Agnolo Bronzino

Agnolo Gaddi

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Andreadi di Bonaiuto

Andrea del Castagno

Andrea del Sarto

Andrea di Bartolo

Andrea Mantegna

Antonello da Messina

Antonio del Pollaiuolo

Bartolo di Fredi

Bartolomeo di Giovanni

Benozzo Gozzoli

Benvenuto di Giovanni

Bernard Berenson

Bernardo Daddi

Bianca Cappello

Bicci di Lorenzo

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Buonamico Buffalmacco

Byzantine art



Dietisalvi di Speme

Domenico Beccafumi

Domenico di Bartolo

Domenico di Michelino

Domenico veneziano


Duccio di Buoninsegna

Eleonora da Toledo

Federico Zuccari

Filippino Lippi

Filippo Lippi

Fra Angelico

Fra Carnevale

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco Pesellino

Francesco Rosselli

Francia Bigio

Gentile da Fabriano


Domenico Ghirlandaio


Giorgio Vasari

Giotto di bondone

Giovanni da Modena

Giovanni da San Giovanni

Giovanni di Francesco

Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni Toscani

Girolamo di Benvenuto

Guidoccio Cozzarelli

Guido da Siena

Il Sodoma

Jacopo del Sellaio

Jacopo Pontormo

Lippo Memmi

Lippo Vanni

Lorenzo Ghiberti

Lorenzo Monaco

Lo Scheggia

Lo Spagna

Luca Signorelli


masolino da panicale

master of monteoliveto

master of sain tfrancis

master of the osservanza

matteo di giovanni

memmo di filippuccio

neroccio di bartolomeo

niccolo di segna

paolo di giovanni fei

paolo ucello


piero della francesca

piero del pollaiolo

piero di cosimo

pietro aldi

pietro lorenzetti



sandro botticelli

sano di pietro


simone martini

spinello aretino

taddeo di bartolo

taddeo gaddi

ugolino di nerio



Jacopo del Sellaio (1441-1493), the Nerli Cassone, also known as the Morelli Chest

Travel guide for Tuscany
'Even the most excellent painters exercised themselves in such labors,
without being ashamed, as many would be today, to paint and gild such chests.'

(Giorgio Vasari, 1550, recalling cassoni painting of the previous century)

Italian Renaissance Cassoni paintings


Cassoni, or marriage chests, were practical objects used to store household goods, such as clothing, linens, and valuables. But they were also luxury goods in their own right - they celebrated weddings through gold surfaces and colorful paintings made by specialized workshops. Cassoni were meant to be informative as well as delightful. The paintings often featured moral tales of ancient history or allegories derived from Italian poets such as Petrarch. The instructive function of cassoni subjects was complemented by triumphal themes that invoked honor. Cassoni revealed the ingenuity of the artists, as well as the status and ideals of their patrons. Over centuries of use, marriage chests became worn and damaged. The paintings on the fronts were often removed and sold to art collectors.

In Renaissance Italy, the joining of wealthy families through marriage was celebrated with elaborate processions that accompanied a bride to the home of her new husband. Richly painted marriage chests, called cassoni in Italian, were made in pairs and paraded through the streets to celebrate weddings. Such marriage processions displayed a family’s power also echoed the military triumphs of ancient Rome. These parades were sometimes criticized for being decadent and immodest and were banned in Florence in the 1460s, although painted wedding chests continued to recall these earlier processions. Cassoni paintings were intended to delight as well as to inform. They featured allegories and historical subjects, themes appropriate to the ideals of marriage. The paintings dramatized conflicts
between love and duty and often conveyed visions of triumphant harmony. The stories shown are often entertaining and sometimes even scandalous, although they are usually resolved with honor. The clever and colorful designs of cassoni also showcased the ingenuity of the artists who made them, and the sophistication of families that commissioned them.
The Courtauld Institute of Art in London owns one of the few surviving pairs of wedding chests which can be connected with a particular marriage. These chests were made for the 1472 marriage of Lorenzo Morelli to Vaggia Nerli. This was a happy and successful match. Their son Leonardo inherited the wedding chests from his father and also used them to decorate his chamber.


