Albert of Hapsburg—which latter event was seized by the Tolomei as an occasion for displaying all the wealth and splendour of their clan. He had a dazzling career as leader of the social and intellectual life of the city, though the stories told by his ecclesiastical biographers, of his becoming practically ruler of the Republic, are obviously nonsense; such things did not happen{316} to noblemen while the Monte de’ Nove held sway. Then came his conversion. He had been going to deliver a philosophical discourse in the Studio, so runs the legend, when he was suddenly stricken with blindness. In the darkness he saw visions, prayed to the Blessed Virgin and recovered his sight at her intercession. Instead of his promised lecture, he poured out an impassioned homily upon the contempt of the world.[169] He distributed all that he had to the poor, retaining only a little land in this desert of Accona, to which he now went forth with two noble companions, Patrizio Patrizi and Ambrogio Piccolomini. The three began by raising with their own hands a little chapel to St Scholastica. Giovanni now dressed in the roughest hermit attire, and took the name of Bernardo. Men began to flock to him, and certain Guelfs, suspecting a Ghibelline plot, are said to have attempted to take his life by poison. Praying at the spot where now is the great portal of the church, Bernardo beheld a silver ladder stretching up to Paradise, with Angels leading white-robed men upwards to Christ and the Madonna. Accused of heresy, Bernardo and Ambrogio were summoned to Avignon, where Pope John XXII. received them kindly and recommended them to Guido Tarlati, the warrior bishop of Arezzo, who (in accordance with a special communication from the Madonna, says the legend) gave them a rule of life, armorial bearings and the white habit.

Thus the Order was founded and Bernardo began to build the church and convent, over which the Archangel Michael and the fiends renewed the war that they had{317} waged in Heaven before the creation of the world. After having been frequently sent by the Pope to heal the factions of Guelfs and Ghibellines in many towns of Italy, at last in 1348, when the terrible Black Death was ravaging the peninsula, Bernardo assembled his monks, bade them leave the convent, going two and two to every town and city to tend the plague-stricken, and all to assemble once more in Siena, two days before the Feast of the Assumption, in the convent that he had founded outside the Porta Tufi. All arrived safely, as he had promised them. On the vigil of the Assumption, he addressed them for the last time. Then, a few days later, he died; the rest took the pestilence, and the greater part of them passed away with the people they had come to tend.

At present the Olivetani have been almost everywhere suppressed. Here a few monks remain, their superior being regarded as merely the custode for the government, and there are a certain number of students. The Abbate Generale of the Order resides at Settignano.

The frescoes of the greater cloister were painted in the days of the Abbate Generale Fra Domenico Airoldi of Lecco. They illustrate the legend of St Benedict, as told by Pope Gregory the Great in the second book of his Dialogues. They were begun by Luca Signorelli in 1497, who painted eight frescoes beginning in the middle of the story, and then went away to undertake greater work in the Duomo of Orvieto. In 1505 and 1506 Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, who had known Fra Domenico in Lombardy, took up the tale, and, while he told it in line and colour, kept the whole convent in an uproar with his japery. “It would be impossible to describe,” says Vasari, “the fun that, while he worked in that place, those fathers got out of him, for they called him the big lunatic (Il Mattaccio), nor the mad pranks he played there.”{318}

Beginning from the side of the cloister adjoining the monastery church, we have first nineteen scenes by Bazzi. We see Benedict as a youth leaving his father’s house at Norcia to go to study humanities at Rome, his faithful nurse (who plays the same part in the original legend) riding with him on a donkey; and then, his leaving the Roman schools, “instructed with learned ignorance and furnished with unlearned wisdom” as Pope Gregory has it, because scandalised at the dissolute lives of his fellow-students. These two frescoes show that Bazzi had been impressed by Pinturicchio’s work at Siena; they recall Enea Silvio setting out from Genoa and the Congress of Mantua. In the third, Benedict mends the borrowed sieve that his nurse had broken, and the townsmen hang it up at their church door, “to the end that not only men then living, but also their posterity, might understand how greatly God’s grace did work with him upon his first renouncing of the world.” Here we see Bazzi himself, a fine piece of self portraiture, surrounded by his pet birds and beasts, wearing the knightly robes and sword that had been discarded by a gentleman of Milan who had just entered the Order, and which the Abbot gave him in part payment for his work. Next, Benedict meets Romanus on the way to Subiaco. Then, while Romanus lets down a loaf of bread to Benedict in his cave, the devil, “envying at the charity of the one and the refection of the other,” hurls a stone and breaks the bell with which Romanus used to signal to his young friend; the painter’s pet badger calmly drinks at a pond the while. Next, a certain priest, by divine inspiration, brings a dinner to Benedict on Easter Day. In the seventh fresco, Benedict instructs the shepherds who found out his retreat; “and for corporal meat, which they brought him, they carried away spiritual food for their souls.” Then he rolls among thorns, to overcome a temptation of the flesh that the devil put into his mind{319} by the representation of “a certain woman which some time he had seen.” After that, certain monks, by their persistence, induce him against his will to become their abbot. Finding him too austere, they attempt to poison him; but when he makes the sign of the Cross over the cup, it breaks in pieces, and he goes back unharmed to his solitude. Bazzi has made the ill-favoured monk, who was most insistent in urging Benedict to be abbot, the one to offer him the poisoned cup. Then, as many flock to him, he builds the twelve monasteries at Subiaco. In the twelfth fresco, one of the finest of the series, Benedict receives Maurus and Placidus, the young sons of the Roman nobles Equitius and Tertullus, who are accompanied by a splendid troop of retainers. Next, he beats the devil out of a monk who would not say his prayers; he makes a fountain spring forth on the top of a mountain; he makes the iron head of a bill that had slipped into the water return to its handle again. Now Placidus has fallen into the lake and Maurus, at the bidding of the man of God, runs upon the water and delivers him, after which “he both marvelled and was afraid at that which he had done,” but Benedict ascribes it entirely to his obedience. This is a particularly attractive picture, with the sweet boyish faces of the two young monks. After another miracle (of which the subject is not quite obvious), on either side of the door, we come to the attempt made by the priest Florentius to kill Benedict by a poisoned loaf; the Saint’s tamed crow, somewhat unwillingly, takes it away where no man can find it, to return presently for his own usual allowance. In the nineteenth fresco, Florentius tries to corrupt the monks by sending a band of young and beautiful women to the convent, to inflame their minds by dancing and singing. This was a subject far more after Bazzi’s own heart than were the trivial miracles of monastic legend, and in the exquisite group of women, with their{320} Leonardesque faces, their subtle suggestion of rhythmic movement, he has produced a masterpiece. Vasari tells us that the painter originally shocked the worthy Abbot by representing this scene in a more realistic fashion (in which, we may add, he would only be following St Gregory’s own version of what happened), and that he was afterwards compelled to drape the figures.

Beyond this last fresco, there stood originally a door that led to the great refectory. It was closed between 1530 and 1541,[170] after which Bazzi’s son-in-law, Bartolommeo Neroni or Il Riccio, painted upon the new wall the fresco we now see. It represents St Benedict sending out Maurus and Placidus as missionaries, the one to France, the other to Sicily.

The eight frescoes that follow are Luca Signorelli’s, but they hardly rank among his best works and are, in addition, in a bad state of preservation. In the first is the punishment of Florentius; the devils have thrown down his chamber upon him and are carrying off his soul; while Benedict, hearing what has happened, laments greatly, “both because his enemy died in such sort, and also for that one of his monks rejoiced thereat.” In the second, he converts the inhabitants of Monte Cassino from their worship of Apollo. In the third, he exorcises the devil who sat upon the stone and prevented the monks from raising it, and the idol of brass, which they dug up upon the spot and which seemed to set the convent on fire. In the fourth, he raises to life the young monk upon whom the devil had thrown a wall. The fifth is an admirable piece of genre-painting, intended to illustrate St Benedict’s discovery by revelation that some of his monks had disobeyed him and eaten out of the monastery. Two monks are eating and drinking in a primitive diningroom of the epoch (not an inn, as usually stated, but{321}

Lombardi, Siena MAURUS AND PLACIDUS (Bazzi)

Lombardi, Siena

what St Gregory calls “the house of a religious woman”), waited upon by women—fine robust daughters of the people; the Saint is just seen, discovering to them their fault, on the right in the section of the wall. In the sixth scene, we have the story of the devout layman, the brother of Valentinian the monk, who was induced by a companion to break his fast on a journey. The two remaining frescoes, the last that Signorelli painted here, are of a far higher order and more characteristic of his grand manner. They represent Totila, King of the Goths, testing Benedict’s supernatural wisdom by sending one of his officers to him, disguised as himself; and then, when the Saint recognises the deceit and rebukes the man, Totila comes in person with his army, falls down before him and listens meekly to his words. In both, Signorelli gives us a superb representation of the fierce mercenary soldiery of his own day, and the work is full of his characteristic vigour and delight in powerful, strenuous manhood. Here, alone in the series, do we begin to recognise the future author of those unapproachable masterpieces at Orvieto.

Bazzi now takes up the tale in the seven remaining frescoes. In the first, Benedict foretells the destruction of Monte Cassino. The Saint himself is barely seen in a corner, the picture representing the event that he foretold. Monte Cassino is burning, while in the foreground is the Lombard host, superb groups of horsemen in every attitude, which recall Leonardo’s famous Battle of the Standard which, however, it seems probable that Bazzi could not then have known.[171] After this, we are back in the region of petty miracles. Meal is miraculously brought to the monks in time of famine. Benedict appears in vision to the abbot and prior, whom he has sent to build an abbey near Terracina, and shows them how it is to be done. Two nuns, whom he threatened{322} with excommunication because they would not bridle their tongues, cannot rest after death, but are seen to rise from their graves and leave the church at the time of the Communion, until he makes an oblation for them and (apparently) gives communion in some mystical way to their unquiet ghosts. A young monk, “loving his parents more than reason would,” cannot be buried after death, until Benedict bids them lay the Sacred Host upon his breast. Another monk, wishing to forsake the abbey, finds a terrible dragon in the way. A poor countryman, fallen into the hands of the Goth Zalla, “an Arian heretic who, in the time of King Totila, did with monstrous cruelty persecute religious men,” is marvellously loosed from his bonds at the sight of the man of God and Zalla himself moved to repentance. This closes the series of Benedict’s life. “Certainly,” says Peter to Gregory in the Dialogues, “they be wonderful things which you report, and such as may serve for the edification of many: for mine own part, the more that I hear of his miracles, the more do I still desire.” And we may feel disposed to say the same, if we have a Signorelli or a Bazzi to paint them.

There are a few other frescoes by Bazzi in the convent. Between the cloister and the church are Christ at the Column and Christ bearing the Cross, works of intense spiritual expression, and another variously described as Benedict giving his rule and Bernardo founding his order of Monte Oliveto. On the stairs leading to the dormitories are the Coronation of the Madonna and a Pietà, and, at the rooms of the Abbate Generale, over the door, a Madonna and Child with St Michael and St Peter. Outside the church a striking Madonna and Child in marble, ascribed to Fra Giovanni da Verona, watches over the tombs of the brethren. The church itself has been modernised. An old picture of the three founders is said to mark the place where Bernardo saw{323} the Archangel Michael descend from Heaven in flashing armour to drive away the devils who were threatening to destroy the foundations of the building. It contains excellent intarsia by Giovanni da Verona, especially on the reading desk and choir stalls, and there is similar work by him in the library of the monastery.

Pope Pius II. came here in 1463, and in his Memoirs (those famous Commentarii Rerum Memorabilium) we are given an account of his visit.[172] He marvelled at the situation of the place and the wonderful industry by which the monks had reclaimed so much of the desert soil, on the very brink of the precipice, and at the excellent architecture of the monastery. He found the woods and gardens as delightful to linger in, as we do to-day, and struck the keynote of the feeling of every modern visitor to these monastic houses of the past; “pleasant places of refreshment for the monks, more pleasant still for those to whom, after they have seen, it is lawful to depart.” On the second evening of his stay, the Pope supped with the monks in the refectory; while they were at table he bade his choristers come in, who sang the new hymn that his Holiness had composed in honour of St Catherine of Siena, “with such soft harmony that they drew sweet tears from all the monks.”{324}


San Gimignano

“La nobile più Città che Terra di San Gimignano.”

San Gimignano of the Beautiful Towers is a place of frowning grey and brown walls and towers, of mysterious alleys, of shimmering olive-trees and fields of flowers that lie beyond, of flaming skies at sunrise, of clamorous bells at nightfall. Hardly, indeed, would he be pressed who should be called upon to award the crown of beauty to any one, rather than another, of the smaller towns of central Italy, though San Gimignano would perhaps deserve it. “No other town or castle in Tuscany,” wrote Gino Capponi, “retains more of the Middle Ages and was less invaded by the ages that followed; in those towers, and in the churches and in the houses of massive stone, is still something that cannot be covered up by the thin plastering of modern times; ancient memories keep their possession of it, the new life has hardly entered in.”[173] High up on the side of one of the hills of the Val d’Elsa—

“The hill-side’s crown where the wild hill brightens,”

as Mr Swinburne sings of it—it watches the fertile valley of the Elsa spread below, while to the north, beyond Certaldo (haunted still by the spirit of him who wrote the Human Comedy of the Middle Ages), the{325}

Lombardi, Siena SAN GIMIGNANO

Lombardi, Siena

Apennines bar the eyes’ further progress. Behind it, to the west, are hills that command a view of Volterra and the distant Mediterranean. The woods that once gave the little town its picturesque name—“Il Castello della Selva,” the “Castle of the Wood”—have almost disappeared. In their place it is surrounded with olive plantations, which temper with their silvery softness the austerity of the towers and the walls:—

“Of the breached walls whereon the wallflowers ran
Called of Saint Fina, breachless now of man,
Though time with soft feet break them stone by stone,
Who breaks down hour by hour his own reign’s span.”[174]

The people are mediaeval still. You may see them throng the churches as in the old days of simple faith, or hear them among the vineyards and in the beanfields answer each other in the rispetti and strambotti of a more primitive Tuscany. The place is miserably poor, in marked contrast to the smug prosperity of its neighbours, Poggibonsi and Certaldo. Living is exceedingly cheap, but there is no trade, and what little work there is, is but scantily paid. Yet the people are full of old-world dignity and courtesy, and seem cheerful in spite of it all, even down to the little beggar bambini who pursue the foreign visitor with insatiable demands for foreign stamps and soldi, or pester him with unseasonable offers to serve as guide.[175]

Like most other small Italian towns, the origin of San Gimignano—il nobile castello, or il florido castello di San Gimignano—is hidden in legendary clouds. There is, of course, a tradition of a Roman foundation, a castle built by Silvius, a young Roman patrician involved{326} in Catiline’s rebellion, of Attila’s hordes of Huns hurled back by a sudden apparition of St Geminianus the martyred Bishop of Modena (whence the change of name from Silvia to San Gimignano), of a great palace built by Desiderius King of the Lombards, of privileges granted by Charlemagne. All these things are presumably mere fables. Luigi Pecori, the historian of his native town, supposes that in the sixth or seventh century, when the devotion to St Geminianus was widely spread, a church was built to his honour here, that people gradually gathered round it, until by the beginning of the eighth century there was a regular town, which was fortified by a castle; and as it was then surrounded and defended by woods, it was called the Castello di San Gimignano or the Castello della Selva. Be that as it may, the first authentic mention of the place is in a document of the early part of the tenth century.

From the tenth to the twelfth century, San Gimignano was subject to Volterra and more particularly to the Bishop of that city; but in the course of the twelfth century, its people were gradually winning their way to virtual independence and self-government, like the other communes of Tuscany, and like them beginning to exert supremacy and authority over the petty nobles of the small castles in the vicinity. By the year 1200, they had practically attained their liberty. At this time they had consuls, three or four elected annually, with a special council of fifty and a larger general council “which met only in cases of peace or war, usually in the Pieve, and always at the sound of the bell, as though Religion with her solemn voice invited the citizens into her own sanctuary to provide for the public weal.”[176] Hitherto the Bishop of Volterra had appointed two rectors, rettori, in whom the judiciary power was vested; but in 1199, instead of these rectors, we begin to find a Podestà,{327} elected by the Council of the Commune, the first being Messer Maghinardo Malavolti of Siena. At first, a native of the place was sometimes elected; but after 1220 the Podestà was always a foreign noble (usually, but not invariably, from Siena or Florence), who judged civil and criminal cases, presided over the meetings of the General Council and led the forces of the Commune in war; he brought with him a judge and a notary with a certain number of attendants, berrovieri, and was not allowed to entertain nor to receive hospitality from the citizens. All this was more or less the same, on a smaller scale, as what took place at this epoch in Florence or Siena; but here in San Gimignano the effect of the appointment of a Podestà was not to reduce the authority of the consuls, but rather to abolish that of the rectors of the Bishop of Volterra, and we find him exercising his magistracy side by side with the consuls for a longer period here than in the larger communes. For the rest, his term of office was originally one year, but it was afterwards reduced to six months; the same Podestà, however, was frequently re-elected.

Hitherto San Gimignano had consisted of the Castello Vecchio, surrounded by the old walls and with those grim antique gates, of which the remains stand to-day in the shape of the two portoni, with a suburb outside. But now, at the end of the twelfth and beginning of the thirteenth centuries, the new circle of walls was built to inclose the Castello Nuovo, as it was called; this is the seconda cinta, the second circuit of walls that still surround the place.

With the thirteenth century begins the series of the wars of the Sangimignanesi. In 1202, under their Podestà, they sent a force to relieve Semifonte, then besieged by the Florentines, but ended by helping to subject the castle to their formidable neighbours. They amplified their own dominion, destroyed the fortresses of{328} the lords of various little castles in the contado, forcing them to enter San Gimignano, and obtained Castelvecchio (which no longer exists) in 1210 from the Bishop of Volterra. They carried on a long intermittent struggle with Volterra, sometimes for the possession of Monte Voltraio, sometimes in alliance with the warrior bishop, Pagano de’ Pannocchieschi, whom his people expelled at intervals. Occasionally, Florence or Siena would intervene and compel the two small communes to keep the peace. San Gimignano even sent men to the Crusades, and two of these, Bene Trainelli and a certain Gradalone, are said to have won great honour. Within the city, there were the usual struggles between the magnates and the people, the grandi and the popolani, which came to a head in 1233, when the houses of the Knights Templars were burned, and a number of popolani, chosen from each of the then four contrade, with the rectors of the Arts, were appointed to sit with the consuls in the councils of the State. There was another tumult in 1236, which the Bishop Pagano came in person from Volterra to appease, after which the two Councils appear to have been reduced to one. In the days of Frederick II., San Gimignano was Ghibelline, took its Podestàs “by the grace of God and of the Emperor,” and sent horse and foot to serve in the imperial army. But the factions raged here, as everywhere else in Tuscany. In 1246, irritated by an unusually heavy tax upon the churches, the Guelfs rose. Headed by the sons of Guido Ardinghelli, they assailed the houses of the Ghibellines, especially those of the sons of Messer Salvuccio. The Podestà was absent at Certaldo; but he gathered troops in the contado, and entered the town while the uproar in the streets was at its height; he assailed the Guelfs who, under this combined attack and the rain of bolts and arrows from the towers, were forced to retire. There were numbers{329} banished on both sides. Thus began the feud between the houses of the Ardinghelli and Salvucci, that was to bring San Gimignano into servitude.

Shortly after the middle of the thirteenth century, a more democratic form of government was established. Instead of the consuls, the supreme authority was vested in a magistracy of twelve, elected annually—the twelve “Captains and Rectors of the People,” two captains and one rector being elected from each quarter of the town. There was the one Council of the Commune, usually sixty in number. A special magistracy of eight presided over the public expenses (the Otto delle Spese), and the Podestà, of course, had a special council, which in San Gimignano consisted of sixteen citizens.

But in the years in which this reformation was effected, immediately after the death of Frederick II., the factions grew more furious. In June 1251 the Guelfs rose, headed by the Twelve, expelled the Ghibelline Podestà, Neri degli Uberti of Florence, and made themselves masters of the town. Then in September 1252, the Ghibellines rose, headed by Michele Buonfigliuoli. The Guelfs made their stand at the houses of the Cini and Cici in the quarter of San Matteo, where after a desperate battle—the Podestà vainly spreading the red and yellow banner of the Commune and calling upon the combatants to lay down their arms—the Ghibellines got the upper hand, sacked the houses and massacred their opponents. The Guelfs appealed to the Bishop of Volterra, Ranieri de’ Pannocchieschi, who came to San Gimignano and patched up a sort of peace between the two factions—apparently to the advantage of the Guelfs. The Ghibellines rose again in January 1253; the gates were broken down and a portion of the walls destroyed, until at last the men of San Miniato interposed and assisted in expelling the leading Ghibellines.

This is the epoch of the short, flower-like life and{330} flower-attended death of the virgin heroine of San Gimignano, Santa Fina. Fina de’ Ciardi, born of a noble but poor family, at the age of ten contracted a horrible disease and, instead of a bed, chose to lie upon a plank of hard oak for five years, “offering herself up as a perfect holocaust to God.” She lost her father and mother, had horrible visions of the fiend in the form of a serpent. Then according to the legend, eight days before her death, St Gregory appeared to her, and told her that the end of her miseries was come, for that on the day of his feast she would be with him in Paradise. She died on March 12th, 1253, being then fifteen years old. “Hardly had that blessed soul expired,” writes the Annalist, “than the Demons in envy and rage filled the air with such fearful whirlwinds, that poor mortals were struck with horror. Against them the sound of the bells of San Gimignano, moved by the invisible hands of Angels, bore witness to the sanctity of Fina, and straightway caused those storms and infernal whirlwinds to cease. At these prodigies, the people flocked to the house of the saint, from which every one imagined that these effects proceeded. And when they arrived there, they smelt a fragrance of Paradise, and saw all the room where the sacred body was, miraculously full of flowers, as also the board upon which she lay. And when they wished to lift her from it, a part of the mortified flesh remained attached to it and straightway turned into flowers.”[177] Such are the contrasts offered by mediaeval{331}


(Domenico Ghirlandaio)

life and legend. The towns where the streets are still running red with the blood of the citizens, while the remains of houses and palaces are still smoking in their ruin, are visited by beings of another world, and have mystical gates and windows that open out upon the unseen.

