Siena

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Siena

(syĕ`nä), city (1991 pop. 56,956), capital of Siena prov., Tuscany, central Italy. Rich in art treasures and historic architecture, it is one of the most popular tourist centers in Italy. The city is also noted for its wine and for its marble, a rich orange with purple and black veinings. Light manufacturing products include foods, pharmaceuticals, and building materials; banking also is important.

According to tradition, Siena was founded at the beginning of Roman times by Senus, the son of Remus (see RomulusRomulus
, in Roman legend, founder of Rome. When Amulius usurped the throne of his brother Numitor, king of Alba Longa, he forced Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, to become a vestal virgin so that she would bear no children.
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). It became a free commune in the 12th cent. and, gradually extending its territory, developed into a wealthy republic. The city was characterized by continuous internal strife between popular and aristocratic factions. Despite frequent wars, particularly with FlorenceFlorence
, Ital. Firenze, city (1991 pop. 403,294), capital of Tuscany and of Firenze prov., central Italy, on the Arno River, at the foot of the Apennines. Florence, the jewel of the Italian Renaissance, is one of the world's great historic cities.
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, Siena maintained its independence. After the rule of the Petrucci family (1487–1523), the Spanish and French struggled for control of the city, which fell after a siege (1554–55) to Emperor Charles V. Shortly thereafter it passed to Cosimo I de' Medici, duke of Tuscany.

The local interpretation of the Gothic style produced fine works of architecture and sculpture, but the city's artistic fame is due mainly to the paintings of the Sienese school (13th–14th cent.), best represented in the works of Guido of SienaGuido of Siena
, fl. 13th cent., Italian painter. All that is known of him is an inscription on a large and almost completely repainted Virgin and Child Enthroned,
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, Duccio di BuoninsegnaDuccio di Buoninsegna
, fl. 1278–1319, early Italian artist, first great painter of Siena. Infusing new life into the stylized Byzantine tradition, he initiated a style intrinsic to the development of the Sienese school—the expressive use of outline.
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, Simone MartiniMartini, Simone
, or Simone di Martino
, c.1283–1344, major Sienese painter. His art is admired for its Gothic spirituality combined with a vibrancy and a great elegance of line.
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, and the two LorenzettiLorenzetti
, two brothers who were major Sienese painters. Pietro Lorenzetti, c.1280–c.1348, was first influenced by Duccio di Buoninsegna and Giovanni Pisano.
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. On the fan-shaped main square, the Piazza del Campo, are the imposing Gothic Palazzo Pubblico (1297–1310), containing works by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Martini, and Guido of Siena; the slender Mangia tower (334 ft/102 m high); a 14th-century chapel; the Fonte Gaia (a copy of the 15th-century sculptured fountain by Jacopo della Quercia); and several medieval palaces. The Corsa del Palio, a horse race first run in 1656, is the centerpiece of a festival held in the Piazza del Campo twice each summer. The city's cathedral (11th–14th cent.), a splendid example of Italian Gothic, has an elaborate striped facade of polychrome marble (mostly by Giovanni Pisano) and a pulpit (1265–68) by Nicolò Pisano. The adjoining Piccolomini library (1495) is adorned with ten famous frescoes by Pinturicchio (1509). Also of note in Siena are the Baptistery of San Giovanni, with a 15th-century font by Jacopo della Quercia; the rich art gallery (Pinacoteca); the Gothic St. Dominic's Church, with frescoes by Il Sodoma; and Piccolomini palace. The city has a university (founded in the 13th cent.) and an academy of music.

Siena

 

a city in Tuscany, central Italy; capital of Siena Province. Population, 65,600 (1971). Siena has food, garment, woodworking, electrical-engineering, and chemical industries. Building stone is worked in the city, and there are marble quarries nearby. Siena is a popular tourist site and a museum city.