Painted cassone made for the wedding of Lorenzo di Morelli to Donna Vaggia di Nerli and known as Morelli-Nerli Cassone depicting Camillus chases the Gauls from Rome (front panel), the side panels Justice and Fortitude, and the spaliera Horatius Cocles with the Morelli arms (left corner) and Nerli arms (right corner).

The Morelli-Nerli Chests (ca. 1472), the only pair known to have survived intact and complete with their original highly decorated spalliere or backboards. These bridal receptacles are important examples of Renaissance furniture and provide fascinating insight into the family life and values of wealthy Renaissance Florentines.

The chests were commissioned in 1472 by Lorenzo di Matteo Morelli to mark the occasion of his marriage to Vaggia di Tanai di Francesco di Nerli. They were used to store precious items, including clothes and textiles.
In the 15th century a wedding was in most cases little more than a contract between two prominent families intended to combine their wealth, power and prestige. It was not about love. If love subsequently developed between the two parties, this was a bonus.

Marriage was an expensive business. When Lorenzo made his marriage preparations he kept records of his expenditures which still survive. In My expenses when I took my wife home (ca. 1471/2) he listed purchases and home refurbishments. By far the most important and expensive items was a pair of lavishly gilded and decorated wedding chests. Very few could read or write at this time, so decoration was chosen carefully to provide education and entertainment. Lorenzo's chest shows Camillus defeating the Gauls on the front panel and Horatius Cocles ("Horatius the one-eyed") defending the bridge against the Etruscans on the backboard. Viaggia's chest illustrates Camillus and the Roman army besieging the town of Falerii on the front panel and the Roman Mucius Scaevola attempting to assassinate his enemy, King Lars Porsenna, on the backboard.

The chests and their backboards were fabricated by the Italian woodworker Zanobi di Domenico, (act. ca. 1472). They were gilded and decorated by Biagio di Antonio (1446-1516) and Jacopo del Sellaio (ca.1442-1493).

Art in Tuscany | Courtauld Gallery Vodcast: Morelli Cassone, 1472


Biagio d'Antonio, Jacopo del Sellaio, and Zanobi di Domenico, chest and spalliera with the arms of Lorenzo Morelli and Vaggia Nerli, known as the Nerli Cassone
Wedding Chest showing the Coat of Arms of the Strozzi Family. Anonymous Florentine craftsman, last quarter of the fifteenth century. Wood covered with vellum painted in tempera, gilded leather, 45 x 160 x 47 cm. Grassina (Florence), Carlotta Bruschi Collection. Collezione Carlotta Bruschi, Grassina © Fotografía: Giusti Paolo e Claudio    


Cassone, with scenes from Boccaccio’s Decamerone

Workshop of Giovanni Toscani, Cassone, with scenes from Boccaccio’s Decameron (the tale of Ginevra, Bernabò and Ambrogiuolo (part I), c. 1420-25, wood, gesso, tempera and gilding, 82.5 x 195.5 x 68.6 cm (overall), Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland

Giovanni Toscani matriculated in the Florentine Compagnia di S Luca in 1424, but it seems that already in 1420 he was inscribed on the rolls of the company (Orlandi). In 1423 and 1424 he received payments for decorating the Ardinghelli Chapel in Santa Tr?nita, Florence (Milanesi). In the catasto (land registry declaration) of 1427, Toscani described himself as a cassone painter ('cofanaio').Also on display are panels painted by Giovanni Toscani (act. 1423, d. 1430). One of his works depicts a story from Boccaccio's Decameron in three scenes. Bernabo, a wealthy merchant from Genoa, makes a bet with a young man, Ambrogiuolo. Bernabo is so convinced of his wife's virtue that he believes Ambrogiuolo will not succeed in seducing her. Ambrogiuolo is smuggled into Ginevra's bedroom. After discovering a mole under Ginevra's breast, he convinces Bernabo of his success. The young man was punished by being stung to death by bees!

Art in Tuscany | Bartolomeo di Giovanni and Italian Renaissance Cassoni paintings

Pesellino, whose original name was Francesco Di Stefano, also called Giuichi, was known for his cassone paintings. Pesellino in particular was known for favoring old legends and tales in his designs. Examples of Pesellino's cassoni can be seen in the Gardner Museum, Boston MA, the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Art in Toledo Ohio.