San Gimignano was now Guelf for a while, and sent a well-equipped little force to swell the Florentine host at Montaperti in 1260. After the battle the Ardinghelli, Pellari, Mangieri and other Guelf families fled to Lucca; the Ghibellines took over the government and recalled Neri degli Uberti to serve as Podestà. San Gimignano now followed the fortunes of Siena, as in its Guelf days it had followed those of Florence. But in 1269, after the battle of Colle di Val d’Elsa, it became Guelf again under the suzerainty of Charles of Anjou, expelled the leading Ghibellines, and took a Captain of the People in imitation of the Florentines. But the neighbouring castle of Poggibonsi still clung to the decaying cause of the Ghibellines, and sheltered the fuorusciti. It was now, in 1270, reduced by the French soldiery of Montfort, aided by the Florentines and Sangimignanesi. The splendid castle, which Giovanni Villani calls the strongest and most beautiful in Italy, and of which we still see the remains rising above the modern town, was razed to the ground, and the inhabitants were forced to descend from the hill into the plain. King Charles put the work of destruction into the hands of the Sangimignanesi and made over a portion of the territory of the “rebellious” castle to them, the rest to the Florentines. Henceforth San Gimignano adhered to the Guelf League of Tuscany, sent armed men to take part in its wars, and did a little independent fighting with the Bishop of Volterra. The small{332} Commune began to have a voice in the counsels of Tuscany. In August 1276, the Sienese sent for peacemakers from San Gimignano, and the Podestà, Fantone de’ Rossi of Florence, with two of the citizens went at their request, “for the utility of that City and for the honour of this Commune.”

This was, indeed, the golden age of San Gimignano, from about 1270 to about 1320. According to Pecori, the population of the terra and contado together amounted to about 16,000 in the fourteenth century. The internal government grew more democratic, more definitely Guelf. Instead of the twelve captains and rectors, it was now ruled by the Otto delle Spese with the four Capitani di Parte Guelfa, and the usual credenza and General Council. In 1301 these Eight were increased to Nine, the “Nine Governors and Defenders of the Town,” whose term of office (like that of the Priors of Florence and the Nine of Siena) was two months. With the Nine was associated a giunta of twenty-four. The Podestà was publicly elected in front of the Pieve or Collegiata. All the magistrates assembled, and the Captains of the Parte Guelfa determined two cities from which he should be chosen. Then they drew by lot twelve councillors, each of whom nominated two knights from each of the two cities. They balloted for these, took the names of the eight who had received most votes, and wrote them on two tickets, four on each, which were inclosed in wax and put into a vessel of water. A child drew out one for the first six months, leaving the other for the second. Then the four names were similarly inclosed in four other wax globules, the child drew again, and the first name that came out was that of the Podestà for the next six months. The names on the second ticket, carefully inclosed in wax, were put into the custody of the Friars Minor until, at the appointed time, they were brought to the General{333} Council and the same process repeated for the Podestà of the second six months.[178] And, indeed, the Podestà of San Gimignano had no easy task; the factions continued their aimless and deadly course, the Pellari leading the Guelfs and the Salvucci the Ghibellines, until in May 1298, the Cardinal Matteo d’Acquasparta came to the place and patched up a peace, which was solemnly celebrated in the Piazza.

In the following year, 1299, died San Bartolo, the Father Damian of the Middle Ages. He was the son of Giovanni Buonpedoni, Count of Mucchio in the Sangimignanese contado. At an early age he entered the Church, tended the sick at Pisa, served as a simple parish priest at Peccioli and Picchena, and at length devoted the last twenty years of his life to the service of the lepers in the leper hospital, the Leprosario of Cellole. Here he fell a victim to his heroic self-sacrifice, and suffered so terribly that he was called the Job of Tuscany. By his own last wish, he was buried in Sant’ Agostino, where, two centuries later, the art of Benedetto da Maiano raised the noble monument we now see.

The day in this epoch that has made most impression upon the imagination of posterity, probably created comparatively little excitement at the time. It was only one of many similar embassies from the allied cities of the Guelf League that came to the gate of San Gimignano on that May morning of the year of Jubilee, 1300;[179] but the young burgher who rode in, with trumpeters and others whose coats were emblazoned with the red lily, was no other than Dante Alighieri, come as ambassador of Florence to announce that a parliament was to be held{334} for the purpose of electing a captain for the Guelf League of Tuscany, and to invite the Commune of San Gimignano to send representatives. The great new Palace of the Commune was then just finished, and the Tower barely begun. There was much Guelf fervour in San Gimignano in this year, the Podestà ordaining that, to avoid disorder and faction, every one should solemnly declare himself Guelf or Ghibelline, and that the Captains of the Party should raise a guard of six hundred men, half from the terra and half from the contado, for the custody of the town, to appear ready in arms at the sound of the bell. As we might have anticipated, when the Guelfs split into Blacks and Whites, San Gimignano was “black,” and in 1305 sent men to the siege of Pistoia.

A fierce war, on a large scale for two such small states, broke out in 1308 between San Gimignano and Volterra. There were no serious battles, but much harrying of the country and burning on both sides, and it was only ended by the intervention of Florence, Siena and Lucca. On the advent of Henry of Luxemburg, the Sangimignanesi sent men to aid King Robert and the Florentines. The Emperor came to Poggibonsi, from which he sentenced San Gimignano to pay a fine, and its walls and towers to be destroyed. Naturally, it was a mere idle threat.

This was the epoch in which the poet of San Gimignano, Messer Folgore, flourished. As we have seen, his principal work is associated with Siena; but there is a second series of sonnets, eight in number, for the different days of the week, which is more connected with his native city. They are dedicated to the Florentine, Carlo di Messer Guerra Cavicciuoli, who had served San Gimignano as condottiere in the war against Volterra. A more strenuous and virile note is struck here than in the better-known Sienese series for the months, in as much as,{335} amidst the singing and love-making, the feasting and jousting, hunting and hawking, there is at least one day of genuine fighting to be done:—

“To a new world on Tuesday shifts my song,
Where beat of drum is heard, and trumpet-blast;
Where footmen armed and horsemen armed go past,
And bells say ding to bells that answer dong;
Where he the first and after him the throng,
Armed all of them with coats and hoods of steel,
Shall see their foes and make their foes to feel,
And so in wrack and rout drive them along.”[180]

For the rest, Folgore was a furious Guelf, and when his party was crushed by Uguccione della Faggiuola, on the tremendous day of Montecatini in 1315, he hurled his defiance at God Himself:—“I praise Thee not, O God, nor adore Thee; I pray not to Thee, and I thank Thee not; and I serve Thee not, for I am more sick of it than are the souls of being in Purgatory. For Thou hast put the Guelfs to such torment that the Ghibellines mock us and harrow us, and, if Uguccione demanded duty from Thee, Thou wouldst pay it readily.”[181]

In 1319 two brothers of the Baroncetti, Messer Tribaldo and Fresco, conspired to make the first-named despot of the town. He was a leader of the Guelfs, potent in their councils, lavish with his money. With their allies and friends the two attempted to surprise the Palace; but the people rose in arms and drove them from the town; they were sentenced to perpetual banishment and their goods confiscated. “There was a knight of the Baroncetti,” writes Fra Matteo Ciaccheri in his rhymed chronicle, “and he was a mighty man: Messer Tribaldo was his name. He sought by every way and means to become lord of all, and to make himself fine with the noble mantle. Therefore was he hunted out{336} with great fury, and Messer Fresco, for they were brothers: for all the town rose in tumult.”[182] After this the Captain of the People, whose office had hitherto been frequently held by the Podestà, became more important, and the special council over which he presided was limited to popolani. Guards were continually kept on the Tower of the Podestà and the Tower of the People; chains were made for the streets and gates, and special custodians of them appointed for each of the four contrade. But the factions grew more and more embittered, and the days of the little Republic were numbered.

Led by the Ardinghelli, the fuorusciti were ravaging the contado, when in 1332 the Sangimignanesi, headed by their Podestà, Messer Piero di Duccio Saracini of Siena, took and burned Camporbiano, which had sheltered them. But Camporbiano was in the contado of Florence. The Florentines instantly summoned the Podestà and the leaders of the expedition to appear before them, and, when they did not appear, condemned the Commune of San Gimignano to pay a heavy fine, and their Podestà, with one hundred and forty-eight men of the town, to be burned alive. When the Florentine troops were actually on the march, the Sangimignanesi begged pardon, and threw themselves on the mercy of the Commune and People of Florence, who forgave them fairly magnanimously, on the condition of taking back the exiles and making good the damage that they had done to Camporbiano, according to the valuation of the men of the latter place themselves and of the Florentine ambassadors. After this, the Florentines soon began to treat San Gimignano as a vassal State, demanding soldiers and tributes, forcing its councils to ratify their corrections of the statutes. When the Duke of Athens made himself lord of Florence in 1342, the Ardinghelli (who had{337} been expelled again) attempted in the night to surprise the town, with the aid of the ducal forces, at the Porta della Fonte. The attempt failed, but in the following February the Commune was forced to submit to the Duke, who began to build a castle to secure his hold. A few months later, on his fall, it was razed to the ground and his adherents expelled. Again the Ardinghelli, led by Primerano and Francesco, in secret understanding with their friends within, attempted to get possession of the town, and again they were unsuccessful. Civil war now broke out in the contado, and in 1346 the Ardinghelli, with a strong force of armed men collected from all quarters, again assailed the walls. At last, by the intervention of the Florentines, a peace was patched up, and the Ardinghelli returned.

Broken in spirit by the pestilence of 1348, hopelessly in debt to the banking houses of Florence and with factions still devastating the town, in the spring of 1349 the Commune of San Gimignano was compelled to surrender the custody and government of the State to the Florentines for three years, with the conditions that the Commune of Florence should every six months send a cittadino popolano from Florence as Captain of the Guard and another as Podestà (the latter, however, elected by the Sangimignanesi themselves), and that the citizens of San Gimignano should be declared true and lawful citizens of Florence, with the same rights and privileges as the Florentines.

The mutual hatred of the Ardinghelli and the Salvucci now blazed out afresh. Temporarily allayed by the appearance of some three hundred Florentine cavalry in the town, it came to a head in 1352. In a street brawl, a certain Ser Ilario struck Michele di Pietro, one of the Nine; Rossellino di Messer Gualtieri degli Ardinghelli (the brother of the Primerano already mentioned), who was present, was made responsible and fined. The{338} Salvucci declared that Bartolommeo Altoviti, who was Captain of the town for the Florentines, had favoured Rossellino, and contrived that he should be succeeded by Benedetto di Giovanni Strozzi. Benedetto was easily convinced by them that Rossellino and Primerano were plotting with Altoviti against him. He promptly arrested the two brothers, “young men of great expectation and following,” says Matteo Villani, “and Guelfs by disposition and birth,” and imprisoned them. They threw a letter out of their prison tower, calling upon their friends to deliver them. It fell into the hands of the Captain, who, impelled “either by zeal of his office or by his own evil disposition or by the instigation of the Salvucci, their enemies,” determined to put them to death. The Commune of Florence, believing them innocent, sent an express command to Benedetto that he should not take their lives: but the Elsa had risen in flood, and the messengers could not pass that night. The Captain, hearing that they were on the way, hurried on the execution; on August 9th, he had the two young nobles publicly beheaded in the Piazza at the foot of the steps of the Palace, together with the supposed accomplice to whom they had written the fatal letter.

Thirsting for vengeance, the Ardinghelli, on December 20th, introduced the soldiery of the lords of Picchena and of the exiled Rossi of Florence into the town by the Porta di Quercecchio. Followed by the majority of the people, they assailed the houses of the Salvucci, who were taken by surprise and made little resistance, drove them out of the place, sacked and burned their palaces and those of their adherents, and occupied the town for themselves. On Christmas Day, the Salvucci and their friends appeared in Florence, demanding the aid of the Commune under whose guardianship (they said) they had been thus robbed and maltreated. On the other side the Ardinghelli, in the name and with the{339} authority of the Commune of San Gimignano, sent ambassadors, declaring that they had driven out the Ghibellines and would hold the town in honour of the Commune of Florence and of the Parte Guelfa. In February, the Florentines sent their Podestà, Paolo Vaiani of Rome, with a strong force of horse and foot, to restore order. Reaching the town and receiving no answer to their summons, they set their camp in hostile array and began to waste the country; but none sallied out nor made any resistance. Then the people forced the Ardinghelli to surrender. It was agreed that the Florentines should make peace between them and the exiles, should have the custody of the town for five more years, and should keep a Captain of the Guard there with seventy-five horsemen at the cost of the inhabitants, and that the Salvucci should return after six months. But the lords of Picchena having made no apology to Florence for their share in the matter, the Florentines in June destroyed their walls and fortress, “in order that this castle might no more be the cause of San Gimignano and Colle being stirred up to any rebellion.”[183]

Very striking is the last, piteous appeal of Fra Matteo Ciaccheri to his countrymen, to let the dead rest and save San Gimignano before it is too late:—

“Among the castles it is the very flower, and we are destroying it with all our might. It is the will of God, our Lord, that it should come to nought for our sin; within my heart I feel bitter grief thereat! Each of us has been hunted out, because we have turned to these factions, and we have been slain and burned and taken and robbed. For God’s sake, let us let the past be past, and each one strive to be a good brother, and look upon each other with kindly eyes. And so shall we save this noble jewel, which doth ever move my{340} heart with love, so delightful and beauteous it seemeth to me.”[184]

But all efforts were useless. The Salvucci and the Ardinghelli would have no dealings with each other, “and they kept all the town in gloom.” Each house longed to be avenged on the other and opposed the other at every turn. At length the Ardinghelli, being poorer and weaker than the Salvucci, decided to anticipate their enemies and to urge the people to make a complete and perpetual surrender to the Commune of Florence. In spite of the protests of the Salvucci, this was decided in a general Parliament in July, 1353. The Salvucci had potent friends in Florence, whom they stirred up to get the submission rejected, on the grounds that it was not the will of the people of San Gimignano themselves, but the work of a faction. The Signoria declared that they “only desired the love and the goodwill of all the Commune, and not the lordship of that town in division of the people.” Then two hundred and fifty of the chief men of San Gimignano appeared before the Priors and Gonfaloniere of Florence, assuring them that it was the will of all their people, whose only hope of salvation lay in being accepted by the Florentines. Hearing this, the Signoria formally proposed to the Council of the People of Florence that the surrender should be accepted; but such was still the influence of the Salvucci that it was barely carried. “That which every one should have desired, as a great and honourable acquisition for his native land,” says Matteo Villani, “found so many opposed to it in the secret balloting, that it was only carried by one black bean. I am ashamed to have written it, so infamous was it of my fellow citizens. The motion being carried, the terra of the noble castle of San Gimignano and its contado and district became part of the contado of the Commune of Florence.”[185]



Lombardi, Siena

There was a great display of confidence and magnanimity on either side. The Sangimignanesi sent a blank sheet of parchment with their seal to Florence, for the conditions of their submission. The Florentines crossed it and sent it back with two other blank sheets, for the Sangimignanesi to fill up as they pleased. Finally, on August 11th, 1353, the terms were arranged in the Palazzo Vecchio at Florence. They were, remarks Pecori, “most honourable terms, alike for those who dictated and those who received them.” And this is true, so far as everything connected with the taxes and with the local statutes and customs of the place are concerned; and all of the terra and contado, except the “magnates, or those that are considered such by the statutes of the said town,” are to be “in perpetuity, verily and originally, of the contado and of the people, popolani of Florence.” One of the articles stipulates that “all the artisans of San Gimignano, who shall wish to be admitted to the matriculation of any Art in Florence, can be received gratuitously by the respective consuls; it being expressly stated that it is lawful to each one of that town to exercise his own art there freely, notwithstanding the ordinances of the Arts of Florence.” But, in San Gimignano itself, there is to be a Florentine Podestà with full jurisdiction and power, according to the statutes of the terra itself, and further, an unmistakable note of servitude, it is stipulated “that in the Terra of San Gimignano there be constructed a fortress, at the expense of this Commune, in the place that shall be determined by the commissaries of the Signoria of Florence.”[186]

Thus ended the independence of San Gimignano, after a period of a century and a half. As long as the great Republic into whose hands they had fallen lasted, the{342} Sangimignanesi kept up some sort of appearance of communal liberty, and were even allowed to send ambassadors and treat with the other communes of Tuscany on their own account—in small matters of commerce and boundaries. The nine Governors and Defenders of the Town became the eight Priors (reduced to six in 1390) and the Gonfaloniere of Justice, after the Florentine model. When the Podestà entered upon his term of office, he came out in state upon the steps of the Palace, presented the letters of the Signoria of Florence to the assembled people, took the oath and received from the Gonfaloniere the baton of command and the keys of the town. In like fashion the Priors and the Captains of the Parte Guelfa entered upon their terms of office with great pomp, always magnificently attired; the great banner and the seal of the Commune were still solemnly consigned to the crimson-robed Gonfaloniere; and in public ceremonies the magistrates were accompanied by young squires with trumpets, robed in red and yellow, the colours of the Commune, with black caps and green cloaks emblazoned with the arms of San Gimignano in silver. Down to the eighteenth century, San Gimignano was famous for the magnificence of its municipal functions.

Until the end of the fourteenth century, painting in San Gimignano appears to have been exclusively practised by Sienese masters. In the fifteenth century it was exclusively Florentine. At the end of this century, San Gimignano produced two excellent painters of its own, though neither of them in the front rank. Sebastiano Mainardi (died in 1513) became the favourite pupil of Domenico Ghirlandaio, whose sister Alessandra he married; he was a diligent artist, who followed his master with ability, and frequently worked from his designs. Vincenzo di Bernardo Tamagni (1492-1533) worked under Raphael in the Vatican, and imitated his{343} style with considerable success. Vasari praises his soft colouring and the beauty of his figures. His life appears to have been unfortunate. In 1511 Bazzi had him imprisoned for debt in the prison of the Podestà of Montalcino, and in 1527 he was ruined in the sack of Rome, after which, says Vasari, “he lived on, in little happiness.” Bernardo Poccetti (1542-1612), by whom there is much second-rate fresco painting in Florence, was also a native of San Gimignano.

At least one Sangimignanese in the days of the Renaissance acquired an European reputation. Filippo de’ Buonaccorsi was born here in 1437, of an old and noble family. He was one of the humanists who flocked to Rome in the days of Pius II. Here he was associated with Pomponius Laetus in the founding of the famous Academy, and took the name of Callimachus, which was supposed to be the classical equivalent of Buonaccorsi. He was a leader in the real or fictitious plot against Paul II., of which Platina gives us so vivid a picture in his life of that Pontiff, and saved himself by flight. Later on, he made his way to Poland, where King Casimir IV. made him tutor to his sons and one of his secretaries, and frequently sent him on embassies. When Casimir’s son, John Albert, succeeded to the throne in 1492, Filippo became his chief minister and adviser, and is said to have counselled the King to resist the nobles and aim at despotic power. He died at Cracow in 1496, leaving a number of works in Latin, dealing with the history of Poland and Hungary. On one occasion, when on his way to Rome as ambassador from King Casimir to Pope Innocent VIII., Buonaccorsi passed through San Gimignano. He received a pompous reception from the Commune, in order that others, his fellow-citizens, might be encouraged to follow in his footsteps.{344}


In the Town of the Beautiful Towers

SAN GIMIGNANO is still surrounded by its second circuit of walls, built to inclose the Castello Nuovo at the end of the twelfth or beginning of the thirteenth century. The five massive towers that strengthen the walls were raised by the Florentines in the fifteenth century, and the whole town is surmounted by the Florentine castle, the Rocca di Montestaffoli. The three main gates have been preserved; the Porta San Matteo to the north, the Porta San Giovanni to the south, the Porta della Fonte to the east; and there is a smaller portal to the west, below the Rocca, the Porta di Quercecchio. And portions even remain of the first ancient circuit of walls that, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, inclosed the Castello Vecchio; especially two massive portoni in the chief street where the two chief gates stood, known as the Arco della Cancelleria and the Arco de’ Becci or de’ Talei, respectively. Even in 1355, Fra Matteo Ciaccheri could write of “the great ruin of the towers, of which many I see destroyed.” At present, only thirteen of these towers are standing.

Until the great pestilence of 1348, San Gimignano was divided into four contrade: the contrade of the Castello, of the Piazza, of San Matteo and of San Giovanni. After 1348, it was divided into thirds, the contrade of the Castello and Piazza being made one.{345} In the sixteenth century these three were further reduced to two, as at present; the Contrada di San Matteo and the Contrada di San Giovanni.

The centre of interest in the town is the former Piazza della Pieve, the historical scene of all the great State functions of the Republic, now called the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. Here are the Collegiata or Pieve (sometimes, but incorrectly, styled the Duomo[187]), the Palazzo del Popolo or Palazzo Comunale (sometimes called the new Palazzo del Podestà), and the old Palazzo del Podestà.

The Collegiata, or Pieve, was originally built in the eleventh century and modified in the fourteenth, the stone columns of the nave with their curiously worked capitals and part of the exterior belonging to the earlier epoch. But, in 1466, Giuliano da Maiano came to the place and designed the new choir and chapels, with the result that the church is a peculiar combination of Romanesque and early Renaissance architecture. The walls of the aisles and between the two doors are a mass of glowing fresco painting, illustrating the whole story of Sienese art daring that epoch that intervened between the deaths of the Lorenzetti and the rise of the great painters (practically the scholars of Taddeo di Bartolo) of the Quattrocento—but presently yielding, like San Gimignano itself, to the Florentines. On the left, in three parallel series, are scenes from the Old Testament by Bartolo di Fredi, finished in 1356; the Creation and Expulsion from Paradise, Cain and Abel, the story of Noah, Abraham and Lot, the stories of Joseph, Moses, and Job. They impress us by their naiveté, the charm{346} and grace with which the Sienese tell a story; note the delightful realism in the Building of the Ark, the beautiful group of women and children on the altogether impossible beasts intended for camels in the Crossing of the Red Sea. On the right are scenes from the New Testament, the life of Christ from the Annunciation to the Crucifixion; the later scenes have been destroyed (in the sixteenth century) to make room for the orchestra, but we can just see the remains of the Descent into Hades and the Ascension. They were begun by Barna of Siena, who fell from his scaffolding here and was killed in 1380, and finished by his pupil Giovanni da Asciano. Though of no surpassing merit, the scenes are well composed, in accordance with the usual tradition, and the painter has caught enough of Duccio’s spirit for the sacred stories to receive fairly adequate illustration for devotional purposes. The whole scheme of decoration of the aisles and nave is to set forth the entire creed of mediaeval Christianity, in accordance with which we see on either side of the window of the right aisle (below which is a memorial tablet to Barna) the peacocks, the emblems of the Resurrection. Round the central window is what completes the whole tale of human life, from this point of view: the Last Judgment, painted by Taddeo di Bartolo in 1393. It is a mere variation of the usual mediaeval composition; Christ is enthroned as Judge, with Angels bearing trumpets and the emblems of the Passion, the Madonna and Baptist kneeling on either side as representing Divine Mercy and Divine Justice respectively; lower down are Enoch and Elijah as assessors, while the twelve Apostles are seated below the window. At the sides, to right and left of the Judge, are Heaven and Hell. Christ and His Mother are seen in the Empyrean, with Angels and Saints in the fruition of the Beatific Vision. The Hell is disgusting and vile, even beyond the usual fashion of these representations. Those{347} who can endure it, will be able to work through its revolting details with the aid of the scrolls, and will be interested to note how certain Dantesque motives (the punishment of the panders and seducers is a good instance) have become coarsened and brutalised by the feebler imagination or provincial taste of the Sienese painter or his Sangimignanese employers.