Siena was founded by the Romans in the first century B.C.. In the eighth century A.D. it became the see of a bishop. In the 12th century it became a commune, a Ghibelline stronghold in central Italy constantly at war with Florence. In the 13th and 14th centuries Siena was one of Europe’s largest banking and handicraft centers; it was particularly well known for its cloth production. A university was founded in the city in the 13th century. A factory was built in Siena in the following century. In 1371 a large uprising took place in Siena, representing one of the earliest protests of the preproletariat in Italy. From 1339 to 1404, Siena was ruled by the Milanese Visconti dukes, and from 1531 to 1552 and from 1555 to 1557 it was under Spanish domination. In 1557, Siena became part of the Duchy of Florence, and in 1860 the city was made part of the Kingdom of Sardinia (Kingdom of Italy since 1861).

Old Siena has preserved its medieval appearance. Architectural monuments, most of which are in the Gothic style, include the cathedral (1284–1376, architect Giovanni Pisano and others; pulpit, 1265–68, marble, sculptor Nicola Pisano and others), the church of San Domenico (1293–1391), the church of San Francesco (1326–1475), the Palazzo Tolomei (1205), the Palazzo Pubblico (1297–1310, completed 17th century; frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Simone Martini, and others), and the Loggia del Papa (1460, architects Antonio Federighi and Francesco di Giorgio).

Siena is the site of an archaeological museum, the Pinacoteca Nazionale (Sienese paintings from the 12th to 16th centuries), and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (the cathedral museum). The city is a tourist site.

REFERENCE

Mandel, G. Siena. Zürich, 1959.

Siena

a walled city in central Italy, in Tuscany: founded by the Etruscans; important artistic centre (13th--14th centuries); university (13th century). Pop.: 52 625 (2001)
References in periodicals archive ?
Upon inheriting a great deal of wealth from his uncle and joining the ranks of the Sienese nobility, Gigli decided to invest his time and resources in the production of opera; he was responsible for eight of the ten operas mounted in Siena between 1695 and 1704.
After a historiographical introduction, the first chapter charts the emergence of Sienese female poets as a group (two that we meet here are also central protagonists) through a poetic exchange sparked by the young erudito Alessandro Piccolomini's reflections in verse on his 1540 visit to Petrarch's tomb.
In the last gallery hung an altarpiece attributed to the well-known Sienese painter Duccio di Buoninsegna, a highlight of the room.
A first feature they share is the focus on contemporary varieties of Tuscan Italian, i.e., Florentine and Sienese. These two central varieties of Tuscan, not very different in phonology and prosody, have been considered as the most representative of so-called Standard Italian, although in recent decades the standard language is more associated with the North of Italy.
The history of the Sienese Jews has many of the normal benchmarks of European Jewry: centuries' old roots, a former ghetto, some anti-Jewish measures including a tax, noted success in trade and excellence in study, susceptibility to the whims of local marauders, an eventual decrease in the community's population, and a number of deportations during World War II (commemorated by the plaque to the left of the door).
They are now reunited for the first time in this exhibition--a triumph for two visionary museum directors, Ena Heller of the Museum of Biblical Art and Bruce Boucher of University of Virginia Art Museum, who garnered substantial support and collaboration from the Italian and Sienese cultural authorities and the Linde-nau-Museum.
Two elements in the Siena monuments particularly caught my attention: the anthropomorphic depiction of "Justice" in a string of sculptures in the Gaia Fountain, created by Jacopo della Quercia between 1400-1419, and the painted allegories of "good government" and "bad government" by the Sienese painter Abrogio Lorenzetti, which were completed between 1337 and 1339.
Some of the most famous recipes are Cappelletti Romagna Style, Tortellini Italian Style, Macaroni Neapolitan Style, Roman Style Dumplings, Veal in Tuna Sauce, Cacciucco, Stuffed Artichokes, and Sienese "Little Horses."
Parsons frames this as "a study in civil religion" that evolves from a Sienese, to an Italian, to a European scale and focus.
Even today, some Sienese claim to wake up at night hearing the rush of the Diana, the fabulous underground river that would have made them rich 800 years ago.
Her biography was completed in the 1390s by her devoted friend Raymond of Capua, who was now Master General of the Dominicans, and she was canonised in 1461 by Pope Plus II, who was himself Sienese.
Matteo di Giovanni, another Sienese, painted delectable Madonnas, although more pallid than the sumptuously coloured Madonnas of his contemporary Perugino, who worked over a wider span of central Italy, and ventured beyond the restrictive medium of tempera.