The Triumphs of Fame, Time, and Eternity

Francesco Pesellino (Italian, Florence, 1422–1457), The Triumphs of Love, Chastity, and Death, about 1450,
tempera and gold on wood, 45.4 x 157.4 cm, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Francesco Pesellino (Italian, Florence, 1422–1457), The Triumphs of Fame, Time, and Eternity, ca. 1450, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

'In characteristic fashion, Bernard Berenson paid court to his patron, complimented her discernment, and spurred her acquisitiveness and rivalry with other collectors. Gardner was indeed lucky to get the two Pesellino panels since in the latter half of the nineteenth century, dealers and collectors had raised the demand for Renaissance painted wedding furniture. The cassone panels feature five parade floats, forming a grand procession that culminates in a celestial vision of God at the end of time. The imagery derives from Petrarch’s fourteenth-century allegorical poem, The Triumphs of Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, and Eternity. In his letters to Gardner, Berenson singled out the final tableau for praise, but he referred to it as the triumph of Religion rather than Eternity; presumably this substitution of titles was calculated to appeal to Gardner’s deepening piety. Religious sentiment mingled with courtly love proved irresistible, so it’s no wonder that Berenson also deliberately tailored his description of the first panel to include the triumph of “Chivalry” rather than Petrarch’s more conventional Fame. With such coded language, Isabella Stewart Gardner and Bernard Berenson shaped history through imagination and fantasy; they engaged with the Renaissance past through scholarship, research, and travel, but they also enjoyed the role-playing of a good costume drama!' [3]

DOMENICO DI MICHELINO, The Triumph of Fame, the Triumph of Time and the Triumph of Eternity,
tempera on panel, gold ground, 42 x 177 cm, private collection

During the early fifteenth century, Europe continued to evolve out of a series of medieval feudal states ruled by wealthy landowners into concentrated town centers or cities functioning as powerful economic nuclei. As these cities took on greater political and financial authority, the middle classes, made up of artisans, bankers, and merchants, played more substantial roles in commerce with their greater wealth and independence. Along with this prosperity, particularly marked in Italy, an increased number of palaces and villas were constructed, subsequently creating a greater demand for extravagant furniture and domestic art, both for established aristocratic patrons and the newly wealthy. (...) The manufacture of secular art objects, usually for the purpose of commemoration, personalized these lavish Italian Renaissance interiors. Because childbirth and marriage were richly celebrated, a number of objects were made in honor of these rituals. The wooden birth tray, or desco da parto, played a utilitarian as well as celebratory role in commemorating a child's birth. It was covered with a special cloth to function as a service tray for the mother during confinement and later displayed on the wall as a memento of the special occasion. A desco da parto was usually painted with mythological, classical, or literary themes, as well as scenes of domesticity. The reverse often displayed a family crest. In some cases, a birth tray was purchased already painted, but custom-decorated with heraldry that personalized what might otherwise be a line item from a shop. The Metropolitan's Triumph of Fame by Lo Scheggia, Masaccio's younger brother, is the finest and most extravagant surviving example of a birth tray. It is noteworthy for its condition, beauty, and association with the great Florentine Medici family. This tray was specially commissioned by Piero de' Medici and Lucrezia Tornabuoni to commemorate the birth of their first-born son Lorenzo.

Cassoni are possibly the best-known classification of furniture whose distribution is limited to a particular region. They demonstrate many of the trends that shaped the evolution of furniture. Cassoni mix the contemporary style of the day with more traditional features of the past. They also frequently utilize paintings and sculptures of premier artisans. 6 Also according to Britannica, the 15 th century was when the importance of marital alliances between the wealthy in Florence reached its zenith, and it was during this time that the cassone were decorated by some of the greatest artists of the period. Artists who contributed to the decoration of cassone include Sandro Botticelli, Paolo Uccello, and Donatello.