After the pestilence of 1348, it was decreed that an altar should be built, between the two doors of the Pieve, in honour of St Fabian and St Sebastian, to put the survivors under their protection. The fresco that we now see in that place, under Taddeo’s Last Judgment, by Benozzo Gozzoli, commemorates the pestilence of 1464, and was ordered by Fra Domenico Strambi, an Augustinian monk, who was regarded as the great theological light in San Gimignano in the latter part of the fifteenth century, and to whom many of the artistic monuments of the town are due. He had been sent to study theology in Paris, partly at the cost of the Commune, in 1454, and received a State welcome on his return. Benozzo, as the inscription states, finished the work, “to the praise of the most glorious athlete, St Sebastian,” in January 1465 (that is, according to our modern reckoning, 1466). The Saint himself is impassive and stolid, though his body is a mass of arrows; the group of Florentines who seem practising archery, on our left, is the most satisfactory part of the fresco. Angels crown the martyr, Christ and the Madonna appear to him in glory above the clouds. In the frieze we see St Geminianus above with the model of his town, and, in the corners below, Bartolo and Fina. The Eternal Father with the Dove and the beautiful group of Angels (completing the scene of the Annunciation, with the two wooden statues of Mary and Gabriel by a Sienese sculptor of the preceding century) are also by Benozzo. His, too, are the Assumption on the left, the St Antony{348} and four Saints on the pilasters. The Patriarchs opposite the scenes from the Old Testament, the medallions of the Apostles between the arches, the Christ above the steps to the choir, are by the priest, Pier Francesco Fiorentino, that curiously unprogressive painter of the latter part of the fifteenth century, whose works abound here and in the neighbourhood.[188]

At the end of the right aisle is the shrine of Santa Fina. The chapel is a perfect gem of later fifteenth century art; architecture, sculpture and painting are blended to form a plastic poem even more harmonious than that of the more strenuous virgin of Siena in San Domenico. It was designed by Giuliano da Maiano in 1468; the shrine itself, in pure white and gold, was executed by Giuliano’s brother, Benedetto, in 1475. It is not quite as the sculptor left it. Above the sarcophagus are the Madonna and Child in a glory of cherubs with two Angels; underneath them are scenes from Fina’s life in relief; her vision of St Gregory, her funeral, her appearing to heal a sick woman. These predella scenes were originally below, the present base of cherubs’ heads and sacramental cups being more modern. Below, on either side of the tabernacle, are four Angels in niches, and two more (isolated statues) kneel with vases of flowers on either side of the altar. Upon the sarcophagus, with curious naked genii in the spirit of the Renaissance, is the inscription:—

“Virginis ossa latent tumulo quem suspicis, hospes.
Haec decus, exemplum, praesidiumque suis.
Nomen Fina fuit; patria haec; miracula quaeris?
Perlege quae paries vivaque signa docent.”[189]


Alinari, Florence THE FUNERAL OF SANTA FINA (Domenico Ghirlandaio)

(Domenico Ghirlandaio)
Alinari, Florence

And it is dated MCCCCLXXV. All round the chapel runs a frieze of cherubs’ heads. In two large lunettes on either side are two admirable frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio, which have a freshness and simplicity that we hardly find elsewhere in his work. On the right is the bare, poverty-stricken room where Fina lies on her plank, which has already begun to break out into flowers beneath her. Her faithful nurse Beldi supports her head with the hand that, according to the legend, caught the disease, and another woman is seated by her; both are peasant types, in the dress of peasants at the painter’s own day. They do not see the sudden vision of St Gregory in his glory, that sheds its splendour over the humble chamber, but they gaze up because of Fina’s rapt face. Above, the Angels are carrying her soul up to Paradise. Opposite is the funeral, a picture full of those splendid Florentine portrait heads that Domenico painted so well. Fina has just placed her dead hand upon that of her nurse, and thereby cured her; Bishop Ranieri of Volterra, who had a few months back reconciled the conflicting factions of the town, is reading the office for the dead. In the background are the towers of San Gimignano, and the Angels are ringing the bells. These two frescoes appear to be very early works of the painter, who had probably been introduced to the Operaio of the Collegiata by either the architect or sculptor.[190] The Prophets and Saints in the angles and round the windows, the Evangelists on the ceiling are the work of Sebastiano Mainardi.

In the choir is a Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels, signed by Benozzo Gozzoli, and dated 1466.{350} How stiff and archaic it seems by comparison with its neighbour, the Coronation of the Madonna by Pietro Pollaiuolo, signed and dated 1483, one of the pictures commissioned by Fra Domenico Strambi! Instead of Benozzo’s heavy gold haloes in which the names of the saints are inscribed (a characteristic which he borrowed from his master Angelico), Pietro reduces this emblem of sanctity to an almost imperceptible thin ring of gold and makes their human side predominant. There is a certain harshness about Pollaiuolo’s picture; Christ and the Madonna are unattractive types, and there is an excessive display of anatomical knowledge; but the admirable heads and powerfully modelled figures of the six saints—Geminianus and Bartolo (the two central figures), Augustine and Jerome, Fina and Nicholas of Tolentino—are unsurpassable in their way. The head of San Bartolo, especially, is a magnificent piece of painting. The beautiful mitres of Augustine and Geminianus on the ground show that the painter was also a goldsmith. On the left is a somewhat Raffaelesque Madonna and Child with Saints, one of the best works of Vincenzo Tamagni; the black monk kneeling in front is not Aquinas (as might be supposed from his attributes), but Nicholas of Tolentino who is much honoured in this town. The choir stalls date from 1490, and there are some illuminated choir books, one of them with ten excellent miniatures ascribed to Niccolò di Ser Sozzo Tegliacci, whose masterpiece in this kind we have seen at Siena.

San Gimignano was the first town in Italy to listen to the teaching of Fra Girolamo Savonarola, while Florence still rejected him. He preached the Lents of 1484 and 1485 in this very church. It was here that he first uttered the words of threefold prophecy that were soon to echo through the world. There was to be a renovation of the Church; but, first, the scourge of{351} God would fall upon her and upon Italy; and these things would come speedily. Can we not imagine his eyes resting on Taddeo’s Last Judgment at the end of the church, when he first mounted the pulpit, thrust back his cowl, and gazed round upon the assembled people?

In the sacristy there is an admirable bust, by Benedetto da Maiano, of Onofrio di Pietro, the Operaio of the Collegiata under whose superintendence the building was restored and the shrine of Santa Fina constructed; he died in 1488. The marble ciborium is also by Benedetto. A Madonna and Child with six Saints by Sebastiano Mainardi does not show that painter at his best. Out of the left aisle opens the chapel of San Giovanni, with a frescoed Annunciation of 1482, probably executed by Mainardi from the design of Ghirlandaio, and an old baptismal font (still used) made by Giovanni Cecchi of Siena in 1379 at the expense of the Arte della Lana, with quaint bas-reliefs of the Baptism of Christ, Angels and the Agnus Dei of the Guild. This same Guild, together with the Commune, had previously borne the cost of Bartolo di Fredi’s frescoes. There is a cloister attached to the Pieve with a few remains of frescoes, one of which—a Pietà—is ascribed by Mr Berenson to Pier Francesco Fiorentino.

At the side of the Collegiata is the Palazzo Comunale or Palazzo del Popolo, which was begun in 1288. Its great tower, the Torre del Comune, was begun in 1300 and finished about 1311, when the bell of the Commune was placed there. The palace is sometimes called the new Palazzo del Podestà, because after 1353 the Florentine Podestà resided here. The steps lead up to the platform upon which the Podestà stood when he presented his credentials and received the baton and keys from the Gonfaloniere, and it was at its{352} steps that the two Ardinghelli had been beheaded in 1352. There is a picturesque court, with fragments of frescoes and armorial bearings, and a well of 1360. To the right of the court is what was once the Cappella delle Carceri. Opposite the door is a fresco of the Madonna and Child enthroned, with St Geminianus and another bishop, of the school of Taddeo di Bartolo. By Bazzi (hastily executed and much repainted) are frescoes in chiaroscuro, representing St Ivo, the just young judge, administering justice to the poor and helpless, and, at the foot of the stairs, a magistrate seated between Truth and Prudence, trampling upon the Lie.

In the Sala del Consiglio, the councils of the Commune met in the fourteenth century, and it was here that Dante, on May 7th, 1300, spoke on behalf of the Guelf League of Tuscany. Here are remains of remarkable frescoes painted in 1292, and which he must therefore have seen; they represent hunting scenes and jousting, knights dashing against each other with swords and lances in the regular Arthurian style, a centaur slaying a hydra, Scolaio Ardinghelli arbitrating between the Commune and the clergy. This latter scene refers to a great dispute that began in 1290 between the Commune and the clergy of the town, concerning tithes and taxes. When the Bishop of Volterra put the place under the interdict, the people broke down the doors of the Pieve and had Mass celebrated there in spite of him, upon which the Proposto and his clergy left, carrying off the pictures and other treasures of the church with them. Pope Nicholas IV. intervened, and at last the matter was referred to Scolaio Ardinghelli, a prelate high in favour with the Pope, who in April 1292 decided in favour of the Commune. The picture was ordered by the latter in the same year. The rest of the frescoes were destroyed to make way for the large fresco by Lippo{353}

A GROUP OF CHORISTERS Detail from the Funeral of Santa Fina. (Domenico Ghirlandaio)

Detail from the Funeral of Santa Fina. (Domenico Ghirlandaio)

Memmi, painted in 1317 in imitation of the work his brother-in-law had just completed in Siena, representing the Blessed Virgin and her Son enthroned and surrounded by the celestial court of Saints and Angels, while Messer Nello di Mino Tolomei of Siena, podestà and captain of the Commune and People of San Gimignano, kneels at her feet under the patronage of St Nicholas. In his rhymed chronicle, Fra Matteo deals somewhat hardly with this dignified magistrate, calling him the ruin of the town, disfacimento di San Gimignano, accusing him of stirring up the people. The fresco was restored by Benozzo Gozzoli in 1467, who painted the four saints at the sides.

The Pinacoteca, on the third floor of the Palace, contains some excellent works. The more important are the following:—A triptych by Taddeo di Bartolo, the Madonna and Child with Saints, the Annunciation, Christ blessing with St Peter and St Paul above; the Madonna and Child, with the Baptist and St Francis, St Gregory and Santa Fina (the latter very sweet and golden-haired, with her flowers), a good Florentine work of the school of Benozzo Gozzoli; St Bartholomew with scenes from his martyrdom, by Lorenzo di Niccolò of Florence, dated 1401; two little panels with four miracles of Santa Fina, probably by the last-named painter; St Geminianus enthroned with a model of the town, with eight scenes of his miracles, including his appearance on the walls of San Gimignano to drive back Attila, by Taddeo di Bartolo; a triptych, by an unknown painter of the Quattrocento, representing St Julian with St Antony and St Martin, on either side of which are little pictures of Santa Fina and St Gregory, perhaps by Lorenzo di Niccolò; a Madonna and Child with two Saints (restored), by Pier Francesco Fiorentino; two excellent tondi by Sebastiano Mainardi. At the end of the room are the two chief treasures of the collection.{354} The Madonna alone in a glory of Cherubs, with a pope and an abbot kneeling in adoration in a beautiful landscape, is one of the finest of Pinturicchio’s works, in colour and in expression; it was painted for the convent of the Olivetani outside the Porta San Giovanni. On either side of it are two tondi representing the Annunciation, in beautiful old frames; these were commissioned by the Commune in 1482, and, though in colour and form they curiously approach Botticelli, appear to be early works of Filippino Lippi. M. Paul Bourget especially admires the Gabriel, “un Ange annonciateur au profil douloureusement extatique, aux mains blanches et fines dans leur longueur.” There is also an altar-piece by Fra Paolino da Pistoia, which may possibly have been painted by him from a design of Fra Bartolommeo’s, but is very poor in execution. There are several frescoes ascribed to Pier Francesco Fiorentino in other rooms of the Palace.

Opposite the Collegiata is the old Palazzo del Podestà, where that magistrate resided until San Gimignano surrendered to Florence. It was built in the thirteenth and enlarged early in the fourteenth century. There is some antique iron work, including a fine fanale, on the façade, and in the Loggia are the remains of a fresco painted by Bazzi in 1513. Its tall tower, only slightly lower than that of the Torre del Comune, originally called the Rognosa and, after 1407, the Torre dell’ Orologio, marked the limit to which noble citizens might build their private towers. When at nightfall its bell, those of the Pieve and the more sonorous one of the Commune answer each other, the Sangimignanesi assure me that the sound can be heard in Florence. The tower near it is that of the Savorelli.

Adjacent to the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele is the Piazza Cavour, formerly called the Piazza della Cisterna from the old octagonal well of 1273 that still adorns it.{355} On the left is the imposing Torre Pratellesi, originally the tower of the Palazzo Paltoncini in which the Podestà occasionally held his court in the first half of the thirteenth century. Opposite to it, is the tasteful little Gothic brick Palazzo Friani, a restored structure of the fourteenth century. Here is the tall, grass-grown Torre Cinatti, one of the most characteristic of the noble towers of the town. The two dismantled towers on the right are the remains of the palace of the Ardinghelli, in which the councils of the Commune met occasionally in the thirteenth century. At the corner of the Piazza is the Portone de’ Beccie Cugnanesi, or Arco dei Talei, of the original circuit of walls before the end of the twelfth century, to the right of which is the picturesque Vicolo de’ Becci, ending under a massive arch with one of those quaintly picturesque views that make the town an artistic delight at every turn.

Between the Via San Matteo and the Piazza dell’ Erbe are remains of a large palace, with two very tall twin towers. This appears to have been the Palazzo Salvucci,[191] the towers still showing traces of the fires kindled round them by the vengeful Ardinghelli. Opposite them, in the Via San Matteo, is the Torre Pettini. Thence we pass under a massive double arch, the Arco della Cancelleria or Portone di San Matteo, of the first circuit of walls. On our right are the Library and small Dante Museum, the latter inaugurated on the sixth centenary of Dante’s embassy to the town. A little further on, the church of San Bartolo has a picturesque façade of the eleventh century. Beyond is the great palace tower of the Pesciolini (according to a quite unhistorical tradition once the residence of Desiderio, King of the Lombards), in the style of the fourteenth century. The basement of what was once a palace, on{356} the left, has decorative frescoes of the school of Poccetti. At the Porta San Matteo, we turn down the little lane within the walls to the Piazza Sant’ Agostino.

The church of Sant’ Agostino was built between 1280 and 1299. It was consecrated by the Cardinal Matteo d’Acquasparta—a short while before that very unsatisfactory prelate’s attempt to make peace in Florence while Dante sat in the priorate. On the right of the principal entrance is the chapel of San Bartolo, constructed in 1494 by order of the Commune. The tomb itself is the work of Benedetto da Maiano and his pupils, but hardly equal to the one that Benedetto had made for Fina. The tondo of the Madonna and Child, in which the Mother is guiding the Infant’s little hand to bless the people, is most exquisite, and probably it (with, perhaps, the three theological virtues) is the only part executed by the master himself. The three Saints on the wall, the four Doctors on the ceiling were painted by Sebastiano Mainardi. The picture over the next altar, of the same year 1494, the Madonna and Child, with many Saints and a tiny little Dominican friar as donor, is one of the best works of Pier Francesco Fiorentino. The frescoed Pietà above is ascribed to Vincenzo Tamagni. Then comes one of those curious symbolical representations of the Passion, which Don Lorenzo and Fra Angelico had made traditional. The second altar, dedicated to St Nicholas of Tolentino, has frescoes of 1529 by Vincenzo Tamagni, representing the Madonna and Child with Angels, St Nicholas of Tolentino and St Rock, St Antony the abbot and St Paul the first hermit. At the first altar on the left, the chapel of the Crocifisso, are more frescoes by Tamagni; kneeling opposite the Magdalene at the foot of the Cross is St Clare of Montefalco, holding in her hand her heart marked with the signs of the Passion; the St Margaret on the left is a thoroughly Raffaelesque{357} figure, while the Madonna and St John are more like Perugino at his weakest. Then comes St Sebastian taking the people of San Gimignano under his protection in the time of pestilence, an admirable fresco by Benozzo Gozzoli; around the Apollo of Christian legend gather the people of the town in prayer; in spite of Christ and Mary, the Eternal Father and the Angels of wrath are hurling down the arrows of pestilence, but these are broken into pieces by other Angels at Sebastian’s intercession. Over the third altar is the Madonna delle Grazie with St Michael, originally a fresco by Lippo Memmi, but completely repainted and modernised.

The fresco at the steps, by Sebastiano Mainardi, inscribed S. Geminianus Silviaci Populi Gubernator, is a masterpiece of municipal sentiment. The Saint sits enthroned as bishop, while the three local worthies kneel before him to receive his blessing; Mattia Lupi, the bald-headed poet with his crown of laurel, who wrote in Latin verse the annals of the town and died in 1468; Domenico Mainardi, a noble-looking, grey-haired ecclesiastic, a distinguished canonist, who lectured at Bologna, Florence and Siena, was chaplain to Pope Martin V., and died in 1422; Nello de’ Cetti, a writer on civil law who died in 1430. The fresco is dated 1487. The heads are fine, almost worthy of Ghirlandaio, but they have been somewhat restored. Below it lies Fra Domenico Strambi, “Parisian Doctor,” the patron of Benozzo and Pollaiuolo, who died in the following year. In the chapel to the left of the choir is the Nativity of Mary, a curiously archaic picture by Tamagni, and in the chapel to the right are two frescoes representing her birth and death, ascribed to Bartolo di Fredi.

The frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli in the choir, begun for Fra Domenico Strambi in 1463 and finished in 1465, are among the supreme achievements of Florentine{358} painting in the third quarter of the Quattrocento. They set forth the chief events in the life of St Augustine, partly drawn from the Confessions. The first fresco, in which the little Augustine is taken to school by his parents, Patritius and Monica, is admirable for the freshness and naiveté with which the whole comedy of school-life, past and present, is treated. The drastic methods adopted by the schoolmaster in dealing with the little idler are specially referred to in the Confessions, where Augustine seems to remember his floggings with a curious sense of injury and injustice.[192] In the next (partly obliterated), we have his admission to the University of Carthage at the age of nineteen—that season of lawless loves and Manichaean errors so inimitably described at the beginning of the third Book. On the window wall, much damaged and restored, are St Monica praying for him, his crossing the sea and arrival in Italy. Next, we see him teaching philosophy and rhetoric in Rome, the usual composition of the lecturer and his pupils which we find elsewhere in the art of the fifteenth century, with those splendid portrait heads that make the modern student realise the wonderful intellectual vigour of these Florentines of the Renaissance. Then comes the journey from Rome to Milan, whither Augustine is sent by the Roman prefect Symmachus, in answer to the Milanese request for a teacher of rhetoric; even so might young Pico della Mirandola have looked when he first came to Florence. This somewhat, indeed, recalls the style of the Procession of the Magi in the Palazzo Riccardi, but is naturally in a more chastened style. Above, two white-robed, green-winged Angels bear a scroll in honour of Fra Domenico Strambi, who—it is expressly stated—at his own cost had bidden Benozzo paint here; it is dated 1465. Then Augustine arrives at Milan, makes the acquaintance{359}


Alinari, Florence

of Ambrose, is received by the Emperor Theodosius. After this he listens to St Ambrose preaching, St Monica kneels before the latter (whom, writes the Saint, she loved as an Angel of God), and Augustine begins to be convinced. On the window wall we have the wonderful scene in the garden, where Augustine and Alypius are finally and simultaneously converted by the reading of the Epistle to the Romans—after Augustine has heard the child’s voice singing again and again from the neighbouring house: Tolle, lege; tolle, lege, “Take and read: take and read.”[193] This is followed by his Baptism. Next Augustine, black-robed and aureoled, is among the monks, and meets the little child by the shore who rebukes him for attempting to penetrate into the mystery of the Trinity. After this comes perhaps the finest picture of the whole series, the Death of St Monica, with, at the window high up on the left, the famous conversation at Ostia which preceded it;[194] the youth standing behind Augustine with clasped hands is his son Adeodatus, ex me natus carnaliter, de peccato meo. Monica is sitting up in her bed to receive the Christ Child in the Host, and above her soul is being carried up to Paradise in the usual little cloud (the nubiletta bianchissima of Dante’s Vita Nuova) by Angels. On the right of the fresco, Augustine is returning to Africa. In the four remaining frescoes of the lunettes and on either side of the window, Augustine as Bishop of Hippo blesses his people, he confutes the heretic Fortunatus, has a vision of the glory of St Jerome in Paradise, and at last follows him. This last fresco, representing the death and apotheosis of Augustine, is also an admirable work. Full of expression and excellently composed, it is one of those traditional death scenes which, in their ultimate analysis, proceed from Giotto’s Death of St Francis. The Evangelists on the ceiling, the eight{360} Saints on the pilasters are also by Benozzo. In these frescoes he was assisted by pupils and apprentices, chief among whom was a certain Giusto di Andrea, who had previously worked with Fra Lippo Lippi.

Also in the Piazza Sant’ Agostino is the small church of San Pietro, which has the peculiar distinction of depending upon the bishopric of Volterra, while all the other churches of the town are subject to the Bishop of Colle. It contains several fragments of frescoes of the fourteenth century, still partly under whitewash. Over the altar on the right is a frescoed Madonna and Child with the Baptist and St Paul, of the school of Lippo Memmi, in which—a rather unusual motive—the Child is running to the Mother, clasping her hand in one and holding a fruit in the other hand.

