Terre di Siena: museums not to be missed

Art and culture itineraries

From San Gimignano, to Buonconvento, Pienza, Montalcino, and Asciano to Castiglione d'Orcia up to Montepulciano, anyone who visits this area can directly see the profound connection between the artwork and the culture that produced it. It's also easy to see the surprising evidence of the 15th century on the move through the Terre di Siena. 

The Civic Museums that you shouldn't miss:

Palazzo Comunale, Pinacoteca, Torre Grossa - San Gimignano
At the turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth century, resulting from a centuries-old struggle between the two cities, in San Gimignano, we saw an alternation between artists from Siena and Florence (Taddeo di Bartolo and the "Master of 1419"), which ended, ultimately, with Florentine prevalence (Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippino Lippi, Sebastiano Mainardi), who contributed to the renewal of local painting. 

Museum of Archaeology and Sacred Art, Palazzo Corboli - Asciano
In the fifteenth century near Siena, we saw the revival of iconographic models from the fourteenth century, including examples like the large altarpieces in Siena Cathedral or the frescoes painted in the city gates. These gate frescoes were also tied to civic identity: this trend is documented by the works of Pietro di Giovanni Ambrosi and Giovanni di Paolo housed at Palazzo Corboli.

Museum of Sacred Art of the Val d'Arbia - Buonconvento
An altarpiece by Sano di Pietro kept in the museum documents the popularity of the new saints of Siena, Bernardino and Caterina, who, in the middle of the fifteenth century, enjoyed a lot of popularity and devotion and eventually saw an outstanding artistic flourishing. 

Museums of Montalcino. Archaeological, Medieval, Modern Collections - Montalcino
In the beautiful rooms of the museum of Montalcino, check out numerous examples of wooden sculpture painted between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, in particular by Francesco Valdambrino, who was among Jacopo della Quercia's favorite students.

Diocesan Museum - Pienza
The prestigious collection of the Museum of Pienza is the perfect place to uncover and better understand the rich patronage of Pope Pius II Piccolomini, a major proponent of arts and culture and urban renewal. Also worth noting is that this museum houses a significant number of works by Domenico di Niccolò.

Sala d'Arte, San Giovanni - Castiglione d'Orcia
The small but worthwhile museum of Castiglione d'Orcia preserves two important examples of Renaissance painting: the Madonna of Humility by Giovanni di Paolo and Madonna and Child with Angels Enthroned by Lorenzo di Pietro the Elder.

Museo Civico Pinacoteca Crociani - Montepulciano
The Art Gallery houses two small devotional images from the fifteenth century: the shadowy Lady of the Pillar by Sano di Pietro and the Renaissance marble altarpiece of "Master of Pius II", both from the Cathedral of Montepulciano. The masterpiece by Taddeo di Bartolo still stands on that cathedral's altar.

For information: Fondazione Musei Senesi

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Terre di Siena
The Terre di Siena are rolling lands that surround the city famous for its horse race, the Palio. This countryside has been enchanting travellers with its beauty since time immemorial, greeting them with the charm of the past, wooded and clay ...
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