Sandro Botticelli, Mars and Venus, tempera on panel, c. 1483, National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Above we have and example of a cassone front by Sandro Botticelli, on display at the National Gallery, in London, England. Only the front panel of this piece survives. Botticelli was only one of the great artists to contribute to cassone decoration whose works were later despoiled to provide wall hangings. 
This is a marriage commission from the Vespucci family. In these Florentine families, the important moment of the marriage was the day before, when the bride's dowry was exhibited in front of the house - silverware, gilded silver and jewels - in caskets which became more and more ornate and extravagant and which were called "cassones". As the 15th and 16th centuries went by, the caskets became monuments and the greatest artists would be asked to decorate them. Botticelli would be commissioned to paint this one for a Vespucci marriage. This work's strange format, its dimension of length, somewhat in the shape of the base of an altarpiece, is thus the result of the fact that it was the front of a "cassone".
Once again, the subject is philosophical rather than mythological. It should be noted that in passing from the first painting to the second and, even more so in passing from the second to the third, that the myths of Antiquity are not used anecdotally or for their folklore, nor for the liberty that one could afford in the details, but really more and more in a philosophical vein. In this painting, we are shown the young bride, depicted as Venus, contemplating her young husband, depicted as Mars, as he sleeps. Venus is Love and Harmony, Mars is War and Discord. Human nature consists of these two things, and the union of Venus and Mars could only create a balance of these forces and, thus, perfection. These Neo-Platonic lessons in morality which Botticelli delivers here were dictated by the patron. There is a very pretty small detail - small satyrs have stolen Mars' weapons and are playing at war in the background. We know that this is a Vespucci commission, as there are wasps coming out of the stump; "vespe" means wasp in Italian, and "vespi" are present in the Vespucci coat of arms.

Botticelli's first insolently superb affirmation of pagan beauty can be found in the image of this admirable, bodiless Venus - the body has been replaced by an extremely subtle play of the finest cloths and, at the same time, this braid which contains and reveals them. On the other side, one of Botticelli's first heroic nudes, this Mars with his drowsy features and the light on his face, which all Florence came to see. The patches of light on his face makes his sleep even deeper. This manner of sculpting a face with patches of sunlight, in the true sense of the term, was very new and remarked upon in Florence at that time. To show how well Botticelli could paint down to smallest detail, here is the little satyr who has gotten hold of Mars' helmet.

In any event, this work caused a lot of commotion, so much commotion that the noisiest of the Florentines, the famous Lorenzo de Pierfrancesco de' Medici, in the desire to make his villa more beautiful than it had ever been, commissioned two new paintings from Botticelli. The Birth of Venus and Spring.


Sandro Botticelli | Storia di Virginia Romana

Sandro Botticelli, Storia di Virginia Romana, Bergamo, Accademia Carrara

In the 1480s Botticelli gained commissions from the families in high society. Increasingly they chose classical themes for the luxurious decoration of their town houses, but they also included some from contemporary literature. In order to be able to carry out his multiple commissions, Botticelli had to work together with other painters as well as members of his own workshop.
In 1483 he creates a painting in the most exquisite colors and details, a scene of horror and drama. At a banquet nestled among pine trees, a beautiful nude girl rushes through, screaming and sobbing as she’s attacked by mastiffs and chased by an angry man on horseback. The crowd starts up in terror. The intensity of the scene contrasts with the placidity of the sea in the distance.
The four panels conveying the Story of Nastagio degl Onesti, the eighth novel of the fifth day of Boccaccio's Decameron, were produced with the aid of Bartolomeo di Giovanni.
The Story of Nastagio degl Onesti is the story of Nastagio, a young man from Ravenna who was rejected by the daughter of Paolo Traversari and abandoned the city to settle on its outskirts. Nastagio degli Onesti, whose beloved initially refused to marry him, finally weds her after all. First of all, however, he must remind her of the eternal agony in hell of another merciless woman, one who had also refused marriage, her rejected lover had to pursue her until he had caught up with her, killed her, torn out her heart and intestines and fed them to his dogs.