In the Via Venti Settembre, on the left, is Santa Chiara. The altarpiece is a good work of the chief Florentine painter of the seventeenth century, Matteo Rosselli. It represents Christ enthroned upon the clouds, between the Madonna and the Baptist; below are St Francis and St Louis of France on our left, while on our right—a motive equally happy in conception and execution—St Clare is bringing Santa Fina into the celestial company. There are several pictures ascribed to Rosselli in the town, but this is the only one in the least degree worthy of the painter of the David of the Pitti. Further on, on the right, are the Hospitals, including the Spedale di Santa Fina, founded shortly after her death by the Commune, partly from the alms of pilgrims. In 1274 two special officers, Esortatori, were appointed to visit sick persons, to beg alms or legacies for the institution. In the entrance hall, formerly the chapel, are frescoes by Mainardi; four Saints in lunettes and, over the door, a Madonna and Child blessing those that enter. In the chapel is preserved the tavola, the board upon which Fina made her hard bed of expiation for the sins{361} of the world, and which blossomed out into flowers when her sacrifice was accomplished.[195] Beyond is San Girolamo, a church belonging to a convent of Vallombrosan nuns, with an altarpiece by Vincenzo Tamagni of 1522, with an upper part added by a later hand. At the end, connected with the former convent by a covered way across, is the church of San Jacopo, which belonged to the Knights Templars before the nuns had it; it is a building of the eleventh century (said to have been built in 1096 by the Sangimignanesi who returned from the Crusades), lovely in its ruin, in a little inclosed plantation of olive trees. The ornamented terra-cotta window and the curious coloured plates on the façade are noteworthy. Within are old frescoes, apparently of the Sienese school of the fourteenth century. Mr Berenson ascribes the St James on the pilaster to Pier Francesco. Then we pass out, through a breach in the walls, to the olive trees that clothe them, and to the sweeping view of the valley beyond.

At Santa Chiara, the Via della Fonte leads down between vineyards and old walls to the Porta della Fonte, over which is a chapel. Outside, over the gate, a statue of St Geminianus records the attempt of the Ardinghelli and their allies to capture the town for the Duke of Athens at this point, in 1342. The wonderfully picturesque fountains below, where the women linger over their washing and carry up pitchers to the houses, were constructed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. A little to the left, among the olives, flaming poppies and purple foxgloves, where a few oaks still remind us of the woods of old, there is a superb view of the “Castello della Selva” right above us, with eight of its towers visible.

The large prison that rises up at the walls, to the left of us, occupies the site of the Rocca that defended the{362} town until the Florentine occupation in 1353. After that, a Dominican convent was built upon the spot—the convent in which Savonarola stayed while preaching the Lent in the Pieve. It was suppressed in the eighteenth century by the Austrian Grand Duke of Tuscany. Opposite to it, in the Via del Castello, is the little church of San Lorenzo in Ponte, with a few unimportant frescoes of the Trecento.

Passing under the Arco de’ Talei into the Via San Giovanni, we see a large piece of the first circuit of walls on the right, adjoining the Portone, blackened apparently by fire, and the tall Torre Talei. Opposite the tower is a shrine, with a ruined fresco by Mainardi. In the refectory of a former convent of Benedictine nuns (now the Palazzo Pratellesi) is a very Peruginesque fresco by Vincenzo Tamagni, representing the mystical marriage of St Catherine of Alexandria; it is dated 1528. On the left is the dismantled façade of San Giovanni, a building of the eleventh century. Over the inside of the gate is a chapel built in 1601 to cover a venerated picture, but the outside of the Porta San Giovanni is still unspoiled thirteenth century architecture.

A short way beyond the Porta San Giovanni is the former monastery of Monte Oliveto, founded in 1340 by Giovanni di Gualtiero Salvucci. In the lunette over the door of the church is a fresco of the Madonna between two white-robed monks, possibly by Tamagni. There is a Madonna of 1502 in the church by Mainardi, and two Sienese pictures of the school of Lippo Memmi are in the sacristy. In the cloister is a frescoed Crucifixion by Benozzo Gozzoli, with St Jerome beating his breast and saying the Rosary at the foot of the Cross. Beyond Monte Oliveto, a road of olives and barley fields leads to the small hamlet of Santa Lucia. In its church are a fresco of the Crucifixion, with a little Dominican kneeling at the foot, by Pier Francesco, and a picture by Fra{363} Paolino—one of those compositions of Madonnas and Saints that he inherited from Fra Bartolommeo.

Outside the Porta San Matteo is the convent of the Cappuccini. In its church is a Deposition from the Cross of 1591, ascribed to Jacopo Ligozzi of Verona. About two miles further on, with a splendid view over the valley, is Cellole, a Romanesque church of the first years of the thirteenth century. Attached to it was the Leper Hospital, where San Bartolo devoted his life to the stricken and where at last, himself overtaken by the fell disease, he became one with the rest and died.

Behind the Collegiata, the way leads up to the Rocca di Montestaffoli, the fortress which the Florentines built after 1353, to maintain their hold upon the town. “The Commune of Florence,” writes Matteo Villani, “because it wished to live more secure of the town of San Gimignano and to remove every cause of evil thinking from its townsfolk, began to have made and finished, without leaving off the work at their expense, a great and noble Rocca and fort, the which was raised above the Pieve, where was the church of the Friars Preachers. And that church it had rebuilt, larger and more beautiful, on the other side of the town lower down.”[196] It was dismantled, two hundred years later, by Cosimo de’ Medici. The greater part of it is now a garden, with the old well in the middle of it. Ivy and purple foxgloves clothe the walls; figs and olives and cherries grow where once the fanti of the Florentine captains lolled in their tight parti-coloured dress. The varied noises rising from the town mingle pleasantly with the humming of bees. The highest part commands a superb view over the valley of the Elsa bounded by the distant mountains, the terra itself below with, close at hand, the belle torri rising as it were in the face of their Florentine lords, and away northwards is Boccaccio-haunted Certaldo. One{364} at least of Messer Giovanni’s fair heroines came from San Gimignano—the Isabetta whom English poets and English painters have surely made our own. Her father, it will be remembered, was a citizen of San Gimignano who had settled in Messina.

San Gimignano must be seen on some day of festa and procession, such as that solemnity of Santa Fina which is kept once in every five years on the first Sunday in August, or, more easily perhaps, on the annual celebration of the Corpus Domini. On the afternoon of the vigil of the latter day, the children wander out over the fields of all the country round for miles, returning at nightfall with baskets full of red and yellow flowers (the colours of the Commune), to be scattered in the way on the morrow. Then on the morning of the Festa, after High Mass at the Duomo, the procession passes under the Tower of the Commune, through the streets, between those grim towers, beneath the massive dark portoni, round and round the piazze. First come the various companies and confraternities of the contado with their priests and banners, then the Cappuccini with the gigantic black crucifix, followed by the canons of the Collegiata and, under the baldacchino, the Proposto bearing the Blessed Sacrament. The procession is almost exclusively composed of men and boys, the women and girls contenting themselves with scattering the red and yellow flowers before it as it advances. The crowd follows from place to place, falling down in adoration as the Sacred Host comes past. The bandsmen, the one obtrusive note of municipal modernity, with their uniforms, their white plumes and tricoloured favours, only make themselves evident at intervals, and whatever there may be of tawdriness in the decorations and the finery is lost and transfigured in the glory of the Tuscan early summer. Old Latin hymns, the Church’s heritage from the remotest Middle Ages, mingle and harmonise{365} with the clamour of the bells that clashed out a stormo while Guelfs and Ghibellines struggled madly together in these very streets through which the waving banners move to-day, that rang a gloria for the coming of Bishop Ranieri the peacemaker, or were swung to and fro by the hands of invisible Angels when the maiden Fina died. What more would the seeker for fresh sensations in Italy desire?{366}


THE following short note on Books and Authorities is not intended as a complete bibliography, but simply as a guide to further information upon the subjects dealt with in the present volume, and upon others which the limited space at my disposal has compelled me to treat somewhat cursorily and summarily.


Orlando Malavolti, Historia de’ Fatti e Guerre dei Senesi, così esterne come civili, seguite dall’ origine della lor Città, fino all’ anno M.D. LV. Venice, 1599.

Giovanni Antonio Pecci, Memorie storico-critiche della Città di Siena. Four volumes. Siena, 1755-1760. Taking its start from La vita civile di Pandolfo Petrucci, this work tells the whole history of Siena from 1480 to 1559.

The Cronica Senese in Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, vol. xv. Milan, 1729. A series of chronicles by Andrea Dei and Agnolo di Tura (1186-1352), Neri di Donato (1352-1382), and another erroneously called Agnolo di Tura (1382-1385).

Annali Senesi (1385-1422), in Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, vol. xix. Milan, 1731.

La Cronica di Bindino da Travale (1315-1415), edita a cura di Vittorio Lusini. Siena, 1900. Amusing reading, but of small historical importance.

Diari scritti da Allegretto Allegretti delli cose senesi del suo tempo, in Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, vol. xxiii. Milan, 1733. Referred to in the present work as Diari Senesi; they run from 1450 to 1480.

Statuti Senesi; scritti in volgare ne’ secoli xiii. e xiv., e pubblicati secondo i testi del R. Archivio di Stato in Siena, per cura di F. L. Polidori e L. Banchi. Three volumes. Bologna, 1863, 1871, 1877.{367}

Il Costituto del Comune di Siena, volgarizzato nel MCCCIX. e MCCCX. da Ranieri di Ghezzo Gangalandi, edito per cura di Luciano Banchi. Siena, 1874.

Giuseppe Porri, Miscellanea Storica Senese. Siena, 1844. This contains:—

(1) Il primo libro delle Istorie Senesi di Marcantonio Bellarmati.

(2) La Sconfitta di Montaperti, from the chronicles of Domenico Aldobrandini.

(3) La Sconfitta di Montaperti di Niccolò di Giovanni di Francesco Ventura. (Written in 1442. The fullest and most picturesque account of the battle from the purely Sienese point of view.)

(4) Cenni sulla Zecca Senese.

Cesare Paoli, La Battaglia di Montaperti. Siena, 1869.

Il Libro di Montaperti, pubblicato per cura di C. Paoli. Florence, 1889.

Pasquale Villari, I primi due secoli della Storia di Firenze. Two volumes. Florence, 1893, 1894.

Leonardo Bruni, Istoria Fiorentina tradotta in volgare da D. Acciaiuoli. (Containing the original Latin text and Acciaiuoli’s translation.) Three volumes. Florence, 1855-1860.

Giuseppe Rondoni, Sena Vetus o il Comune di Siena dalle origini alla battaglia di Montaperti. Turin, 1892.

Luciano Banchi, Il Piccinino nello Stato di Siena e la Lega Italica (1455-56); Ultime Relazioni dei Senesi con Papa Calisto III. In the Archivio Storico Italiano, series iv., vols. iv. and v. Florence, 1879, 1880.

Pius II., Aeneae Silvii Piccolominaei Historia Rerum Friderici Tertii Imperatoris. Strasburg, 1685.

Pius II., Pii Secundi Pontificis Maximi Commentarii Rerum Memorabilium quae temporibus suis contigerunt. Rome, 1584.

Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages. English translation. London, 1891-1900.

Alessandro Lisini, Relazioni tra Cesare Borgia e la Repubblica Senese (conferenza, or lecture, to the R. Accademia dei Rozzi). Siena, 1900.

Niccolò Machiavelli, Opere. The edition referred to in the present work is always that published in eight volumes at Florence (“Italia”) in 1813.

Pasquale Villari, Niccolò Machiavelli e i suoi tempi. Second edition in three volumes. Milan, 1895, 1896.

Diario delle cose avvenute in Siena dai 20 luglio 1550 ai 28 giugno 1555, scritto da Alessandro Sozzini.{368}

La Cacciata della Guardia Spagnola da Siena d’incerto autore, 1552.

Racconti delle principali fazioni della guerra di Siena, scritti da Girolamo Roffia, 1554. These three contemporary works, with documents and appendices, are in the Archivio Storico Italiano, series i., vol. ii. Florence, 1842.

Giornale dell’ Assedio di Montalcino fatto dagli Spagnoli nel 1553 di autore anonimo. In the Archivio Storico Italiano. Appendix, vol. viii. Florence, 1850.

Commentaires du Maréchal Blaise de Montluc (edited by J. A. C. Buchon). In the Panthéon Littéraire. Paris, 1836.

The Commentaries of Messire Blaise de Montluc, Maréchal of France. Translated by C. Cotton. London, 1674.

U. G. Mondolfo, Pandolfo Petrucci: Signore di Siena. Siena, 1899.

Giuseppe Rondoni, Siena nel secolo xvi. In La Vita Italiana nel Cinquecento. Milan, 1894.

Cesare Paoli, Article on Siena in the Encyclopædia Britannica, vol. xxii. Edinburgh, 1887.


Miscellanea Storica Senese. Siena, from 1893 onwards.

Bullettino Senese di Storia Patria. Siena.


J. A. Crowe and G. B. Cavalcaselle, A new History of Painting in Italy from the second to the sixteenth century. Three volumes. London, 1864. (A new edition is announced in preparation by Mr Langton Douglas.)

G. B. Cavalcaselle and J. A. Crowe, Storia della pittura in Italia dal Secolo II. al Secolo XVI. Eight volumes. Florence, 1886-1898.

Vasari, Le Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori ed architettori; con nuove annotazioni e commenti di Gaetano Milanesi. Eight volumes. Florence, 1878-1882.

Documenti per la Storia dell’ Arte Senese, raccolti ed illustrati da Gaetano Milanesi. Three volumes. Siena, 1854-1856.

Nuovi Documenti per la Storia dell’ Arte Senese, raccolti da S. Borghesi e L. Banchi. Siena, 1898.

Giovanni Morelli, Italian Painters, translated by C. J. Ffoulkes. Two volumes. London, 1891-93.

Giovanni Morelli, Della Pittura Italiana; studi storico-critici. (Same work in Italian.) Milan, 1897.{369}

Gustavo Frizzoni, L’Arte Italiana del Rinascimento. Milan, 1891.

Bernhard Berenson. The Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance. New York and London, 1897.

C. C. Perkins, Historical Handbook of Italian Sculpture. New York, 1883.

Marcel Raymond, La Sculpture florentine. Four volumes. Florence, 1897-1901.

Carl Cornelius, Jacopo della Quercia. Halle, 1896.

Alessandro Lisini, Notizie di Duccio Pittore e della sua celebre Ancona (estratto dal Bullettino Senese di Storia Patria, anno v. fasc. 1). Siena, 1898.

Pietro Rossi, L’Arte Senese nel Quattrocento (conferenza, or lecture, to the R. Accademia dei Rozzi). Siena, 1899.

Evelyn March Phillipps, Pintoricchio. London, 1901.

Maud Cruttwell, Luca Signorelli. London, 1900.

William Heywood, A pictorial Chronicle of Siena. Siena, 1902.

R. Hobart Cust, The Pavement Masters of Siena. London, 1901.

G. W. Kitchin, Life of Pius II. (as illustrated in Pinturicchio’s frescoes). Arundel Society.

Catalogo della Galleria del R. Istituto Provinciale di Belle Arti in Siena. Siena, 1895.


Girolamo Gigli, L’opere della Serafica Santa Caterina da Siena.

Vol. i. La Vita, translated by Bernardino Pecci from the Latin Leggenda of the Beato Raimondo da Capua (referred to in the present work as Leggenda); the letter describing her life from Stefano Maconi to Tommaso Nacci Caffarini, and the letter describing her death from Barduccio Canigiani to Suor Caterina Petriboni. Siena, 1707.

Vol. ii. and vol. iii. L’Epistole della Serafica Vergine Santa Caterina. Lucca, 1721, and Siena, 1713.

Vol. iv. Il Dialogo della Serafica Vergine, and her minor works. Siena, 1707.

Vol. v. Supplimento alla vulgata leggenda di Santa Caterina da Siena, by Tommaso Nacci Caffarini, translated by Amb. Ansano Tantucci. Lucca, 1754.

Le Lettere di Santa Caterina da Siena ridotte a miglior lezione, con proemio e note di Niccolò Tommaseo. Four volumes. Florence, 1860. (In quoting from the letters in the{370} present work, I have always adopted the text and the numeration of this edition.)

Leggenda minore di Santa Caterina da Siena e Lettere dei suoi Discepoli, scritture inedite pubblicate da Francesco Grottanelli. The Leggenda minore was written in Latin by Tommaso Nacci Caffarini and translated into Italian by Stefano Maconi. Bologna, 1868.

Alfonso Capecelatro, Storia di Santa Caterina da Siena. Fourth edition. Siena, 1878.

Augusta T. Drane, The History of St Catherine of Siena and her Companions, with a translation of her treatise on Consummate Perfection. Two volumes. London, 1899.

F. Alessio, Storia di San Bernardino e del suo tempo. Mondovi, 1899.

P. M. Oraffi, Vita del Beato Bernardo Tolomei. Venice, 1650.

Silvano Razzi, Vite de’ Santi e Beati Toscani. Florence, 1593-1601.

Gaspero Olmi, I Senesi d’una volta. Siena, 1889.


Siena e il suo Territorio. Siena, 1862.

E. A. Brigidi, La Nuova Guida di Siena e dei suoi aintorni. Siena, 1901, etc.

Girolamo Gigli, Diario Senese, in cui si veggono alla giornata tutti gli avvenimenti più ragguardevoli spettanti sì allo Spirituale sì al Temporale della Città e Stato di Siena. Two volumes. Lucca, 1723.

Girolamo Gigli, La città diletta di Maria. Rome, 1716.

Giovanni Antonio Pecci, Storia del Vescovado della città di Siena. Lucca, 1748.

Scipione Bargagli, I Trattenimenti dove da vaghe donne e da giovani huomini rappresentati sono honesti e dilette voli giuochi, narrate novelle, e cantate alcune amorose canzonette. Venice, 1587.

Giuseppe Rondoni, Tradizioni popolari e leggende di un comune medioevale e del suo contado. Florence, 1886.

Lodovico Zdekauer, Lo Studio di Siena nel Rinascimento. Milan, 1894.

Lodovico Zdekauer, Il Mercante Senese nel Ducento. (A lecture with an Appendix of Documents.) Siena, 1900.

Vittorio Lusini, Storia della Basilica di San Francesco in Siena. Siena, 1894.

Vittorio Lusini, Il San Giovanni di Siena. Florence, 1901.{371}

Antonio Canestrelli, L’Abbazia di San Galgano; monografia storico-artistica. Florence, 1896.

Bartolommeo Aquarone, Dante in Siena: ovvero accenni nella Divina Commedia a cose senesi. Siena, 1865.

Alessandro d’Ancona, Cecco Angiolieri da Siena. In Studi di Critica e Storia Letteraria. Bologna, 1880.

Giosuè Carducci, Rime di M. Cino da Pistoia e d’altri del secolo XIV. Florence, 1862.

Le Rime di Folgore da San Gimignano e di Cene da la Chitarra d’Arezzo, nuovamente pubblicate da Giulio Navone. Bologna, 1880.

Giuseppe Errico, Folgore da San Gimignano e la Brigata Spenaereccia. Naples, 1895.

John Addington Symonds, Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece. Third volume contains studies on Siena, Folgore, Monte Oliveto, and Montepulciano. London, 1898.

Ambrogio Landucci, Sacra Leccetana Selva, cioè origine e progressi dell’ antico e venerabile Eremo e Congregatione di Lecceto in Toscana. Rome, 1657.

Fra Filippo Agazzari, Gli Assempri, testo di lingua inedito pubblicato per cura di F. C. Carpellini. Siena, 1864.

William Heywood, Our Lady of August and the Palio of Siena. Siena, 1899.

Antonio Marenduzzo, Veglie e Trattenimenti Senesi nella seconda metà del secolo XVI. Trani, 1901.

Montgomery Carmichael, In Tuscany. Contains chapter on the Spanish Praesidia. London, 1901.

Luciano Banchi, I porti della Maremma Senese durante la Repubblica. In the Archivio Storico Italiano, series iii., vols. x., xi., xii. Florence, 1869-1871.


Giovanni Francesco Coppi, Annali, memorie ed huomini illustri ai San Gimignano. Florence, 1695.

Luigi Pecori, Storia della Terra di San Gimignano. Florence, 1853.

Matteo Villani, Istorie Fiorentine (in continuation of those of his brother Giovanni). In Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores. Vol. xiv. Milan, 1729; and elsewhere.

Cronachetta di San Gimignano composta da Fra Matteo Ciaccheri Fiorentino, l’anno MCCCLV. Bologna, 1865. Fra Matteo was a native of San Gimignano; he calls himself a Florentine because, when he wrote, all his fellow-townsmen had become Florentine citizens.{372}

Gino Capponi, Storia della Repubblica di Firenze. Appendix to vol. i. Florence, 1878.

Ugo Nomi V. Pesciolini, Le Glorie della Terra di San Gimignano. Siena, 1900.

Natale Baldoria, Monumenti Artistici in San Gimignano. Article in the Archivio Storico dell’ Arte for 1890. Rome, 1890.

Bernhard Berenson, The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance. Second Edition. New York, 1900.

Alfredo Tognetti, Guida di San Gimignano. Florence, 1899.


Map of SIENA.


A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Z

Abati, Bocca degli, Florentine traitor at Montaperti, 15.
Accona, desert of, 315, 316.
Agazzari, Fra Filippo, author of the Assempri, 23, 305-311.
Agostino di Giovanni, architect and sculptor (died in 1350), 99, 278, 284, 285.
Agnolo di Tura (“Grasso”), chronicler, his description of the pestilence, 25, 26; quoted, 127.
Agnolo di Ventura, architect (died in 1348), 99, 278, 284.
Aggregati, Monte degli, 75.
Albany, Duke of (John Stuart), 210, 211.
Albertinelli, Mariotto, painter (1474-1515), 124.
Albizzeschi, Bernardino. See Bernardino.
Aldobrandeschi, Counts of Santa Fiora, 7, 14, 15.
Airoldi, Fra Domenico, Abbot of Monte Oliveto, 317, 318, 320.
Alexander III., Pope (Orlando Bandinelli), his pontificate, 5;
consecrates the older Duomo, 6;
frescoes depicting his life, 143, 144;
honoured by modern Siena, 144;
statue of in the Duomo, 160.
—— IV., Pope (Rinaldo Conti), unites the Augustinian hermits into one order, 305.
—— VI., Pope (Roderigo Borgia), threatens the liberty of Siena, 86;
recalls Cesare, 89;
dies, 90;
patron of Pinturicchio, 171;
portraits of, 174.
—— VII., Pope (Fabio Chigi), character of, 160.
Allegretti, Allegretto di Nanni, diarist, quoted 74, 75;
describes the reconciliation of Noveschi and Popolani in the Duomo, 78, 79;
quoted 129, 130, 157 (note);
describes a festa in the Via del Capitano, 257;
referred to, 267 (note);
his account of the reducing the Monti to one and the presentation of the keys to the Madonna, 272-274.
Altoviti, Bartolommeo, Florentine captain in San Gimignano, 338.
Alviano, Bartolommeo, condottiere, 91.
Amerighi, Amerigo, plots the liberation of Siena, 224.
—— Marcantonio, ambassador to the Emperor, 219.
Andrea di Vanni, painter (end of Trecento), 107, 206, 207, 208 (note), 296.
Andrea Pisano (1270-1348), sculptor and architect, referred to, 99, 100.
Anguillara, Conte Virginio dell’, papal condottiere, 212, 213;
routed outside Porta Camollia, 214.
Ansanus, St, Apostle of Siena, 105, 139, 162, 179, 187, 261, 305.
Andrea Dei, 177.
Aragona, Alfonso da, Duke of Calabria (afterwards King of Naples), attempts to obtain the lordship of Siena, 74, 75;
his victory at Poggio Imperiale, 138;
referred to, 272, 314.
—— Eleonora da (afterwards Duchess of Ferrara), 254, 257.
Arbia, the, 17, 314.
Ardinghelli, family of the, lead the Guelfs of San Gimignano, 328, 329, 331;
their factious conduct, 336, 337;
feud with the Salvucci, 337, 338;
get possession of San Gimignano, 338;
forced to surrender to the Florentines, 339;
urge complete submission to Florence, 340;
their palace, 355.
—— Francesco degli, leads an attack upon San Gimignano, 337.
—— Primerano degli, attacks San Gimignano, 337;
judicial murder of, 338, 352.{374} Ardinghelli, Rossellino degli, fined, 337;
judicial murder of, 338, 352.
—— Scolaio degli, arbitrates between the clergy and people of San Gimignano, 352.
Aringhieri, Alberto, 156, 161, 212.
—— Luzio, executed, 212.
—— Niccolò, monument to, 283.
Arras, Count of, at Montaperti, 14, 15.
Asinate, 130, 131.
Athens, Duke of (Walter de Brienne), 24, 336, 337.
Avila, Don Franzese de, commands Spanish garrison in Siena, 225, 226.
Augustine, St., his legendary visit to Lecceto, 305;
Gozzoli’s frescoes concerning him, 358, 359.

