ART HIS 40B Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Mendicant Orders, Siena Cathedral

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7 Feb 2017

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February 6, 2017
The Late Middle Ages and The Renaissance
Rise of the Republic City-State in 13 th
c. Italy
Fernand Baudel: French historian arguing:
in Italy, we see emergence of what will come to be called capitalism
organization of cities around become protection of capitalist interests
period in which we see rise of merchant and banking enterprises
run by men who are not from the old feudal nobility and who largely operate old
feudal order
Republican city-states adopt modes of government that are intended to protect interests of
this new class of people
one of the earliest Republican city-states in Italy
commune: distinct from older feudal system of liege lords in which local nobility
controlled towns and countryside
instituted to prevent concentration of powers to individuals or families
Civic Art Patronage
governments of city-states like Siena often become some of the most important patrons
of art and architecture
patronage – not just as civic duty but also as an activity considered vital for well-being of
one focal point for civic patronage in Siena was the main cathedral or duomo
Siena Duomo, built between 1215-1263, facade begun in 1294, in-laid flooring begun
later on
Duccio, Maestá, 1308-11, commissioned by Opera del Duomo for Siena Cathedral high altar
(image #1)
inscription reads “Holy Mother of God, be the cause
of peace to Siena, and of the life of Duccio becausee
he painted thee thus”
artist’s name on inscriptions shows that artistic
production was used to make claim of Siena’s
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