Sandro Botticelli and Bartolomeo di Giovanni, The Story of Nastagio degl Onesti

Sandro Botticelli and Bartolomeo di Giovanni, La historia de Nastagio degli Onesti (third episode, detail), 1483, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

Although much of the art of Renaissance Italy revolved around Christian and classical themes, at times artists also painted scenes from contemporary literature for their wealthy patrons. Such is the case with Botticelli’s Story of Nastagio degli Onesti. The painting depicts in tempera a scene from a contemporary novella called The Decameron, an allegorical work of storytelling written by Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio. The Decameron consists of 100 tales of love, tragedy, wit, and practical jokes. The stories are framed by a narrative about seven women and three men who flee the woes of the Black Death in Florence to a villa in the countryside. They tell stories to pass the time and enjoy one another’s company. The Decameron is important for its documentation of life in the 14th century.
The tale, Nastagio degli Onesti, is one of The Decameron’s stories about lovers who survive misfortunes and find happiness. Nastagio suffers rejection from the daughter of Paolo Traversaro to whom he proposes. Supposedly she turns him down because of her extraordinary beauty and exalted rank. Nastagio plunges into despair, considers suicide, but is persuaded by his friends to get away to the sea to hang out alone for a while. Occasionally he invites friends to have dinner with him in his pavilions under the trees.

One day Nastagio, walking about the woods, comes upon this nightmarish chase. The beautiful, nude young woman is torn apart by the dogs. The crazed knight jumps from his horse, knocks down the woman, cuts out her heart with his knife and feeds it to the dogs. Within moments, the girl jumps to her feet and continues with her desperate flight. The knight explains to the horrified Nastagio that both of them have long been dead but at one time he had proposed marriage to the girl and she had rejected him. Now both are condemned to this cruel punishment by God: the knight for committing suicide over his depression at being rejected and the girl for rejecting the man due to her hard, cold heart. They are eternally doomed to repeat the chase. Every Friday at the same hour he overtakes her in the same woods and attacks her.
After they depart, Nastagio stands alone, disturbed and horrified. But he’s a practical man and begins to form a plan.
The next Friday he invites Paolo Traversaro and his family to an outdoor banquet. As the final course is being served, the hellish attack plays out. The girls at the banquet especially draw back in horror, upsetting a table and dashing dishes to the ground. One figure stands in composure: Nastagio in the foreground in blue tunic, red tights, and yellow boots. He explains to the crowd the meaning behind the ghosts and the chase to which they are doomed. The moral seems to be: Ladies, comply with men’s wishes! It has to be the rare Renaissance woman who turns down an appropriate and willing suitor.
Off to the right, in an intriguing inclusion of consecutive episodes within the same panel, the marriage is depicted in front of the pink tent. The girl, apparently persuaded by the scene to relent and consent to Nastagio’s offer, trustingly lays her hand on her new husband’s arm.
The Four Panels
It was traditional before Renaissance weddings to commission paintings of tribute to the new bride. Botticelli depicts actually four scenes from the story of Nastagio in four striking panels that include this one. The first two panels show the young man encountering the hunt in the woods and seeing the young lady meet her gruesome death. The third panel shown here illustrates the banquet where the scene again takes place and the subsequent marriage. The fourth panel shows the wedding feast under imposing Renaissance arches. In his magnificently-rendered panels, Botticelli faithfully follows Boccacio's story down to the slightest detail.

Most likely the panels were destined to be installed on the walls of newlyweds in a family palace. Typically sons continued to live in their father’s house after marriage; their rooms would undergo new decoration which would include painted wall panels. These would be the only luxury in rooms which were, in contrast, simply furnished.

[Source: Hagen, Rose-Marie & Rainer. What Great Paintings Say: Old Masters in Detail. Cologne: Benedikt Tasche, 2000.]

Art in Tuscany | Sandro Botticelli and Bartolomeo di Giovanni, The Story of Nastagio degl Onesti


Bartolomeo di Giovanni, The wedding of Thetis and Peleus

Bartolomeo di Giovanni, The wedding of Thetis and Peleus, detail. Panel of a cassone (wedding chest), Louvre, Paris

Bartolomeo di Giovanni, also known as Alunno di Domenico, was an early renaissance Italian painter of the Florentine School who was active from about 1480 until his death in 1501. He studied with and assisted Domenico Ghirlandaio, painting the predella of Ghirlandaio's Adoration of the Magi in the Ospedale degli Innocenti (Foundling Hospital) in Florence, in 1488. Bartolomeo di Giovanni also worked under the guidance of Sandro Botticelli.
The two panels The wedding of Thetis and Peleus and The Procession of Thetis, illustrating colourful festivities at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, a popular mythological subject of love triumphing in the face of difficult circumstances, are displayed at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