Baglioni, Andrea, his defence of Monticchiello, 228.
—— Giampaolo, his plot against Cesare Borgia, 86;
allied with Pandolfo Petrucci, 87-90.
—— Oreste, condottiere, 93.
Balducci, Matteo, painter (early Cinquecento), 118, 119, 123, 175, 180, 293.
Balìa, Collegio di, institution of, 70;
in the hands of the Popolani, 75;
in those of the Noveschi, 79;
nominally divided among the three Monti, 85;
subservient to Pandolfo, 85;
decrees his banishment, 88;
recalls him, 89, 90;
ruled by Raffaello, 94;
the assassination of Giberto da Correggio by, 144-146;
various changes in and measures of, 211, 213, 218;
subservient to Don Diego, 219, 220;
abolished, 227;
appointed by Cosimo de’ Medici, 244.
Balzana, legend of origin of the, 1, 2.
Bandinelli, Orlando. See Alexander III., Pope.
—— Sozzo, 30.
Bandini, Sallustio, father of Francesco and Mario, 283.
Bandini (Piccolomini), Francesco, Archbishop of Siena, 168;
relations with Michelangelo, 170;
sent to the Emperor, 219;
escapes to Montalcino, 236, 239.
Bandini (Piccolomini), Mario, heads the rising against Fabio Petrucci, 98, 210;
a leader of the Libertini, 210, 211;
calls the people to arms against Alessandro Bichi, 211;
captures the papal artillery at the Battle of Camollia, 214;
heads the opposition to the Noveschi, 216;
arrested by Ferrante Gonzaga, 217;
rebukes the Bardotti, 217;
alluded to, 219;
leads the exodus to Montalcino, 242;
maintains the form of the Sienese Republic at Montalcino, 244;
and dies there, 244.
Bardotti, the, 217, 218.
Barbarossa. See Frederick I., Emperor.
Bargagli, Marino, conspirator, 70.
—— Scipione, novelist, 241, 252, 253, 254, 290, 291.
Barili, Antonio, sculptor (died 1516), 102, 103, 118, 147, 167, 281.
—— Giovanni, sculptor (died 1529), 102, 103, 167.
Barna, painter (died 1380), 107;
his work at San Gimignano, 346.
Baroncetti, Conspiracy of the, in San Gimignano, 335, 336.
Bartolo, San (Buonpedoni) of San Gimignano, his life, 333;
pictures of, 347, 350;
his shrine, 356;
at Cellole, 363.
Bartolo di Fredi, painter (died 1410), his works in Siena, 107;
at San Gimignano, 345, 346, 357.
Bazzi, Giovanni Antonio (“Il Sodoma”), painter, (1477-1549), his life and work, 115, 116;
his pictures in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 118, 120, 124;
frescoes in the Palazzo de’ Signori, 135, 139, 142, 143, 147, 148;
Holy Family under the Spedale, 188;
his work in San Domenico, 203, 204, 205, 206;
other pictures and frescoes by him in Siena, 262, 265, 282;
his frescoes at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, 317-320, 321, 322;
works at San Gimignano, 343, 352, 354.
Beccafumi, Domenico (di Giacomo di Pace), painter and sculptor (1486-1550), 116;
his life and character, 117;
his pictures in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 119, 123, 124;
frescoes in the Sala di Concistoro, 143;
work on the{375} pavement of the Duomo, 158, 159;
other work in the Duomo and elsewhere, 167, 179, 248, 262, 282, 293.
Beccafumi, Lorenzo, one of the delegates from Siena to Cesare Borgia, 89;
his patronage of Domenico, 117.
Belcaro, 302-304.
Bellanti, family of the, lead the Noveschi, 75, 76, 80;
their conspiracy against Pandolfo Petrucci, 91;
return to Siena, 94;
alleged plot against Raffaello Petrucci, 97;
excluded from the Government, 216.
—— Andrea di Naddino, converted by St. Catherine, 46.
—— Ghino di Pietro, treacherous citizen, 70, 112;
his tavoletta, 270.
—— Giulio di Leonardo, his plot against Pandolfo, 91;
is murdered by Francesco Petrucci, 97.
—— Guidone di Leonardo, put to death by Raffaello Petrucci, 97.
—— Leonardo, plots for the return of the Noveschi, 77;
a leading spirit in the party, 80;
begins to resent the Petruccian supremacy, 85;
his letter to Bernardino Borghesi, 85, 86;
intrigues against Pandolfo, 88;
one of the Sienese delegates to Cesare Borgia, 89;
plots against Pandolfo’s life and is declared a rebel, 91;
returns to Siena with Raffaello Petrucci, 94;
is beheaded, 97.
—— Luzio, occupies Montereggioni for the Noveschi, 76;
a leading spirit in the new regime, 80;
routs the Riformatori and Popolani, 82;
is deprived of the command of the mercenaries, 83;
plots against the Noveschi and is banished, 83;
his professed zeal for the liberty of his country, 85, 86;
is murdered by Pandolfo, 85, 86, 92.
—— Petrino, 91.
Benincasa, Caterina. See Catherine, St.
—— Giacomo, 43, 45.
—— Lapa, 43, 57, 66.
—— Lisa (Colombini), 47.
Benvenuto di Giovanni, painter (1436-1518), 109, 119, 120;
his designs for the pavement of the Duomo, 157, 158;
other works by him, 188, 203.
Benedetti, Giovanni Maria, Sienese patriot, 224.
Benzi, family of the, 205.
—— Antonio, canon, 222 (note).
Bernardino, San (Albizzeschi), his life and work, 71, 73;
portraits of, by Vecchietta and Sano di Pietro, 110, 113;
his sermons to the Sienese, 128, 129, 132;
pictures of, 139, 143, 144, 167;
his work for the plague-stricken, 188;
oratory to his honour, 285;
founds the Osservanza, 298;
contemporary portrait of, 300;
his cell, 300.
Bernardino da Asti, Fra, preaches in the Piazza San Martino, 276.
Bernini, Giovanni Lorenzo, sculptor and architect (1598-1680), 154.
Biccherna, Camarlingo e quattro Provveditori di, 6, 9, 21, 27, 269, 270.
Biccherna, Tavolette di, 269-275.
Bichi, family of the, leaders of the Noveschi, 80, 216.
—— Alessandro, adheres to Fabio Petrucci, 98;
becomes the head of the Noveschi, 210;
attempts to make himself tyrant of Siena, 211;
is assassinated by the Libertini, 211;
his palace, 289.
—— Antonio, Sienese commissary to Montepulciano, 81, 83.
—— Antonio Maria, banished, 212.
—— Margherita. See Buonsignori.
Bigozzi, Niccolò dei, at Montaperti, 14.
Bindino da Travale, quoted, 24.
Boccaccio, Giovanni, 25, 131, 132, 324, 363, 364.
Bonizzelli, Giovanni Andrea, put to death, 226.
Bordone, Paris, Venetian painter, (cinquecento), 124.
Borghesi, family, leaders of the Noveschi, 75, 80, 216.
—— Bernardino di Niccolò, 85, 86.
—— Camillo. See Paul V., Pope.
—— Giovanni, 253.
—— Niccolò, organises the return of the Noveschi from exile, 76;
his character, 80;
ambassador from Siena to Charles VIII. of France, 81;
leads the Noveschi against the Popolani and Riformatori,{376} 82;
Luzio Bellanti plots against him, 83;
his murder and death, 85;
Leonardo Bellanti’s letter about, 85, 86;
scene of his murder, 253;
inscription on the Porta Romana ascribed to him, 281.
Borghesi, Pietro (the elder), 82.
—— Pietro (the younger), murdered, 216.
Borgia, Alfonso. See Calixtus III., Pope.
—— Cesare, his designs, 86;
crushes the conspiracy at Sinigaglia, 86, 87;
his enterprise against Siena, 87-89;
is recalled by the Pope, 89;
wins the Palio, 131 (note);
letter of in the Archivio di Stato, 268.
—— Roderigo. See Alexander VI., Pope.
Botticelli, Sandro, painter, (1447-1510), 251, 354.
Brandano, hermit, 223;
assails Don Diego, 224;
mocks the Cardinal Ippolito, 228;
discovers the Madonna of Provenzano, 283;
supposed portrait of, 284.
Brescianino, Andrea (Piccinelli) del, painter, (early sixteenth century), 117, 123, 177, 251, 285.
Bruco, Compagnia del, insurrection of, 37-40.
Bruni, Leonardo, Florentine historian, 15, 16 (note).
Bulgarini, the, family of Noveschi, 216.
Buonaccorsi, Filippo (Callimaco), 343.
Buoninsegni, Bernardino, ambassador from Montalcino, 244.
Buonsignori, Annibale, 244.
—— Margherita, her visions acted upon by the Republic, 213.

Cacciaconti, Aldobrandino di Guido, leads the people against the nobles, 8;
is made Podestà, 9.
Caffarini, Fra Tommaso Nacci, friend and biographer of St. Catherine, 47, 205.
Calixtus III., Pope (Alfonso Borgia), allied with Siena, 70;
idealised portrait of, by Sano di Pietro, 112;
takes Siena under his protection, 112, 113;
condones the assassination of Giberto da Corregio, 146, 147;
in a fresco by Pinturicchio, 173, 174;
his crusading zeal recorded in a Tavoletta di Gabella, 270, 271.
Camarlingo. See Biccherna and Gabella.
Campana, General Council of the, 9, and passim.
Canigiani, Barduccio, disciple and secretary of St Catherine, 61, 62, 66, 292.
Camollia, Battle of, 213-215;
referred to, 216, 221;
in a Tavoletta di Gabella, 274;
votive pictures of, in San Martino and San Giacomo di Salicotto, 276, 277.
Casolani, Alessandro, painter and architect, 124, 197.
Cassioli, Amos, painter, 125, 251.
Calabria, Duke of. See Alfonso and Charles.
—— Duchess of (Ippolita Maria Sforza), 129.
Caterina of Salicotto, the “two-handed sword,” 93.
Catherine, Saint (Caterina Benincasa), her birth and childhood, 43;
takes the Dominican habit, 43, 44;
her early visions and mystical marriage, 44;
her family life, 45;
saves her brothers’ lives, 45;
her mystical change of heart and vision of the spirit world, 46;
her active work in the city, 46, 47;
her disciples, 47, 48;
her account of the execution of Niccolò di Toldo, 48-50;
becomes a political power, 50;
reconciles the Salimbeni, 50;
her letters and her philosophy of life, 51;
letters to the Legate of Bologna and to Bernabò Visconti, 51;
to Beatrice della Scala, 51, 52;
on the corruption of the Church, 52;
supports the proposed Crusade and attempts to rid Italy of the free companies, 52;
at Pisa, 52, 53;
intervenes in the war between Tuscany and the Pope, 54;
her letters to Gregory XI., 54, 55;
to the Signoria of Florence, 55, 56;
at Florence and at Avignon, 56, 57;
persuades the Pope to return to Rome, 57;
at Genoa, 57;
letters to Lapa,{377} Giovanna Maconi and the Pope, 57, 58;
her rupture with Gregory XI., 58, 59;
her troubles, 59;
at Florence for peace, 59;
addresses Urban, 59;
is assailed by the Ciompi, 60;
letters to Frate Raimondo and her disciples at Siena, 60;
her literary work, 61;
her attitude towards Urban VI., 62;
preaches to the Cardinals, 63;
her passionate support of Urban against Clement, 63, 64;
rebukes Frate Raimondo, 64;
works with the Roman Republic, 64;
last political letters, 64, 65;
saves Urban from the people, 65;
her vision of the Navicella, 65;
last farewell to Raimondo, 66;
her death, 66;
Niccolò Borghesi’s devotion to her, 85;
pictures of her, 114, 118, 119, 120, 123, 139;
canonisation of by Pius II., 174;
her relations with the Disciplinati, 187;
unhistorical historical picture of her, 188;
site of her first vision, 189, 190;
her “Oratorio in Fontebranda,” 191;
its history, 191, 192;
statues of her by Urbano da Cortona and Neroccio, 192, 195;
frescoed scenes of her life in her house, 195, 196;
her cell and relics, 196;
the two upper oratories in her house, 196, 197;
the legend of the reception of the Stigmata, 197, 198;
bust of her by Cozzarelli, 198;
her festa in the Contrada, 198, 201;
her shrine in San Domenico, 204, 205;
her relics, 206;
in the Cappella delle Volte, 206-208;
her portrait by Andrea di Vanni, 206, 207;
reflections on her mysticism, 209;
heals a feud in San Cristofano, 289;
her letters in the Biblioteca Comunale, 292;
at Belcaro, 303;
relations with the Augustinian hermits of Lecceto, 305, 308, 309;
her praises sung by the papal choristers to the monks of Monte Oliveto, 323.
Ceccolini, Cerreto, 17, 251.
Cerretani, family of the, 37, 40.
—— Ildebrando, 89.
Cellino di Nese, sculptor (later Trecento), 99.
Charlemagne, alleged privileges granted by him to Siena, 2.
Charles I., King of Naples (Charles the Elder of Anjou), 18, 20, 331.
—— III., King of Naples (Charles of Durazzo), 65, 70.
—— IV., Roman Emperor (Charles of Luxemburg), 26;
overturns the government of the Nine, 27, 28;
negotiations with the Sienese, 30, 31;
again at Siena, 32, 33;
his defeat and humiliation, 33, 34, 37.
—— V., Roman Emperor and King of Spain, takes Siena under his protection, 211;
sends Spanish governors and soldiers, 216;
visits Siena, 218;
his ministers and governors, 218, 219;
intends to build a citadel, 220, 221;
his reception of the Sienese ambassadors, 222;
referred to, 226, 227, 232, 241;
Siena capitulates to, 242;
invests his son, Philip II., with Siena, 243.
—— VIII., King of France, 81, 82, 294, 295.
—— of Anjou, Duke of Calabria, 24.
Chigi, Fabio. See Alexander VII., Pope.
—— Sigismondo, 91.
Ciaccheri, Fra Matteo, chronicler of San Gimignano, 335, 336, 339, 340, 344, 353.
Cino, Cardinal Giovanni Battista. See Innocent VIII., Pope.
Cini, Giovanni di Lorenzo, painter (Cinquecento), 274, 276, 277.
Clement VII., Pope (Giulio de’ Medici), aids Fabio Petrucci in his designs on Siena, 98;
supports Alessandro Bichi, 210;
takes up the cause of the Noveschi and declares war on Siena, 212, 213;
his army routed, 214, 215.
Colle di Val d’Elsa, battle of, 19, 20.
Colombini, Beato Giovanni, 111.
Colonna, Giulio, condottiere of the Sienese, 214.
Correggio, Giberto da, his treachery, 70, 112;
put to death by the Balìa, 144-146.
Cozzarelli, Giacomo, architect and sculptor (1453-1515), 102, 248, 262, 282, 299, 300.
——, Guidoccio, painter (1450-1516), 114, 119, 157, 274.
Coppi, G. A., chronicler of San Gimignano, 330.{378}

Dante, on the battle of Montaperti, 16;
on Provenzano Salvani, 19, 131, 283;
on the battle of Colle and Sapia, 20;
other references of his to Sienese matters, 21, 22, 23;
Boccaccio’s account of him in the Campo, 131, 132;
referred to, 139, 141, 149;
the decorations and pavement of the Duomo illustrated from the De Monarchia and the Divina Commedia, 154, 155, 156;
referred to, 165, 177, 178;
his story of La Pia, 258;
his allusion to the Diana, 262 (and note);
collection of documents illustrating his works, 268, 269;
references to, 300, 305;
his embassy to San Gimignano. 333, 334;
his Inferno contrasted with that of Taddeo di Bartolo, 346, 347;
in the Council Chamber of San Gimignano, 352;
references to, 355, 359.
Dodicini, the (Monte de’ Dodici, Popolani of the Middle Number), obtain the chief authority in the Republic, 28;
their administration, 28-30;
their overthrow, 30, 31;
make common cause with the Salimbeni, 31, 32, 33, 37;
join in the massacre of the Costa d’Ovile, and attempt to capture the Palazzo, 39;
are excluded from the government, 40;
rise against the Riformatori, 41;
share in the new regime, 67;
are expelled again, 68;
again readmitted to the government, 75;
their factious conduct, 75, 86;
their Monte united to that of the Gentiluomini, 79;
take part with the Noveschi, 82;
act of vandalism perpetrated by them, 127;
included in the Monte del Popolo, 211;
in that of the Gentiluomini, 216.
Diana, the, 262.
Diego. See Hurtado de Mendoza.
Domenico di Bartolo, painter (extant works dating from 1433 to 1443), 109;
his picture in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 109, 110;
his work on the pavement of the Duomo, 158;
his frescoes in the Spedale, 185-187.
Domenico di Niccolò del Coro, sculptor (died about 1450), 102;
his choir stalls in the Palazzo Pubblico, 142;
his work on the pavement of the Duomo, 158.
Donatello (Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi), sculptor (1386-1466), 101;
his works in the Duomo, 161, 162;
a Madonna ascribed to him, 176;
his work on the Font of the Baptistery, 181, 182.
Doria, Andrea, occupies Talamone, 212.
Duccio di Buoninsegna, painter (born before 1260, died after June 1313), 23;
his work and period of activity, 103 (and note);
his pictures in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 105;
erroneous tradition that he designed the pavement of the Duomo, 154;
referred to, 167;
his famous Ancona now in the Opera del Duomo, 177-179;
picture ascribed to him, 188;
his house, 261;
a work of his no longer in Siena, 301;
referred to, 346.
Duprè, Giovanni, modern Sienese sculptor, 125, 265, 266.
Dominic, St, 201.

Este, Ercole I. da, second Duke of Ferrara, 138, 254, 257.
—— Ercole II. da, fourth Duke of Ferrara, 242.
—— Ippolito II. da, Cardinal of Ferrara, governs Siena in the name of France, 227, 228, 232, 233, 257.
—— Eleonora d’Aragona da. See Aragona.
Eugenio, Sant’, “Il Monastero,” 301.
Eusebio di San Giorgio, painter, assistant of Pinturicchio, 174.

Faggiuola, Uguccione della, his victory at Montecatini, 24, 335;
Folgore’s sonnet concerning him, 335.
Fantozzo, Giovanni Battista, leader of the republican plot against Alessandro Bichi, 211.
Farinata. See Uberti.
Fausta, Livia, praised by Montluc, 234.
Federighi, Antonio, architect and sculptor (died about 1480), 101;{379}
his work on the Chapel of the Campo, 135;
on the pavement of the Duomo, 157, 158;
other works of his in the Duomo, 159, 160, 161;
a Moses ascribed to him, 176;
a graffito design of his for the Baptistery, 181;
worked on the Oratory of St Catherine in Fontebranda, 192;
on the Loggia di Mercanzia, 247;
on the Palazzo delle Papesse, 252;
built the Loggia del Papa, 275;
his work at the chapel of the Palazzo dei Diavoli, 295.
Ferraccio, leader of the populace, 38.
Ferrante of Aragon, King of Naples, 74, 75.
Filippo, Fra. See Agazzari.
Fina, Santa (Fina de’ Ciardi of San Gimignano), her life, 329, 330;
her shrine in the Collegiata of San Gimignano, 348, 349;
other pictures of her, 350, 353, 360;
the Spedale in her honour, 360, 361.
Flete, William, Augustinian hermit, 305, 308.
Florence, wars of, with Siena, 6-9, 11-18, 20;
alliance of, with Siena, 20;
makes peace between the Sienese nobles and people, 37;
stimulates opposition to the Riformatori, 41;
leads the war of the Tuscan Republics against the Pope Gregory XI., 53-56, 59;
wars with Siena concerning Montepulciano, 67;
other wars with Siena, 74, 82, 83;
aids the Petrucci, 89, 94, 98;
supports Alessandro Bichi, 210, 211;
renews hostilities with Siena in union with Clement VII., 212-215;
the last war between her and Siena, 231-243;
relations with San Gimignano, 327, 331, 333, 334, 336;
her final subjugation of San Gimignano, 337-342;
and passim.
Fogliani, Guidoriccio dei, Captain of War in Siena, 136, 137.
Folcacchieri, Folcacchiero dei, poet, 9.
Folgore da San Gimignano, poet, 22;
his corona of sonnets for the months of the year, 22, 23;
his sonnet on a knight’s vigil, 161;
his brigata of young nobles, 292, 293;
his corona of sonnets for the days of the week, 334, 335;
sonnet on the Guelf defeat at Montecatini, 335.
Fonte, Fra Tommaso della, follower of St Catherine, 46, 47.
Forestani, Simone di Ser Dino, poet, 67, 68.
Forteguerri, family of the, 25, 27;
their tower and palace, 252, 253.
—— Vittoria. See Piccolomini.
—— a lady of the family praised by Montluc, 234.
Fortini, Pietro, novelist, 115, 283, 293, 294 (and note).
Franchi, Alessandro, modern Sienese painter, 153, 159, 195.
Francis, St, his visit to Lecceto, 305; and passim.
Frederick I., Roman Emperor (Hohenstauffen), 5, 143, 144.
—— II., Roman Emperor (Hohenstauffen), 9.
—— III., Roman Emperor (Hapsburg), 72, 172, 173, 295.
Fungai, Bernardino, painter (1460-1516), 114;
works by him in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 119, 120;
and elsewhere in Siena, 188, 196, 197, 202, 274, 277, 294.
Fusina, Andrea, sculptor (latter part of the Quattrocento.), work on the Piccolomini altar of the Duomo, 169.
Francesco di Giorgio Martini, architect, sculptor and painter (1439-1502), 102, 109;
pictures in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 114, 119;
altarpiece by him in San Domenico, 202;
Tavolette of Biccherna and Gabella ascribed to him, 271, 272;
the Palazzo Bandini and the Madonna delle Nevi probably built by him, 283, 292;
picture by him at Sant’Eugenio, 301.

