The fresco in the Palazzo Pubblico depicts the commander of the Sienese troops during the conquest of the Castle of Montemassi
The fresco of Guidoriccio da Fogliano by Simone Martini depicts the commander of the Sienese troops during the conquest of the Castle of Montemassi in the Maremma in 1328, and is found in the Great Hall inside the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, right in front of another work by Simone Martini, the Maestà.
The right-hand side, where the Castle of Montemassi can be seen, is a late-14th century restoration, most likely carried out on top of the original. The blue sky was also repainted over the original version at a later time. The figure of the commander and the encampment to the left are instead in good condition, even if they’ve lost their original rich decoration, except for Simone’s typical gold marks.
The decoration of the horse’s caparison and tunic, as well as Guidoricccio’s clothing, were covered by a thin layer of silver lead, while the diamonds, today black, were probably gold. The dazzling central group thus competed with the Maestà on the opposite wall, comparing the city’s civic glories with its religious and political glories.
Where not a single stone has changed down the centuries
Siena shines perfectly from a distance in its medieval magnificence. The three hills amid which the city rests rise up like an idyllic film set, the old boundaries soften like the past into a countryside that sometimes still seem like the scene painted by Ambrosia Lorenzetti in the Allegory of Good Government in the halls of Siena's city hall. ...