The wedding of Thetis and Peleus shows gods, goddesses, nymphs and others processing to the house of the hero Peleus to celebrate his wedding to the beautiful sea-nymph Thetis. Thetis had many suitors, including several of the gods themselves, but when they learned of a prophecy that the son of Thetis would be greater than his father, the gods arranged that she should marry Peleus. Their son was to be Achilles, the greatest of the Greeks to fight at Troy.

Art in Tuscany | Bartolomeo di Giovanni and Italian Renaissance Cassoni paintings



Alessando di Mariano Filipepi detto Botticelli, Filippino Lippi
La regina Vasti lascia il palazzo reale
Firenze, Museo Horne


Jacopo del Sellaio (1441-1493) | Story of Cupid and Psyche

Jacopo del Sellaio (1441-1493), Story of Cupid and Psyche, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambrdge University

Another reference in favor of the compound reading of Botticelli's masterpieces is perhaps found also in the painting of his friend Jacopo del Sellaio (1441-1493). The two paintings (Fitzwilliam Museum) from a wooden marriage chest painted by Jacopo del Sellaio [4] are describing the myth of Cupid and Venus, and serve as an interesting reference to Botticelli's collage. Vasari describes both Sellaio and Botticelli as fellow pupils in the workshop of Fra Filippo Lippi, which makes a comparison particularly interesting. If we are to believe in the established dating of the artworks, then Sellaio executed the paintings some decade before Botticelli, even though he is usually considered as heavily influenced by Botticelli's work. Jacopo del Sellaio painted at least fifteen(4) distinct episodes of the myth on two panels at the different sides of a marriage chest. The difference between the compositions of two painters is obvious: Sellaio is primarily describing the story as told by the classics whereas Botticelli is more mystical, more valuable are the subtle levels of an intuitive apprehension of the story than an appropriate description of narration. However, more interesting is a purely formal comparison, which enhances some previously drawn conclusions about the nature of Botticelli's inspiration considering the compound image of the Birth of Venus and La Primavera.

Art in Tuscany | Jacopo del Sellaio (1441-1493)

Master of 1416 | Ameto's Discovery of the Nymphs

Master of 1416 (Italian, Florentine, early 15th century), twelve-sided childbirth tray (desco da parto) with scenes from Boccaccio's Commedia delle ninfe fiorentine: Ameto's Discovery of the Nymphs and Contest between the Shepherds Alcesto and Acaten, ca. 1410, The Metropolitan Museum, New York

The Master of 1416 is the name given to the painter of an altarpiece of the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints, dated 1416, in the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence.
The panels are the recto and verso of a marriage salver. They show episodes from the Commedia delle ninfe fiorentine, an amatory allegory written about 1342 by Giovanni Boccaccio. On the left panel Ameto and two nymphs judge a musical competition between the shepherds Alcesto and Acaten. The arms at the left correspond with those of the Fortuna family of Florence, except for the sword. The arms on the right may belong to the Di Lupo Parra family of Pisa.
The right panel, the obverse, or front, of a marriage salver, illustrates an episode in which the hunter Ameto, dressed in red, peers over a hill and then approaches some nymphs in a thicket, attracted by the singing of Lia. In the background Ameto and the nymphs hunt. The nymphs instruct Ameto in the meaning of love in a later episode of the story. The narratives of Ameto and the nymphs continues on a panel that was in all likelihood originally the verso of the birth tray above, but the two are now separated. Ameto, in the same high-collared red tunic, and two nymphs listen to a musical competition between the shepherds Alcesto, who represents leisure, and Acaten, who represents industry. The incident was a critical prelude to Ameto's embrace of the virtuous life. One of the coats of arms has been identified as that of the Di Lupo Parra family of Pisa. The salver dates about 1410.[2]

