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Photo © Siena Opera della Metropolitana
Photo © Siena Opera della Metropolitana

Oratory of San Bernardino and Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art


On display, masterpieces of Sienese art, including the Nursing Madonna by Ambrogio Lorenzetti

The Monumental complex of the Oratory of San Bernardino in Siena boasts two overlapping orders: the lower oratory, frescoed by the best Sienese painters of the 1600s, and the upper oratory, with its walls entirely decorated with episodes from the Life of the Virgin Mary by the most important Sienese painters of the early 1500s, like Pacchia, Il Sodoma and Beccafumi. In the rooms adjacent to the oratory, you can find the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, home to a priceless collection of artworks, making it an important centre for the history of sacred art in the Siena area.

You can admire masterpieces of Sienese painting from the 13th to 18th centuries, like the painting St. George and the Dragon by Sano di Pietro and the famous Nursing Madonna by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, an icon of the 1300s, as well as the splendid Annunciation by Matteo di Giovanni and Christ Carrying the Cross by Domenico Beccafumi.

Nursing Madonna by Lorenzetti
Nursing Madonna by Lorenzetti - Credit: Siena Opera della Metropolitana

There are also works by 14th-century artists on display, like Segna di Bonaventura, the so-called Master of the Ovile (Bartolomeo Bulgarini), Lippo Vanni and Taddeo di Bartolo, as well as 15th-century artists such as the Master of the Osservanza Triptych, Giovanni di Paolo and Vecchietta, 16th-century painters like Il Sodoma, and 17th-century artists, including Rutilio Manetti and Bernardino Mei.