Gabella, Camarlingo e Esecutori di, 269.
——, Tavolette e tavole di, 269-275.
Gaddi, Taddeo, painter (circa 1300-1366), picture by him at Siena, 108.
Galgano, Abbazia di San, 313;
palace in Siena that belonged to the monks of, 278.{380} Galganus, St (Galgano Guidotti), 105, 106, 313.
Gallerani, the Beato Andrea, 105.
Gano da Siena, sculptor (middle of fourteenth century), 134, 162.
Garcia de Toledo, imperialist general, 228, 231.
Genga, Girolamo, painter (1476-1551), 115;
works by him in Siena. 118, 123, 176.
Gentiluomini, Monte dei, 7, 21;
they temporarily recover possession of the State, 31;
papal intervention on behalf of, 73;
later share in government, 79, 216, and passim.
Ghiberti, Lorenzo, sculptor (1378-1455), 100, 101;
quoted on Duccio, 103;
on other Sienese painters, 104;
his story of the Venus of Lysippus, 127;
his praise of Simone Martini, 136;
his bronze bas-reliefs on the Font of the Baptistery of Siena, 181, 182.
Ghirlandaio, Domenico, painter (1449-1494), his works in San Gimignano, 348, 349, 351.
Giacomo della Quercia. See Quercia.
Giacomo di Mino Pellicciaio, painter (died in 1396), 107, 108;
designed the façade of the Baptistery, 176, 180;
picture in the Servi, 277.
Giacomo di Castello, worker in stained glass, executes window for the Duomo, 167.
Giacomo Cozzarelli. See Cozzarelli.
Gilio di Pietro, painter (working in the middle of the thirteenth century), painted the portrait of Don Ugo on a Tavoletta di Biccherna, 270.
Giordano, Count, representative of King Manfred in Siena, 11;
commands mercenaries at Montaperti, 13-16, 18;
contrasted by Malavolti with Piero Strozzi, 232.
Giorgio di Giovanni, painter (working in the middle of the sixteenth century), tavolette ascribed to him, 275.
Giotto da Bondone, architect, sculptor and painter (circa 1276-1336) referred to, 110, 112;
supposed design for his Campanile at Florence in the Sienese Opera del Duomo, 176;
compared with Duccio, 177, 179;
referred to, 278;
his death of St Francis, 359.
Giovanna of Anjou, Queen of Naples, 52, 63, 64, 65.
Giovanni di Agostino, architect (son of Agostino di Giovanni), superintends building of the new Duomo, 150, 153.
—— di Niccolò Pisano, architect and sculptor (born circa 1250—died after 1328), chief architect of the Duomo, 99, 153;
his tombstone, 153;
one of the pupils of his father in the work of the pulpit, 162.
—— di Paolo, painter (died in 1482), 109;
works by him in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 111;
and elsewhere in Siena, 180, 251, 270, 296.
—— di Pietro, painter (painting in 1436), picture by him in the Servi, 278.
—— di Stefano, architect and sculptor (son of Sassetta, died after 1498), 102;
work on pavement of Duomo, 155, 157;
in the Chapel of the Baptist, 160, 161;
bronze Angels by him, 167.
—— da Verona, Fra, sculptor (working at the beginning of the Cinquecento), his intarsia work in the Duomo, 167;
works at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, 322, 323.
Girolamo di Benvenuto, painter (1470-1524), 114, 115;
picture by him in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 120;
in the house of St Catherine, 196;
in Fontegiusta, 294.
—— da Cremona, painter and miniaturist (end of Quattrocento), 176.
—— Magagni, called Giomo, painter (pupil of Bazzi), 118.
Giunta Pisano, painter (working in the middle of the thirteenth century), miraculous Crucifix ascribed to him in the House of St Catherine, 197.
Gonzaga, Don Ferrante, 217.
—— Giovanni Francesco, Marquis of Mantua, 131 (note).
Gozzoli, Benozzo, painter (1420-1498), his works in the Collegiata of San Gimignano, 347, 349, 350;
in Sant’ Agostino there, 357-360;
in Monte Oliveto, 362.{381} Gregorio da Siena, painter (early fourteenth century), 180.
Gregory the Great, Pope, his Dialogues, 317, 322.
—— XI., Pope (Pierre Roger de Beaufort), his relations with St Catherine, 51-57;
return to Rome, 58;
his rupture with St Catherine, 58;
references to, 59, 188, 197, 206.
Guido da Siena, painter (latter part of the thirteenth century), his Madonna in the Palazzo Pubblico, 138.
Giuoco delle Pugna, 130, 131, 239.
Gori, Francesca, follower of St Catherine, 47, 62, 204.
Goro di Neroccio, sculptor (early Quattrocento) work in Baptistery, 182.
Guidoguerra, Count, 12.
Guido Novello, Count, 14, 19.

Hawkwood, Sir John, condottiere, 29, 30, 40, 52.
Henry VII., Roman Emperor (Luxemburg), 24, 177, 314, 315, 334.
Hurtado de Mendoza, Diego, Spanish Governor of Siena, 219, 220.

Illicini, Bernardo, novellist, 291 (note).
Innocent VIII., Pope (Giovanni Battista Cibo, Malfetta), 76, 273, 343.

John XXII., Pope (Jacques d’Euse), 316.
Julius II., Pope (Giuliano della Rovere), 90, 92, 93.
Julius III., Pope (Giovanni Maria del Monte), 241, 251.

Landi, Neroccio di Bartolommeo, sculptor and painter (1447-1500), 102, 109;
pictures by in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 114;
his Hellespontine Sibyl, 157;
other works by him in the Duomo, 160, 161;
statue of St Catherine in the oratory of Fontebranda, 192, 195;
his pictures in the Palazzo Saracini, 251;
other works in Siena ascribed to him, 272, 278, 293.
Lando, Pietro di, architect (working in 1339), superintends the building of the new Duomo, 150, 153.
Lanzi, Padre quoted, 103.
Landucci, Ambrogio, historian of Lecceto, 305, 306, 311.
Lecceto, the Hermitage of San Salvatore di, 304-312.
Leonardo al Lago, San, church and ruined hermitage, 312-313.
Leo X., Pope (Giovanni de’ Medici), 94, 97.
Libertini, the, 210, 211, 214, 215.
Lippi, Filippino, painter (1457-1504), his Annunciation at San Gimignano, 354.
Lippo, Memmi, painter (died about 1356), 104;
pictures in his manner in the Istituto di Belle Arti in Siena, 106;
designs upper part of the Torre del Mangia, 135;
his Madonna del Popolo in the Servi, 278;
his fresco in the Sala del Consiglio of San Gimignano, 352, 353;
remains of a fresco by him in Sant’ Agostino at San Gimignano, 357;
works of his school in other churches there, 360, 362.
Lippo di Vanni, painter (later Trecento), 107;
fresco by him in the Palazzo Pubblico, 137, 138.
Lorenzetti, Ambrogio, painter (working in 1323, died in 1348), 23;
is Siena’s greatest master, 104;
his works in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 106, 107;
his frescoes in the Sala dei Nove, 139-141;
other works by him, 147, 179, 270;
frescoes by him in the Servi, 277, 278;
works in San Francesco, 285;
a Madonna by him in Sant’ Eugenio, 301;
frescoes of his school in Lecceto and San Leonardo, 309, 310, 313.
—— Pietro, painter (working between 1305 and 1348), 104;
pictures by him in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 106, 107;
his works in the Opera del Duomo, 179;
frescoes attributed to him in the Servi and in San Francesco, 277, 284;{382} picture in San Pietro Ovile, 286.
Lorenzo di Mariano. See Marrina.
—— di Pietro. See Vecchietta.
Luca di Tommè, painter (died in 1381), 107, 108.
Lucari, Buonaguida, Dictator before Montaperti, 13, 14.
Luca di Bartolo, architect (middle of Quattrocento), 252.
Luna, Don Juan de, Spanish Governor of Siena, 218.
Lupa, legend of origin of the, 1.
Luti, Lodovico, Sienese exile, 82;
murdered by Pandolfo Petrucci, 85.

Machiavelli, Niccolò, on the Noveschi, 80;
on Pandolfo’s rise to power, 80, 81;
on Florentine interference in Sienese factions, 83;
on Antonio da Venafro, 85;
his account of Cesare Borgia’s attempt upon Siena, 86-88;
his legation to Siena, 91;
his appreciation of Pandolfo, 93;
his correspondence with Francesco Vettori, 215 (and note);
at the Palazzo del Magnifico, 248.
Maconi, Corrado, 289.
—— Giovanna, letter of St Catherine to, 57.
—— Lano, killed at Pieve del Toppo, 21.
—— Stefano di Corrado, disciple of St Catherine, 48, 57, 59, 61, 62, 66, 187, 289.
Maiano, Benedetto da, sculptor (1442-1497), his Ciborium in San Domenico at Siena, 202;
his shrine of Santa Fina, 348, 349;
other work in the Collegiata of San Gimignano, 351;
his shrine of San Bartolo, 356.
—— Giuliano da, architect and sculptor (1432-1490), probably built the Rifugio and the Palazzo Spannocchi at Siena, 278, 290;
altered the Collegiata of San Gimignano, 345;
designed the chapel of Santa Fina, 348.
Mainardi, Sebastiano, painter (died in 1513), portrait ascribed to him in the Palazzo Saracini, 251;
native of San Gimignano, 342;
his works there, 349, 351, 353, 356, 357, 362.
Maitani, Lorenzo, architect and sculptor (died in 1330), the presiding genius of the Duomo of Orvieto, 99;
his proposal to the General Council for a new Duomo in Siena, 149, 150.
Malatesta, Malatesta dei, imperial vicar in Siena, 31-34, 37.
Malavolti, family of the, 2, 5, 25, 37, 40, 68;
the Poggio de’, 292.
—— Filippo, leads Sienese crusaders, 5;
holds office of Podestà, 6.
—— Francesco, disciple of St Catherine, 47, 48.
—— Girolamo, at Belcaro, 304.
—— Maghinardo, podestà of San Gimignano, 327.
—— Orlando, opposes the Duke of Milan, 68;
is murdered, 68, 69.
—— Orlando, historian of Siena, quoted or referred to, 18, 32, 33, 73, 232;
his embassy to Charles V., 220, 222;
his opposition to Piero Strozzi, 232.
Malena, the, 17.
Malfetta, Cardinal. See Innocent VIII., Pope.
Mariano da Genazzano, Fra, 129, 130, 273.
Manfred, King of Sicily and Apulia, 10, 11, 13, 18, 19.
Manfredi da Sassuolo, podestà, leads the nobles against the people, 8.
Marcellus II., Pope (Marcello Cervini), 159.
Marrina (Lorenzo di Mariano), sculptor (died in 1534), 102;
his chief works in Siena, 160, 247, 268, 276, 294.
Manetti, Rutilio, painter (1572-1639), 124, 125, 258, 266, 282, 292.
Martini. See Simone and Francesco di Giorgio.
Martinozzi, Giovanni, a leader of the Noveschi, joins rising against Fabio Petrucci, 98, 210;
exiled, 212;
in the papal camp before Siena, 213;
harries the Valdichiana, 215;
returns to Siena and is killed, 216.
Matteino di Ventura Menzani, Captain of the People, leads the Sienese against Charles IV., 33, 34.{383}
Matteo di Giovanni, painter (1435-1495), 109;
pictures in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 114, 119;
in the Palazzo Pubblico, 142, 143;
work for Pavement of Duomo, 157, 158;
other pictures by him in Siena, 179, 265, 277, 292;
in the National Gallery of London, 301;
at Belcaro, 304;
at Buonconvento, 314.
Marignano, Marchese di. See Medici, Gian Giacomo.
Matilda, Countess, 2.
Marciano, Battle of, 235.
Medici, Cosimo de’, Duke of Florence (afterwards Grand Duke of Tuscany), 132, 222, 225, 226, 228, 231, 232, 242-245, 275, 363.
—— Galeotto de’, 98.
—— Gian Giacomo, Marchese di Marignano, conducts the last war against Siena, 232, 233, 235, 240, 241, 242;
enters the city, 243.
—— Giovanni. See Leo X., Pope, at Belcaro, 304.
—— Giulio. See Clement VII., Pope.
—— Lorenzo, the elder, 74.
—— Lorenzo, the younger, 97, 248.
—— Pietro, 81, 82.
Memmi. See Lippo.
Mendoza. See Hurtado.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, architect, sculptor and painter (1475-1564), his work for the Piccolomini, 169, 170;
his letters to his nephew on the subject, 170;
Bandini monument ascribed to him, 170.
Milanesi, Gaetano, 141, 179.
Minuccio and Francesco di Rinaldo, architects of Perugia, build the Torre del Mangia, 132, 135.
Montalcinello, Sienese defeat at, 30.
Montalcino, quarrels between Siena and Florence concerning, 7, 10, 11, 12;
humiliation of, 18;
unsuccessfully attacked by papal forces, 213;
besieged by the imperialists, 228, 231;
last refuge of the Republic, 244;
capitulates, 244;
tavolette concerning, 275;
view of, from Monte Oliveto, 315.
Montaperti, Battle of, 14-17.
Montemassi, 11, 12, 137.
Montepulciano, quarrels between Siena and Florence concerning, 7, 11, 12;
given to Siena by Manfred, 18;
revolts after the fall of the Nine, 29;
returns to Siena, 29;
lost again, 67;
returns to Siena, 81, 82;
restored to Florence by Pandolfo, 89, 92;
St Catherine at, 195.
Monte Oliveto Maggiore, 314-323.
Montereggioni, 11, 76, 213.
Montfort, Guy de, Vicar of Charles of Anjou, 20, 331.
Montluc, Blaise de, Marechal of France, takes command in Siena, 233;
his heroic defence of the Republic and his Commentaries, 234, 235, 236, 239, 240, 242.
Monticchiello, heroic defence of, 228.
Monti, the meaning of the term, 21, 32, 33.
See Dodicini, Gentiluomini, Aggregati, Noveschi, Nobili Reggenti, Popolo, Riformatori.
Morelli, Giovanni, 115, 123.
Moro, Cristoforo, Doge of Venice, 174, 175.

Naddo di Francesco, Captain of the People, attempts to suppress a rising, 38;
plots, and is executed, 39.
Neroccio. See Landi.
Neroni. See Riccio.
Niccolò Pisano, architect and sculptor (circa 1206-1278), his coming to Siena marks an epoch, 99;
influence of his style upon Giacomo della Quercia, 100;
his pulpit in the Duomo, 162-166.
Neri di Donato, chronicler, 34.
Nine. See Nove.
Nobili Reggenti, Monte dei, 210, 211.
Nove, Magistracy of the, 21;
their rule, 23-25;
their fall, 26-28;
their Sala, 139-141.
Noveschi, the (Monte dei Nove), their beginning, 21, 32, 33, 37, 38, 39, 41;
share in the government, 67, 69;
struggle with the democratic orders, 75;
expelled from Siena, 76;
their return, 77, 78;
their prepotency in the State, 78-80, 85;
are divided among themselves,{384} 98, 210;
renewed struggle with the democratic orders, 211, 213, 215;
are deprived of all share in the government, 216;
obtain a fourth part, 216;
favoured by the imperial agents in Siena, 218, 219, 220;
allegory of their return, 274.

Oriuoli, Pietro di Francesco degli, painter (died in 1496), fresco by him in the Baptistery, 183 (and note).
Osservanza, the, 298-301.

Pacchia, Girolamo del, painter (1477-1535), 116;
his pictures in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 118, 120, 123;
his frescoes in the House of St Catherine, 195;
in the oratory of San Bernardino, 285, 286;
altarpiece in San Cristofano, 289.
Pacchiarotti, Giacomo, painter (1474-1540), 115;
pictures by, 119, 120, 262;
his political escapade, 217, 218.
Pagliaresi, Neri di Landoccio, disciple and secretary of St Catherine, 47, 56, 57, 195, 306.
Palio, the, 130, 131.
Pannocchieschi, Nello dei, 258.
—— Pagano dei, Bishop of Volterra, 328.
—— Ranieri dei, Bishop of Volterra, 329, 349, 365.
Paolino da Pistoia, Fra, painter (1490-1547), fresco in Santo Spirito, 282;
pictures at San Gimignano, 354, 362, 363.
Paolo di Giovanni, painter (latter part of Trecento), 107, 108.
—— di Maestro Neri, painter (active between 1343 and 1382), his frescoes at Lecceto, 309, 310.
—— di Martino, sculptor (early Quattrocento), 158.
Parri di Spinello, painter, 143.
Pastorini, Pastorino, master in stained-glass, 159.
Patrizi, Patrizio, companion of Bernardo Tolomei, 316.
Paul IV., Pope (Giovanni Pietro Caraffa), 243.
Pavement of the Duomo, 154-159.
Pecci, family of the, Noveschi, 75.
—— Giovanni Antonio, historian, 94, 213.
—— Giovanni, canon, 214.
—— Guido, represents Pandolfo Petrucci at La Magione, 86.
—— Tommaso, his palace, 254, 257.
Pellari, Guelf family in San Gimignano, 331, 333.
Pecori, Luigi, historian of San Gimignano, 326, 333, 341, 355.
Perugino, Pietro Vannucci, painter (1446-1523), 115;
his picture in Sant’ Agostino at Siena, 265.
Peruzzi, Baldassare, architect and painter (1481-1536), 116, 117;
an early work of his in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 118, 119;
his porticato for the Campo, 126;
early frescoes in the Duomo, 161, 162;
designs the high altar, 167;
other works ascribed to him, 177, 196, 262;
his praise of Beccafumi, 262;
designed the façade of Santo Spirito, 281;
his Sibyl in the Madonna of Fontegiusta, 294;
his later work at Belcaro, 303.
Petroni, Lodovico, member of the Balìa, 145.
—— Riccardo, Cardinal and decretalist, 162.
Petronilla, Santa, skirmish at, 11.
Pelori, Giovanni Battista, architect, 223.
Petrucci, family of the, leaders of the Noveschi, 75;
are exiled, 76;
return, 77, 78, 80;
excluded from the government, 216.
—— Agnolo, murdered by the people, 76.
—— Alfonso di Pandolfo, receives the Cardinal’s hat, 92;
at the court of Leo X., 94;
execution of, 97.
—— Antonio, plots against the State, 70.
—— Antonio Maria, 257.
—— Aurelia (Borghesi), wife to Pandolfo, 80.
—— Bartolommeo, heads a rising, 218.
—— Borghese di Pandolfo, marries Vittoria Piccolomini, 92;{385}
succeeds to his father’s despotism, 93;
his character, 93, 94;
flies from Siena and is declared a rebel, 94;
goes mad, 98;
entertains the younger Lorenzo de’ Medici, 248.
Petrucci, Celia, 300.
—— Eustacchio, 98.
—— Fabio di Pandolfo, flies from Siena and is declared a rebel, 94;
re-enters Siena with papal aid, 98;
his tyranny and expulsion, 98;
made governor of Spoleto, 216.
—— Francesco di Camillo, murders Giulio Bellanti, 97;
makes himself master of Siena, 98;
murders Marcello Saracini and is summoned to Rome, 98;
threatens Massa, 215;
restored to Siena, 216;
leads a tumult of the Noveschi, 216;
is declared a rebel, 218.
—— Giacoppo, 80, 81, 83;
his palace, 257.
—— Lattanzio, 97, 212.
—— Pandolfo, leads the Noveschi, 75;
returns from exile, 77, 78, 80;
is given the command of the mercenaries, 80, 81;
knighted by the King of France, 81;
makes himself master of Siena, 82, 83;
his policy, 84;
his murder of Niccolò Borghesi, 85, 86;
attitude towards France and the Borgia, 86;
represented at La Magione, 86;
assailed by Cesare Borgia, 87, 88;
his exile decreed, 88;
leaves Siena, 89;
supported by France and Florence, 89;
re-enters Siena in triumph, 90;
his despotism and treacherous policy, 90, 91;
conspiracy of the Bellanti against him, 91;
character of the last years of his rule, 92, 93;
his death, 93;
his project for a porticato to the Campo, 126, 177;
his palace, 248;
site of his murder of Niccolò Borghesi, 253;
benefactor of Santo Spirito, 281;
of the Osservanza, 298, 299;
his tomb, 300.
—— Raffaello di Giacoppo, occupies Siena with papal aid, 94;
alliance with the Medici and the Pope, 94, 95;
butchers the Bellanti, 97;
is made a Cardinal, 97;
tumult at his burial, 97, 98;
his palace, 257.
Pettignano, Beato Piero, 21, 22.
Philip II., King of Spain, 242;
is invested with Siena as a vacant fief of the Empire, 243;
cedes it to Cosimo de’ Medici, 243.
Pia, La, Sienese lady recorded by Dante, 258.
Piccinino, Jacopo, his war upon Siena, 70, 112, 144, 145, 270, 271.
Piccinelli. See Brescianino.
Piccolomini, family of the, 2, 5, 25, 27, 37, 40, 72, 73, 168;
palaces of, 251, 252, 253, 254.
—— Alessandro, bishop and man of letters, 168.
—— Alfonso d’Aragona, Duke of Amalfi, 216, 218.
—— Beato Ambrogio, 316.
—— Andrea (di Nanni Todeschini), received into the Monte del Popolo, 73;
submits to the regime of the Noveschi, 78;
intervenes between the rival factions, 82;
one of the delegates from Siena to Cesare Borgia, 89;
goes into exile, 90;
his daughter married to Borghese Petrucci, 92;
one of the heirs and executors of Pius III., his brother, 169;
his palace, 267.
—— Antonio, Archbishop of Siena, 168.
—— Antonio (di Nanni Todeschini), Duke of Amalfi, 73.
—— Ascanio (di Enea delle Papesse), Archbishop of Siena, 168;
his palace, 252;
referred to, 265.
—— Caterina, sister of Pius II., wife of Bartolommeo Guglielmi, builds the Palazzo delle Papesse, 251, 252 (and note).
—— Enea delle Papesse, delivers Siena from the Spaniards, 225;
escapes during the siege, 239;
dies at Montalcino, 244.
—— Enea Silvio. See Pius II., Pope.
—— Francesco (di Nanni Todeschini). See Pius III., Pope.
—— Giacomo (di Nanni Todeschini), received into the Monte del Popolo, 73;
heir and executor of Pope Pius III., 169;
his palace, 267.
—— Giacomo di Anton Maria, refuses to marry the daughter of Don Juan, 218.{386}
Piccolomini, Giovanni di Andrea, Cardinal Archbishop, 168.
—— Giovanni Battista, leads the rising against Fabio Petrucci, 98, 210.
—— Girolamo, Bishop of Pienza, 281.
—— Guido di Carlo, Senator of Rome, 175.
—— Laodomia, sister of Pius II. and wife to Nanni Todeschini, 73.
—— Piero, 30.
—— Silvio, father of Pius II., 284.
—— Tommaso, Bishop of Pienza, 160.
—— Vittoria Forteguerri, mother of Pius II., 284.
—— Vittoria di Andrea, wife of Borghese Petrucci, 92.
—— lady of the family of, praised by Montluc, 234.
—— See Bandini.
Pier Francesco Fiorentino, painter (latter part of Quattrocento), his works in Siena, 110, 111;
in San Gimignano, 348, 351, 353, 354, 356, 362.
Pietro di Domenico, painter, (1457-1501), 114, 293.
Pietro di Lando, architect (still working in 1339), superintends the building of the new Duomo, 150, 153.
Pini, Giovanni Maria, leads the Sienese at the Battle of Camollia, 214;
heads a tumult of Noveschi, 216.
Pinturicchio Bernardino, painter (1454-1513), 115, 118;
picture by, in the Istituto di Belle Arti in Siena, 124;
his Story of Fortune, 156;
his frescoes in the Chapel of the Baptist, 161;
his frescoes in the Library of the Duomo, 170-175;
remains of works in the Palazzo del Magnifico, 248;
his Assumption at San Gimignano, 354.
Pisano. See Giovanni, Giunta, and Niccolò.
Pitigliano, Count Lodovico of, 212.
Pietro del Minella, architect and sculptor (1391-1458), 101;
work on pavement of Duomo, 158;
on the font of the Baptistery, 182.
Pius II., Pope, (Enea Silvio Piccolomini), his early life, 71, 72;
Bishop of Siena, 72;
elected Pope, 72;
attempts to force the Sienese to admit nobles into the administration, 73;
his benefits to Siena, 73;
creates Pienza, 74;
his letter to the Balìa about Calixtus III., 112, 113;
gives relics to the Duomo, 160;
statue of, 162;
Bishop of Siena and raises the See to an Archbishopric, 168;
his nephew’s devotion to, 168, 170;
ten scenes from his life frescoed by Pinturicchio, 171-175;
his account of the meeting of Frederick and Leonora, 173;
his enthusiasm for the Eastern Question and canonisation of St Catherine, 174;
his death, 174, 175;
his episcopal ring, 180;
referred to, 197;
statue of, 265;
Tavolette of Biccherna and Gabella concerning him, 271;
raises a monument to his parents in the church, and stays in the convent of San Francesco, 284;
his reception at the Porta Camollia, 294;
visits Lecceto, 312;
his visit to Monte Oliveto, 323.
Pius III., Pope (Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini), received into the Monte del Popolo, 73;
mediates between the People and the Noveschi, 75;
his pacific influence, 77;
accepts the new regime of the Noveschi, 78;
presides at a solemn reconciliation in the Duomo, 78, 79;
his short papacy, 90;
referred to as Cardinal, 129, 130;
statue of in the Duomo, 162;
Archbishop, 168;
orders the altar of the Piccolomini and his own tomb, 168;
his character, 168;
his elevation to the papacy, attempt to reform the Church and untimely death, 169;
builds the library of the Duomo, 170;
fresco representing his coronation, 170, 171;
his contract with Pinturicchio, 171, 175;
a Tavoletta di Gabella concerning him, 271.
Placidi, family of the, Noveschi, 216.
Placidi, Aldello, 213.
—— Neri, 76, 83.
Poccetti, Bernardo, painter (1542-1612), 124, 343, 356.
Pochintesta da Bagnacavallo, condottiere, 90, 94, 97.
Podestà, institution of the office in{387}
Siena, 5, 6, 9, 10;
institution of the office in San Gimignano, 326, 327;
method of his election in latter town, 332, 333.
Poggibonsi, destruction of the Castello of, 331.
Poggio Imperiale, battle of, 74, 138.
Pomarelli, architect, 177.
Ponsi, Girolamo di Domenico, architect, 188.
Pollaiuolo, Pietro, painter (1443-1496), his altarpiece at San Gimignano, 350.
Popolani (in the special sense of members of the Monte del Popolo), 67, 73, 75, 78, 79, and passim.
Popolo, Monte del, institution of, 67;
supports the Milanese suzerainty, 68;
has a third of the Signoria, 69;
the Todeschini received into, 73;
supports the Duke of Calabria, 74;
gets control of the State, 75, 76;
ousted by the Noveschi, 78;
has still nominally a third part of the government, 79;
annulled with the other Monti, 210;
restored, 211.
Possa, El (Domenico di Michele), 138.
Provenzano Salvani. See Salvani.
—— Madonna di, 283, 284.
Provveditori. See Biccherna.
Pugna, Giuoco delle. See Giuoco.