This birth tray is apparently the only extant illustration to Giovanni Boccaccio's Comedia delle Ninfe Fiorentine, an amatory allegory written about 1342 that recounts how the hunter Ameto is educated in love by nymphs. The obverse shows Ameto's discovery of the nymphs: "Some, displaying their white feet in the shallow ripples [of the little stream], were slowly wading through them this way and that; others, who had laid down their sylvan bows and arrows, held their hot faces suspended above the stream, and having tucked up their sleeves were renewing their beauty with their fair hands and cool waters; and some, having loosened their clothing to let in the breezes, were sitting attentive to what one of them, more joyous than the others, sat singing. " In the background Ameto and the nymphs hunt together On the reverse (below) Ameto and two nymphs judge a musical competition between the shepherds Alcesto and Acaten, one of whom praises a life of leisure and the other a life of industry. In Boccaccio 's story this is the prelude to Ameto's final transformation from a rustic into a rational man and his realization that the nymphs are, in fact, the virtues. The right-hand coat of arms is that of the Di Lupo Parra family of Pisa, the other is unidentified. The birth tray was painted about 1410 by an associate of Lorenzo di Niccolb, who is known as the Master of 1416.

Master of 1416 (Italian, Florentine, early 15th century), twelve-sided childbirth tray, The Metropolitan Museum, New York



Benvenuto di Giovanni, The Triumph of David

Benvenuto di Giovanni, The Triumph of David, (ca. 1459-60 ), Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale

The panel, from the vestry of the church of San Francesco in Siena, was originally the front part of a nuptial chest executed for the wedding of two members of the Buonsignori and Piccolomini families as shown by the two coats of arms. It represents a nuptial theme: David, after having killed Goliath, getting on a triumphal chariot in Jerusalem to marry the daughter of the king, Michal.

Art in Tuscany | Benvenuto di Giovanni

Francesco Pesellino (1422–1457), Triumphs of Love, Chastity, and Death, c. 1450, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston. Francis Petrarch’s poem cycle The Triumphs, c. 1370, provides the subject matter for this chest.  
Pesellino shop, Liberal Arts, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama.
The seven liberal arts—arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy, logic, rhetoric, and grammar—made up the Trivium and the Quadrivium of the premodern curriculum.
Pesellino shop, Seven Virtues, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama. In the depiction of the seven virtues—Prudence, Justice, Faith, Charity, Hope, Fortitude, and Temperance  
Biagio d'Antonio (1446–1516) and shop, Camillus Brings Statue of Juno to Rome, c. 1470, Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.  
Giovanni di Ser Giovanni, Lo Scheggia (1406–1486), Frederick III and Leonora of Portugal in Rome, 1452, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts.


Biagio d'Antonio, Scenes from the Story of the Argonauts


These two panels with lively depictions of scenes from the stories of Jason and the Argonauts were designed either as the fronts of cassoni or as spalliere, hung at above shoulder height. As with other complex narrative constructions of the period, such as some of Ghiberti's compositions for the bronze doors of the Baptistery of Florence, the stories proceed across the picture plane and in depth, and the illusionistic manipulation of space through perspective is central to their effect.
Most of the tale is told according to the epic poem Argonautica written in Greek by Apollonius of Rhodes and studied in the Medici circle. Vernacular versions supplied some of the details, and in this sense the panels resemble those painted in celebration of the Tornabuoni-Albizzi marriage some years later, to which Biagio d'Antonio also contributed.

The Tale of the Argonauts (left to right):

Panel 1: Charge of King Pelias to Jason, his nephew, to retrieve the Golden Fleece from a cave in Colchis on the Black Sea (in each scene, Jason is in golden armor, pink cloak, and winged helmet). Jason seeks adventurers to follow him. Jason and Orpheus, with his viol, consult the centaur Chiron atop Mount Pelion. Jason's ship, the Argo, sails along the Mysian coast. Hylas, Hercules' squire, is pulled into a pool by nymphs and never seen again. The Calydonian boar hunt at the far right is not in Apollonius' account.
Panel 2: Jason arrives at Colchis greeted by King Aeëtes with his daughters Medea and Chalciope. Jason begins to carry out his appointed tasks under the protection of the sorceress Medea. He is able to grab the Golden Fleece from the labyrinth and flees with Medea. Aeëtes sends Medea's brother in pursuit; he may be the young man riding in haste across the castle's moat.