Quercia, Giacomo della, sculptor (1371 or 1374-1438), his life and work, 100, 101;
his Fonte Gaia, 127;
sculptures of his school, 143, 161;
remains of his reliefs from the Fonte Gaia, 176;
his work on the Font of the Baptistery, 181, 182.
—— Priamo della, painter (brother of Giacomo), his fresco in the Spedale, 186.

Raimondo, Beato. See Vigne.
Ramo di Paganello, sculptor (working during the last twenty years of the Trecento), 99;
his St Francis, 284.
Raphael, 171, 174, 175.
Riformatori, origin of the Monte de’, 32, 33;
their rule, 40;
their downfall, 41, 42;
instance of their oppressive administration, 48;
partially readmitted to the government, 69, 70;
their Monte suppressed, 74;
struggle with the Noveschi, 75, 76;
are distributed among the three Monti, 79;
rise against the Noveschi, 82;
their Monte is restored, 216.
Rinaldini, family of the, 48, 289.
Riccio (Bartolommeo Neroni), architect and painter (middle of Cinquecento), 117, 123, 166, 167, 219 (note), 262, 300, 320.
Rinaldo, Minuccio and Francesco di, architects, 135.
Robbia, Ambrogio della (early Cinquecento), sculptor, work in Santo Spirito, 282.
—— Andrea della (1435-1525), sculptor, altarpiece in the Osservanza, 300.
Robert of Geneva, Cardinal Archbishop of Cambrai, commands the papal army, 54;
his sack of Cesena, 58;
elected pope, or antipope, as Clement VII., 62;
supported by Giovanna of Naples, 63;
St Catherine’s description of his character, 63, 64.
Robert of Anjou, King of Naples, 289.
Rustici, Francesco (Rustichino), painter (died in 1626), 124, 162, 283.
Rosselli, Matteo, painter (1578-1650), picture at San Gimignano, 360.
Rossellino, Bernardino, sculptor and architect (1409-1464), probably designed the Palazzo delle Papesse, 252.

Sacchini, Enea, 214.
Salimbeni, family of the, 2, 5;
their feud with the Tolomei, 24, 25;
their turbulent conduct, 30, 31, 32, 33;
in arms for the Emperor, 33, 34;
are factious against the burghers, 37;
plot to seize Siena, 39;
are expelled, 40;
their friendship with St Catherine, 50, 59;
lead rising against the Milanese supremacy, 68;
their palace, 290;{388} love stories connected with them, 290, 291.
Salimbeni, Agnolino di Giovanni, friend of St Catherine, 50.
—— Arcangiolo, painter (latter part of Cinquecento), 124, 197, 202, 262.
—— Anselmo, hero of a novella, 290, 291.
—— Cangenova, 291.
—— Cione, 50.
—— Francesco, 68.
—— Giovanni di Agnolino, ambassador to the Emperor, 27;
counsels moderation, 27, 28;
is Podestà of Montepulciano, 29;
accidentally killed, 30.
—— Reame, 32, 291.
—— Niccolò, 32, 33.
—— Salimbene, 13.
—— Ventura di Arcangiolo, painter (end of sixteenth century), 124, 167.
Salvani, Provenzano, ambassador to Manfred, 11;
influential in the Republic, 11, 12, 13;
Podestà of Montepulciano, 18;
the ruling spirit in Siena, 19;
his act of humility, 19;
is killed at Colle, 20;
referred to, 131, 283.
Salvetti, family of Noveschi, 80.
—— Paolo, 81.
Salvi, Giulio, beheaded for treason, 231.
—— Ottaviano, Proposto, beheaded, 231.
Salvini, Luca, 226.
Salvucci, family of the, factious in San Gimignano, 328, 329, 333, 337-339, 340, 345.
San Gimignano, its appearance, 324, 325;
its origin, 325, 326;
early history of, 326, 327;
wars with Volterra, 328;
factions and change of government, 328, 329;
Santa Fina of, 329, 330;
follows the fortunes of the Guelfs, 331;
its golden age, 332;
San Bartolo and Dante at, 333, 334;
its wars with Volterra and hostility to Henry VII., 334;
its poet, 334, 335;
the conspiracy of the Baroncetti, 335, 336;
trouble with Florence, 336;
first submission to Florence, 337;
the factious of the Ardinghelli and Salvucci, 337-339;
appeal of its poetic chronicler, 339;
final submission to Florence, 340-342;
under Florentine rule, 342;
its painters and famous men, 342, 343;
its walls and towers, 344;
the Collegiata or Pieve, 345-351;
the Palazzo Comunale, 351-354;
other palaces and towers, 354, 355;
Sant’ Agostino of San Gimignano, 356-360;
San Pietro and Santa Chiara, 360;
the Spedale di Santa Fina, 360, 361;
San Girolamo and San Jacopo, 361;
the Porta della Fonte, 361;
other churches and buildings, 362, 363;
Cellole, 363;
the Rocca di Montestaffoli, 363, 364;
a day of festa at the Town of the Beautiful Towers, 364, 365.
Sano di Matteo, sculptor and architect (working from 1392 to 1434), designed the Loggia di Mercanzia, 247.
—— di Pietro, painter (1406-1481), 109;
his pictures in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 111, 113;
frescoes in the Palazzo Pubblico, 139, 147;
other works by him in Siena, 251, 258, 271, 293;
his pictures in the Osservanza, 299, 300.
Sansedoni, Frate Ambrogio, 305.
Saracini, family of the, 2, 37;
lead rising against the Riformatori, 41;
take part in riot in the Campo, 130;
their palace, 248-251.
—— Alessia, associate of St Catherine, 47, 62, 66, 204.
—— Ippolito, hero of a novella, 291.
—— Marcello, murdered, 98.
—— Piero di Duccio, podestà of San Gimignano, 336.
—— Sapia, the Dantesque legend of, 20, 22.
Savini, Nanni, gives Belcaro to St Catherine, 303.
Saviozzo. See Forestani.
Savonarola, Fra Girolamo, reforms the convent of Santo Spirito at Siena, 268, 281;
his preaching at San Gimignano, 350, 351, 362.
Scotti, family of the, 41, 130.
Senius, legendary founder of Siena, 1, 2.
Sermini, Gentile, novelist, 291.
Schiatte Maggiori, the, 2, 31.
Sigismund, Roman Emperor (Luxemburg), 71, 72, 158, 270.{389}
Signorelli, Luca, painter (1441-1523), 115, 118, 119, 202, 248;
his frescoes at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, 317, 320, 321.
Segna di Tura, painter (working in the early years of the Trecento), 103, 104, 105.
Sfondrato, Francesco, 218, 274.
Accademia di Belle Arti. See Istituto.
S. Agostino, 265, 266.
Archivio di Stato, 268.
S. Barbara, 295.
Baptistery. See San Giovanni di Siena.
S. Bernardino, 285, 286.
Biblioteca Comunale, 291, 292.
Campansi, 293.
Campo, 126-132.
Carmine, 261, 262.
Casato, 266.
Casino de Nobili. See Loggia di Mercanzia.
S. Caterina (House and Oratories of), 191-198.
Castello Vecchio, 248, 258, 261.
Cimitero della Misericordia, 266, 317.
Consuma, Casa della, 292, 293.
S. Cristofano, 289.
Croce del Travaglio, 246.
Duomo, 149-170.
S. Domenico, 201-208.
Fontebranda, 190.
Fonte Gaia, 126, 127.
Fontegiusta, 293, 294.
Fonte Nuova, 292.
S. Francesco, 284, 285.
S. Giacomo in Salicotto, 276.
S. Giorgio, 282.
S. Giovanni di Siena, 180-183.
S. Giovanni in Pantaneto, 282.
S. Girolamo, 277.
Istituto delle Belle Arti, 103-124.
—— dei Sordo-muti, 261.
Libreria del Duomo, 170-176.
Loggia di Mercanzia, 247.
Loggia del Papa, 275, 276.
S. Maria degli Angioli, 281.
S. Maria Assunta, 149-170.
S. Maria delle Nevi, 292.
S. Maria di Provenzano (of the Visitation), 283, 284.
S. Maria dei Servi (of the Conception), 277, 278.
S. Martino, 276.
Mercato, 148.
Opera del Duomo, 176-180.
Palazzo Bichi, 289.
—— Buonsignori, 257.
—— Chigi, 254.
—— Fortegueri, 252.
—— Petrucci, 248.
—— Piccolomini dei Papeschi (del Governo), 267-275.
—— Piccolomini delle Papesse, 251, 252.
—— Marsili, 252.
—— Pecci (del Capitano), 254, 257.
—— Pubblico (Comunale, or de’ Signori), 132-148.
—— Reale, 257.
—— del Rifugio, 278.
—— Salimbeni, 290, 291.
—— Saracini (Marescotti), 248-251.
—— Spannocchi, 290.
—— Tolomei, 289.
—— Turchi (de Diavoli), 295.
—— Ugurghieri, 266.
Vecchio del, 290.
S. Pietro Ovile, 286.
S. Pietro alle Scale, 258.
Porrione, 266.
Porta Fontebranda, 302.
—— Camollia, 294, 295.
—— S. Marco, 262.
—— Ovile, 240, 292.
—— Pispini, 281.
—— Romana, 278, 281.
—— Salaia, 247.
—— Tufi, 266.
Postierla, Piazza, 253, 254.
Pozzo della Diana, 262.
Salicotto, 276.
S. Quirico, 261.
S. Sebastiano in Valle Piatta (degli Innocenti), 188.
—— in Camollia, 293.
S. Spirito, 281, 282.
Stalloreggi, 258, 261.
Torre di S. Ansano, 261.
—— de’ Forteguerri, 252.
—— del Mangia, 132, 135.
—— Miganelli, 289.
Sixtus IV., Pope (Francesco della Rovere), 74, 272.
Simone Martini, painter (circa 1285-1344), his style, 104;
his frescoes in the Palazzo de Signori, 135-137;{390} picture by him in Sant’Agostino, 265, 266;
imitation of his manner, 286.
Sorri, Pietro, painter (1556-1622), 124, 168, 197.
Sozzini, Alessandro, diarist of the siege, 218, 219, 222, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 232, 234, 235, 236, 239, 241.
—— Bartolommeo instrumental in the return of the Noveschi, 78;
Captain of the People, moves to reduce the four Monti to one, 272.
—— Fausto, 282.
—— Lelio, 282.
—— Ottavio, 226.
Spannocchi, Ambrogio, 290.
—— Fabio, 242.
Spinello Aretino, painter (1333-1410), pictures in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 108;
frescoes in the Sala di Balìa, 143, 144.
Stefano di Giovanni, “Sassetta,” painter (died in 1450), 109, 110, 300.
Strozzi, Benedetto di Giovanni, his judicial murder of the Ardinghelli, 338.
Strozzi, Piero, vicar-general of France in Siena, 232, 233;
his defeat at Marciano, 235, 236, 239, 240, 301.

Taddeo di Bartolo, painter (1363-1422), his works in Siena, 108, 141, 142, 180, 187, 277, 284;
at San Gimignano, 345-347, 351, 353.
Tagliacozzo, Battle of, 19.
Talamone, Port of, purchased by Siena, 23;
Urban V. received at, 30;
Charles IV. demands possession of, 33;
St Catherine negotiates with Gregory XI. concerning, 58, 59;
represented in a fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, 140;
occupied by Andrea Doria, 212;
retained by Spain as part of the Praesidia, 243;
Dante’s reference to it in the Purgatorio, 262.
Tavolette di Biccherna e di Gabella, 269-275.
Tino di Camaino, architect and sculptor (died in 1336), 99, 134, 162.
Tini, Fra Niccolò, prior of Lecceto, 306-308.
Tournon, Cardinal de, 224.
Todeschini, Nanni, brother-in-law of Pius II., received into the Monte del Popolo, 72.
Todeschini, family of the, declared popolani, 72. See Piccolomini.
Toldo, Niccolò di, his execution, 48-50;
scene of, 148;
Bazzi’s representation of, 204.
Tegliacci, Niccolò di Ser Sozzo, miniaturist, 275, 350.
Tamagni, Vincenzo, painter (1492-1533), 342, 343, 350, 356, 357, 361, 362.
Tolomei, family of the, 2, 5; their palace, 6, 9;
head the Guelfs, 19;
factious against the Salimbeni, 24, 25, 30, 37, 48, 68, 289;
their palaces, 289.
—— Beato Bernardo, 23, 26;
Bazzi’s picture of, 239, 266, 289;
his life and work, 315, 316, 317.
—— Cavolino, the slayer of Provenzano Salvani, 20.
—— Giacomo, converted by St Catherine, 47.
—— Girolamo, ambassador to Charles V., 220;
his report, 222;
is poisoned, 224.
—— Guccio, 27.
—— Lelio, patriotic address to the Senate, 222;
is poisoned, 224.
—— Mino, father of B. Bernardo, 315.
—— Nello di Mino, Podestà of San Gimignano, 353.
Torrita, Victory of the Sienese at, 29;
represented in the Palazzo de’ Signori, 137, 138.
Troghisio, Francesco, Podestà of Siena at Montaperti, 14.
Tura, Agnolo di chronicler, his account of the Black Death, 25, 26.
Turchi, Biagio, murdered, 76.
Turino di Sano, sculptor (early Quattrocento), 101, 181, 182.
Turino, Giovanni di, sculptor (1384-1455), 101, 142, 160, 181, 182.
Twelve. See Dodicini.
Twenty-four, Magistracy of the, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 20.

Uberti, Farinata degli, 10, 12.
—— Fazio degli, 26.{391}
Uberti, Neri degli, Podestà of San Gimignano, 329, 331.
Ufficiali sopra l’ornato, 246, 247, 267, 286.
Ugurghieri, family of the, 266.
—— Giovanni, fell at Montaperti, 159.
Urban V., Pope (Guillaume Grimoard), at Talamone, 30.
—— VI., Pope (Bartolommeo Prignani), elected Pope, 59;
makes peace with Florence, 60;
his character, 61;
his relations with St Catherine, 62, 63;
his struggle with the Clementines, 63, 64;
St Catherine’s last letter to him, 65;
he is assailed by the Romans, 65;
his fall, 65.
Urbano da Cortona, architect and sculptor (died 1504), 102, 157, 158, 159, 160, 171 (note), 192, 252, 284.

Vaga, Perino del, painter (1500-1547), 159.
Valori, Filippo, 81.
Vanni, Francesco, painter (died in 1609), 124, 162, 197, 204, 205.
——. See Andrea and Lippo.
Vasari, Giorgio, 116, 117, 123, 124, 258, 262, 265, 317, 320.
Vasto, Marchese del, 217.
Vecchietta, Il (Lorenzo di Pietro), architect, painter, and sculptor (1412-1480), 101, 102, 109, 110, 119, 139, 247.
Venafro, Antonio da, secretary of Pandolfo Petrucci, 84;
urges the murder of Niccolò Borghesi, 85;
messenger to Cesare Borgia and represents Pandolfo at La Magione, 86;
interviewed by Machiavelli, 91;
his answer to a Pope, 92;
secures the succession of Borghese Petrucci, 93;
by whom he is banished, 94.
Ventura, Niccolò di Giovanni, Sienese chronicler, on the Battle of Montaperti, 16.
Venturini, Camillo, avenges the death of his father, 78.
—— Lorenzo di Antonio, 78, 273, 274 (note).
Vettori, Francesco, his letters to Machiavelli on the rout of Camollia, 215 (and note).
Vico, the Prefetto di, 40.
Vieri, Giulio, 242.
Vigne, Fra Raimondo delle, confessor and biographer of St Catherine, 47;
her letter to him, 48-50;
he goes to John Hawkwood, 52;
at Avignon, 56, 57;
St Catherine appeals to Gregory XI. through him, 58;
he is suspected by the Sienese, 59;
St Catherine’s letter to him on the Florentine tumult, 60;
at Rome, 62;
St Catherine rebukes his pusillanimity, 64;
her last letter to him, 66;
his report of her reception of the Stigmata, 197;
picture of, by Francesco Vanni, 205;
referred to, 207, 208.
Villani, Giovanni, Florentine chronicler, 11 (note), 16 (note), 331.
—— Matteo, Florentine chronicler, 339, 340, 363.
Villari, Pasquale, 16 (note), 91.
Visconti, Bernabò, tyrant of Milan, relations with St Catherine, 51;
dethroned, 67.
—— Giovanni Galeazzo, tyrant of Milan, attempts the conquest of Italy, 67;
made Duke of Milan, 68;
obtains the suzerainty of Siena, 68;
dies, 68.
Vito di Marco, sculptor (late Quattrocento), 156, 157.
Vittorio Emanuele II., frescoes concerning him in the Sala Monumentale, 144.
Volterra, Bishops of, 313, 326-331.

Wenceslaus, King of the Romans (Luxemburg), 68.

Zuccantini, Claudio, Captain of the People, 220;
his oration in the Duomo, 220-222.





[1] Rondoni (Sena vetus, p. 53) notes that, in contrast to Florence, there was no distinction between the Greater and Lesser Arts in Siena.

[2] Printed in the Archivio Storico Italiano, series III. vol. xxii.

[3] Siena is still divided into terzi or thirds; the Terzo di Città, the Terzo di San Martino, the Terzo di Camollia.

[4] Rondoni, op. cit. p. 60.

[5] Letter of August 11th, 1259, still preserved in the Archivio di Stato of Siena, quoted by Paoli, La Battaglia di Montaperti, p. 13.

[6] The documents cited by Paoli prove conclusively that the story, told by Giovanni Villani, of Farinata contriving that the Germans should be annihilated at Santa Petronilla and the royal standard lost, in order that Manfred might be induced to send a larger force, has no historical foundation. Neither is it a fact that the Sienese were forced to induce the Florentines to resume hostilities because the Germans had been hired for only three months.

[7] The Sienese accounts of the battle by Domenico Aldobrandini and Niccolò di Giovanni Ventura (in which, says Prof. d’Ancona, the narrative has “una grandezza veramente epica”) are in Porri’s Miscellanea Storica Senese; for the Florentine version see Villani, vi. 75-79, and Leonardo Bruni, Istoria Fiorentina II. (vol. i. pp. 215-225 in the edition of 1855). Cf. Villari, I primi due secoli della Storia di Firenze, ch. iv., and especially C. Paoli, La Battaglia di Montaperti, already referred to. Il Libro di Montaperti, edited by Prof. Paoli (Florence, 1889), is “the only official document of Florentine source which remains to us of that war.”

[8] Purg. xiii. 115-123.

[9] Inf. xiii. 120; Purg. xiii. 128.

[10] J. A. Symonds.

[11] Assempro II.

[12] Agnolo di Tura, Cronica Senese, 122-124.

[13] Malavolti, ii. 7. p. 132.

[14] Neri di Donato, Cronica Senese, 202-206.

[15] In the continuation (wrongly ascribed to Agnolo di Tura) of the Cronica Senese.

[16] Op. cit. 294.

[17] Leggenda minore, i. 12.

[18] Augusta Drane, vol. i. p. 83. I think that this author unquestionably deserves to be called the best of Catherine’s modern biographers; but the reader must be warned against her historical inaccuracies and her treatment of some of the Saint’s political letters.

[19] Raimondo da Capua, Leggenda, p. 226.

[20] I.e., since his first Communion—that at least seems the more obvious meaning of la quale mai più aveva ricevuta.

[21] Letter 273.

[22] Letter 272.

[23] Letter 11.

[24] Letter 28.

[25] Letter 29.

[26] Letter 109.

[27] Letter 140.

[28] Letter 168.

[29] Letters 185, 196, 206, 209, 218, 229. She has no thought of the Pope’s return as a temporal sovereign. (Cf. letter 370.)

[30] Letter 207.

[31] Letter 240.

[32] Letter 247.

[33] Letter 252.

[34] Letters 270, 267. These have obviously been transposed in chronological order.

[35] Letter 285.

[36] Letter 291.

[37] Letter 295.

[38] Letter 303.

[39] The Dialogue, Il Dialogo della Serafica Santa Caterina da Siena, will be found in Gigli, vol. iv., and has been translated (somewhat freely) into English by Mr Algar Thorold. To the Dialogue and the Letters, we should add the Trattato della Consumata Perfezione and a short collection of prayers, also printed in Gigli, L’opere, etc., vol. iv.

[40] Letter 306.

[41] Letter 310.

[42] Letter 317.

[43] Letter 349.

[44] Letters 350, 362, 357, 372.

[45] Letter 370.

[46] Letter 373.

[47] Barduccio’s letter to a nun at Florence, describing every detail of Catherine’s death, will be found in the Appendix to the Leggenda.

[48] See pp. 144, 145.

[49] Pastor, II., p. 147.

[50] Armstrong, Lorenzo de’ Medici, p. 178.

[51] Diari Senesi, 836, 837.

[52] Zdekauer, Lo Studio di Siena nel Rinascimento, pp. 119-124.

[53] Letter of August 18th, 1500, published by F. Donati in Miscellanea Storica Senese, i. 7.

[54] Letters of January 6th, 8th, 10th, and 13th from Machiavelli to the Signoria. In the Legazione al Duca Valentino (vol. vi. of edition cited).

[55] In Lisini, Relazioni tra Cesare Borgia e la Repubblica Senese, and elsewhere. It is dated January 27th, and had probably been delivered (though this has been questioned) before Pandolfo left.

[56] In Mondolfo, Pandolfo Petrucci, p. 99.

[57] Niccolò Machiavelli e i suoi Tempi, i. pp. 502, 503.

[58] The letters of this Legation in vol. vii. of edition cited.

[59] By a decree of the Balìa on September 14th, 1509; but this was not quite such a recognition of his dynasty as might appear, because a similar exception was made in 1518 (though only in their own homes) for some of the Piccolomini.

[60] La Sculpture Florentine, i. p. 134.

[61] M. Reymond, op. cit., ii. p. 46.

[62] Duccio is last referred to as alive in a document of June, 1313, and in 1318 his widow Taviana is described as uxor olim Duccii pictoris. See A. Lisini, Notizie di Duccio Pittore, p. 33. On Duccio’s characteristics as a painter, the best thing is written by Mr Berenson, Central Italian Painters, pp. 18-42.

[63] i.e. The officials of the Gabella; see Chapter IX.

[64] The text of the Bull and Enea Silvio’s letter in L. Banchi, Il Piccinino nello Stato di Siena e la Lega Italica (1455-56), in the Archivio Storico Italiano, Series IV., vol. iv., pp. 56-58. See also next chapter, pp. 144-147.

[65] Berenson, op. cit. p. 56.

[66] Italian Painters, i. p. 158.

[67] Berenson, op. cit. p. 56.

[68] That is to say, if the Matteo Balducci who is mentioned as Pinturicchio’s pupil in a document of January 1509 is the same as the Matteo Balducci who in 1517 became Bazzi’s pupil for six years. Frizzoni (L’Arte Italiana del Rinascimento, p. 183) holds that they are two different persons.

[69] Miscellanea Storica Senese, v. 11, 12.

[70] See V. Lusini, Storia della Basilica di San Francesco, pp. 99-101.

[71] Diari, 809. The Cardinal mentioned is Francesco Piccolomini.

[72] See A. Lisini, Misc. Stor. Senese, iv., 5, 6. Mr Heywood’s admirable little book, Our Lady of August and the Palio of Siena, deals exhaustively with this aspect of the past history and present life of the Sienese. The horse races of the Campo had originally nothing to do with the contrade, but were run by the Republic. Foreign nobles, even reigning sovereigns, entered horses, no less than did Sienese notabilities. On August 15th, 1492, the palio was won by a horse belonging to Cesare Borgia; but because his jockey (fantino) had won by a trick of questionable legality, the Signoria made some difficulty about giving him the prize—apparently at the appeal of the representative of the Marquis of Mantua whose horse had come in second. (See Cesare’s letter in Lisini, Relazioni tra C. Borgia e la Repubblica Senese, pp. 11, 12.)

[73] See A. Lisini, Chi fu l’architetto della Torre del Mangia, in the Misc. Stor. Senese, II., 9, 10.

[74] The fullest account of these frescoes is contained in Milanesi, Commentario alla Vita di Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Vasari I. pp. 527-535. Apart from the great beauty of the individual figures, the spiritual power and imaginative insight of the whole conception are surely worthy of the century of Dante and Petrarch. But for a very different appreciation, see Mr Berenson, op. cit., pp. 50, 51.

[75] L. Banchi, Il Piccinino nello Stato di Siena, etc., loc. cit., pp. 226-230; Malavolti, iii. 3, pp. 51b, 52.

[76] Documenti per la Storia dell’ Arte Senese, i. p. 188.

[77] Not to be confused with the more famous Gregorio da Spoleto, Ariosto’s master, who held a chair here in the latter part of the fifteenth century.

[78] Purg. xii 10-93.

[79] Nuovi Documenti per la Storia dell’Arte Senese, p. 389.

[80] Mr R. H. Hobart Cust (to whose excellent Pavement Masters of Siena I am indebted for many of these dates and authorships of the pavement designs) points out that the Cimmerian Sibyl is the one intended.

[81] The Lupa and Marzocco shaking hands in front of the tablet refers to the alliance between Siena and Florence concluded in the year 1483, in which this Sibyl was laid down. In Allegretto’s Diari Senesi, under June 16th, 1483, we read: “The League was proclaimed on a chariot between the Signoria of Siena and the Florentines, with honourable conditions, according to what Giovan Francesco called Il Moro, the trumpeter of the Signoria, said. God grant it be true; for I cannot believe it!” (Diari, 815).

[82] We can measure the proportionate value attached to the designing and executing of these works from the fact that in the case of the painter Matteo, who only designed and did not execute, the remuneration was four lire, whereas Federighi, who both designed and executed his Erythraean Sibyl, received nearly 650 lire. See Cust op. cit. pp. 41, 47.

[83] Op. cit. p. 152.

[84] See Pietro Rossi, L’Arte Senese nel Quattrocento, p. 38.

[85] Folgore, translated by J. A. Symonds.

[86] See the fine sonnet sequence entitled Niccola Pisano in Rime e Ritmi. The sculptor is said to have copied his Madonna from the Phaedra on the antique sarcophagus used as a tomb for the Countess Beatrice.

[87] There is an eloquent appreciation of the pulpit in Mr F. M. Perkins’ Giotto, pp. 8-13.

[88] V. Lusini, Il San Giovanni di Siena, p. 23 (note). Giacomo was paid 52 golden florins and 34 soldi for his work.

[89] Pastor, vi. p. 201. There appears to be absolutely no foundation for the aspersions made by Gregorovius and other writers upon the moral character of this really admirable personage. Cf. op. cit., p. 199 (note).

[90] Nuovi Documenti, pp. 362, 364-368, 560.

[91] The bas-relief of St John Evangelist, over the altar to the right of the entrance, is the mediocre work of some sculptor of the Quattrocento, possibly Urbano da Cortona.

[92] See the document in Milanesi, Vasari III., pp. 519-522.

[93] Cf. G. W. Kitchin, Pope Pius II., p. 36.

[94] Historia Friderici III. Imp., p. 73.

[95] See Misc. Storica Senese, iv. 7-8.

[96] The question is well discussed in Miss E. March Phillipps’ monograph on Pinturicchio, pp. 116-123.

[97] Anonymous Chronicle existing in the Archivio di Stato and the Biblioteca Comunale, quoted by Lisini, Notizie di Duccio, p. 5.

[98] Berenson, Central Italian Painters, p. 117.

[99] Op. cit., p. 41 (note).

[100] In the Appendix to V. Lusini, Il San Giovanni di Siena, there are a number of interesting letters about the progress, etc., of the work, from Ghiberti to the Operaio del Duomo and Giovanni di Turino, and from Giacomo to the Signoria.

[101] Cf. M. Reymond, op. cit., II. p. 98.

[102] Cf. Documents concerning the authorship of this fresco in Lusini, op. cit. p. 60 (note).

[103] See Alessio, Storia di San Bernardino, p. 60 (and note).

[104] Letter 321.

[105] Leggenda minore, i. 2.

[106] Rondoni, Tradizioni popolari e leggende, etc., p. 150.

[107] Nuovi Documenti, pp. 240, 241.

[108] Documenti, II. pp. 326, 339; Nuovi Documenti, p. 239.

[109] Leggenda, pp. 205, 206.

[110] See pp. 48-50.

[111] This does not refer to Bazzi’s fresco, but to an earlier picture figured in Gigli, I. p. 24; possibly Andrea di Vanni is meant, as it closely resembles his work.

[112] See the Deliberations of the Balìa and the Concistoro for July 21st and 22nd, in Pecci, Memorie, etc., II. pp. 211-213.

[113] Letter of August 5th, 1526, in Machiavelli, Lettere familiari (Opere, edition cited, vol. viii. p. 208). In answer to Machiavelli, Vettori gives further details in a letter of August 7th (loc. cit. pp. 210-214); “I believe,” he says, “that on other occasions it has happened that an army fled at shouts, but that it should fly for ten miles, without anyone pursuing it—this I do not believe has been ever read nor seen.” According to the Sienese accounts the papal army numbered some 18,000 men and lost more than 1000, while 150 Sienese were killed. Vettori says that 400 foot soldiers and 50 light cavalry issued out of Siena and put to flight 5000 infantry and 300 horsemen; but he evidently refers only to the sally from the Porta Fontebranda.

[114] Sozzini, Diario, p. 24.

[115] Sozzini, op. cit. pp. 26, 27.

[116] In the sonnet written in the name of the Mangia of the Tower of the Campo (the figure, removed in 1780, that sounded the hours, a kind of Sienese Pasquino) to the painter Riccio. Appendix to Sozzini, Document xiv.

[117] I have given this in full as a specimen of these donations of which we hear so often in the story of Siena. No less characteristic is the reply of the officiating canon, Antonio Benzi: “Your great and profound humility, Most Illustrious Lords, is manifestly founded on Faith, Hope and Charity. Faith is shown by the desire of uniting yourselves with our most just Saviour, receiving into your souls His most holy Body; Hope is shown by the consigning and restitution of the keys of your City to the most glorious Queen of the Heavens; Charity, by the vow of marrying the maidens in perpetuity by your free Republic. We, albeit unworthy of so great an office, in the name of Blessed Christ and of His Immaculate Mother, accept your vows and oblations. We remind you that Faith without works is said to be dead; that whoso trusteth in God with pure heart, will be immovable as Mount Sion; and that Charity unites us with God. Therefore have living Faith, firm Hope and ardent Charity; to the end that you may obtain your desire and that your City may be preserved in true liberty to the honour of God and of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, our Advocate and of all the faithful Christian people.” (Appendix to Sozzini, Diario, Documents vi. and vii.)

[118] See the Genealogical Table of the Family of Pius II.

[119] La Cacciata della Guardia Spagnola da Siena, pp. 522, 523. The “twentieth hour” means four hours before sunset, or about four o’clock in the afternoon.

[120] Diario, pp. 89, 90.

[121] Sozzini, p. 93.


Cardinale, Cardinale,
Tu ci rechi poco sale;
Siena, Siena, verrà il medico,
E ti guarirà dal farnetico.

Quoted in Rondoni, Siena nel secolo xvi. p. 250. For other prophetic doggerel of the same kind ascribed to Brandano, see Olmi, I Senesi d’una volta, p. 270. Brandano died in Siena during the siege, in May 1554.

[123] Giornale dell’ Assedio della Città di Montalcino printed in the Archivio Storico Italiano, Appendix, vol. viii.

[124] Malavolti, iii. 10, p. 160b.

[125] Ibid. p. 161; Sozzini, pp. 157, 158.

[126] In this and subsequent quotations from Montluc I have availed myself of Cotton’s translation of the Commentaries.

[127] Sozzini, Diario, p. 307.

[128] Op. cit. p. 317.

[129] Trattenimenti, i. pp. 8-10. He adds hideous details of their mutilation at the hands of the Spaniards, which have too frequently been quoted; Sozzini (who tells us that on one occasion the Spaniards succoured the fugitives, p. 376) mentions once that some contadini had their noses and ears cut off, but neither he nor Montluc gives any other hint of the peculiar hideousness and atrocity of Bargagli’s version.

[130] See Mr Montgomery Carmichael’s excellent and picturesque account of the Spanish Praesidia, in In Tuscany, pp. 283-314.

[131] Nuovi Documenti, p. 76.

[132] Nuovi Documenti, p. 75. These officers were first appointed in 1413.

[133] Nuovi Documenti, p. 201. She says that she has had the house designed by uno valentissimo maestro; but does not name him. See also P. Rossi,L’Arte Senese nel Quattrocento, pp. 27-29.

[134] Bargagli quoted by A. Marenduzzo, Veglie e Trattenimenti Senesi, p. 14.

[135] The Captain of War—afterwards the Senator—will not be confused with the Captain of the People. The one was an alien noble, the other a Sienese burgher.

[136] Diari Senesi, 775, 776.

[137] Purg. v. 133-136.

[138] Vasari.

[139] V. Lusini, Il San Giovanni di Siena, p. 14.

[140] “That vain folk which hopes in Talamone, and will lose more hope there than in finding the Diana,” Purg. xiii. 151-153. The Diana was a subterranean stream supposed to exist under Siena for which, in 1295, the General Council of the Campana decreed that the search should be undertaken.

[141] Documenti, ii. p. 337; cf. Allegretto, Diari, 773. Notice the title Spectabilità; in a less democratic city than Siena, they would have been Magnificence. Incidentally, we may observe (a point frequently missed by English writers, especially of fiction dealing with the Italian Renaissance) that Magnificence was a much less pretentious title at the end of the Quattrocento than it sounds to us now, being little more than the equivalent of “Your Worship” or “Your Honour” (though also applied to ambassadors); while Excellence was, until the middle of the sixteenth century, reserved for quasi-independent potentates, such as the Duke of Ferrara or the Marquis of Mantua, ruling fiefs of the Church or Empire.

[142] See pp. 88, 89. In reading these documents, it should be borne in mind that the Sienese and Florentine year (but not the Roman) began on March 25th. The same rule applies to the dates on the Tavolette of the Biccherna and Gabella.

[143] Rondoni, Sena Vetus, p. 37. For further information upon the Tavolette the reader may be referred to Mr W. Heywood’s charming little book, A Pictorial Chronicle of Siena, to which I am indebted.

[144] Cf. Heywood, op. cit. p. 69.

[145] “The fury of arms having cooled down on every side, the Pope [Paul II.] easily found means to conclude an universal peace between the powers of Italy, wherein was named the Republic of Siena, in the name of which it was accepted and ratified by Messer Niccolò Severini, Sienese orator in Rome, in the month of May 1468.” Malavolti, iii. 4, p. 70 b.

[146] Diari Senesi, 813. The Cardinal Malfetta is G. B. Cibo, afterwards Innocent VIII., cf. p. 76.

[147] Diari, 815, 816. The Lorenzo di Antonio mentioned is the Venturini who was executed in 1486 (see p. 78).

[148] Cf. Sozzini, Diario, pp. 23, 24 (where, however, Gabella is confused with Biccherna), and Heywood, op. cit. pp. 87, 88.

[149] For various documents touching these votive pictures after the Battle of Camollia, see Nuovi Documenti, pp. 434, 435.

[150] Nuovi Documenti, p. 245.

[151] Dante, Purg. xi. 109-111.

[152] See Gigli, La città diletta di Maria, pp. 29-35. The houses of Provenzano Salvani’s family were in this part of the city—hence the name.

[153] See the Deliberation of the Concistoro for July 2nd, 1460, pro porta Sancti Francisci, in Lusini, Storia della Basilica di San Francesco, p. 123 (note).

[154] Nuovi Documenti, pp. 222-224. The Ufficiali sopra l’Ornato della Città are proposing to make a fountain on the Poggio de’ Malavolti.

[155] The imposing tower at the back of the Palazzo Tolomei, at the beginning of the Via dei Termini, is the Torre Miganelli or Castelli, in which the public bells were hung.

[156] See the Miscellanea Storica Senese, iii. 4, p. 59.

[157] The story of Anselmo and Angelica is inserted in the Annali Senesi under 1395, and is told by Sermini and Ilcino. That of Ippolito and Cangenova (which from the mention of Messer Reame should, if historical, be referred to the same epoch) is related by Olinda in Bargagli’s Trattenimenti.

[158] The sole value—and that is not much—of Fortini’s work lies in such little transcripts from Sienese life in the Cinquecento. The rest is sheer pornography, and the man’s life was as vile as his novels are filthy.

[159] Cf. Alessio, op. cit. pp. 103, 104.

[160] Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, iii. p. 68.

[161] Landucci, Sacra Leccetana Selva, pp. 76-79.

[162] Assempro xl. It was this Frate Bandino who founded the convent of Sant’ Agostino in Siena.

[163] Assempro xli. is the life of Niccolò Tini.

[164] Letter 326, written from Rome, December 15th, 1378.

[165] Mr Heywood, in his account of these frescoes (The Ensamples of Fra Filippo, pp. 227, 228), appears to have missed this, the essential point of the allegory.

[166] Assempro xxiv.

[167] Nuovi Documenti, pp. 202, 203.

[168] For further details, see Antonio Canestrelli’s admirable monograph, L’Abbazia di San Galgano.

[169] Oraffi (Vita del B. Bernardo Tolomei, pp. 44-72) gives what is said to be the text of this homily. It may, possibly, be a genuine work of the Saint, but as it speaks of “the schism arisen in the Sacred Empire, now many years ago, between Frederick of Austria and Ludwig of Bavaria,” it could not have been delivered on this occasion.

[170] Frizzoni, op. cit. p. 115.

[171] Cf. Frizzoni, op. cit. p 117.

[172] Commentarii, x. pp. 482-484.

[173] Storia della Repubblica di Firenze, i. pp. 389, 390.

[174] A. C. Swinburne, Relics.

[175] There are two hotels in San Gimignano: the Albergo Centrale and the Leone Bianco. The present writer’s experience has been confined to the Albergo Centrale, which is pleasantly situated and excellent for so small a town.

[176] Pecori, Storia della Terra di San Gimignano, p. 41.

[177] Coppi, Annali, memorie, etc., pp. 108-114. I have spared my readers some of the details of “cette existence d’expiation.” Not many of us can look upon these things with the eyes of M. J.-K. Huysmans, in his Sainte Lydwine de Schiedam: “Elle fut, en somme, un fruit de souffrance,” he writes of Lydwine, whose life was very like a prolonged version of Fina’s, “que Dieu écrasa et pressura jusqu’à ce qu’il en eût exprimé le dernier suc; l’écale était vide lorsqu’elle mourut; Dieu allait confier à d’autres de ses filles le terrible fardeau qu’elle avait laissé; elle avait pris, elle-même, la succession d’autres saintes et d’autres saintes allaient, à leur tour, hériter d’elle” (p. 291).

[178] Pecori, p. 113.

[179] In May 1899, San Gimignano kept the sixth centenary of Dante’s embassy, and it was on this occasion that the real date 1300 (instead of 1299, as hitherto supposed) was discovered.

[180] Rossetti’s translation.

[181] Sonnet 33 in Navone’s edition.

[182] Cronachetta di San Gimignano, 163-171.

[183] Matteo Villani, iii. 22, 46, 55, 69: Pecori, pp. 168-171.

[184] Cronachetta, 8-21.

[185] iii. 73.

[186] The conditions of this final submission are given in full in Pecori, pp. 174-179.

[187] With the exception of the churches of Cellole and San Pietro, San Gimignano is in the diocese of the Bishop of Colle. The chief ecclesiastical dignitary of the town, the head of the Collegiata, is the Proposto or Provost—at present the learned Don Ugo Nomi-Pesciolini, whose invariable kindness and courtesy to visitors are well known to English travellers.

[188] See the list given by Mr Berenson, Florentine Painters, pp. 132-134.

[189] “The bones of a virgin lie hidden in the tomb which thou beholdest, stranger; she is the glory, the example, the guardian of her fellow-citizens. Her name was Fina; this her native land. Dost thou seek miracles? Scan what the wall and life-like statues teach.”

[190] It has been argued that the last line of the epitaph proves that the frescoes were painted not later than 1475; but this is not by any means conclusive, as the subjects had probably been settled from the beginning.

[191] So I gather from Fra Matteo and Pecori; other writers call it the Palazzo Ardinghelli.

[192] See the Confessions, i. 9.

[193] Confessions, viii. 12.

[194] Ibid. ix. 10, 11.

[195] See above, p. 330 (and note).

[196] iii. 96.




Hellenica World