Biagio d'Antonio, Scenes from the Story of the Argonauts, ca. 1465, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Along with another panel (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles), this spalliera was probably once installed in the wainscoting of a bedroom. As the inscriptions clearly identify, it tells the story of Joseph—gvseppo—in Egypt. Beginning with his arrival there, in the background at the left, it includes scenes of his flight from the unwanted advances of Potipher's wife; his imprisonment and the interpretation of Pharaoh's dreams; and finally his reconciliation with his brothers. It may be that the virtues Joseph demonstrated—chastity, constancy, and clemency—were considered of particular value to a young bride and groom.

The Story of Joseph, after 1482
Biagio d'Antonio (Italian, Florentine, active 1472–1516)
Tempera on panel

Marco del Buono Giamberti and Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso, The Story of Esther

Marco del Buono Giamberti and Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso, The Story of Esther (detail), 1460–70, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This panel depicts an episode from the biblical story of Queen Esther and King Ahasuerus (Esther 2:17–19); it once adorned the front of a cassone, or wedding chest. Esther, a Jewess, competes with other virgins of the kingdom of Shushan to marry the king. He chooses her, and we see the wedding feast unfolding over time across the panel. The artist portrays the event in a Florentine Renaissance setting: a palace like that belonging to the Medici rises behind the procession; a church resembling the Duomo is at center; and the banquet and marriage take place in an outdoor loggia. The story of Esther was dramatized in mystery plays of the late Middle Ages, and the representation of the narrative here may reflect those popular plays.["Marco del Buono Giamberti and Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso: The Story of Esther (18.117.2)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (November 2008)]

'Painted about 1460-70 in what may have been the most prestigious Florentine workshop for the production of cassoni, this panel illustrates the Old Testament Book of Esther As is fitting for a marriage coffer, the two episodes shown are taken from chapter 2: 17-18. Having obtained the favor of Ahasuerus, the Jewess Esther was crowned queen and a great feast was made in her honor to which all the princes of the land were invited. Ahasuerus is portrayed three times, first on a gray charger and then twice beneath the arches of the loggia. Esther wears a blue Florentine headdress known as a sella. The buildings depicted relate closely to contemporary architecture, especially that of Michelozzo. The palace, with its rusticated ground floor, derives from the Palazzo Medici, and the church, with its Gothic three-aisled nave and immense circular tribune, resembles the Santissima Annunziata in Florence, as it appears in late fifteenthcentury representations.' [5] 
Rather than crowning Esther his queen, Ahasuerus here places a ring on her finger with the blessing of a priest. The figure at the far left wearing a red hat and listening intently to what happens within the loggia may be Esther's kinsman Mordecai. 20. Seated in the place of honor, Esther is singled out to a companion by Ahasuerus.


Marco del Buono Giamberti and Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso, The Story of Esther (detail), 1460–70, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York



Guidoccio di Giovanni Cozzarelli, The Legend of Cloelia, ca. 1480

Guidoccio di Giovanni Cozzarelli, The Legend of Cloelia, ca. 1480
Guidoccio di Giovanni Cozzarelli, The Legend of Cloelia, ca. 1480, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Plutarch (Life of Publicola, XIX) describes how in a peace treaty the Romans offered Lars Porsena ten young noblemen and ten maidens as hostages. While the maidens were bathing in the Tiber, Cloelia got them to escape. On the left the maidens are presented to Porsena. In the center they swim the Tiber and, on the right, they escape through the gates of Rome. The paneldates from about 1480.

Art in Tuscany | Guidoccio di Giovanni Cozzarelli


Lo Scheggia | Triumph of Fame

Lo Scheggia, Childbirth tray (desco da parto) with the Triumph of Fame (recto, detail), 1448–49,
tempera, silver, and gold on panel, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Metropolitan's Triumph of Fame by Lo Scheggia, Masaccio's younger brother, is the finest and most extravagant surviving example of a birth tray. It is noteworthy for its condition, beauty, and association with the great Florentine Medici family. This tray was specially commissioned by Piero de' Medici and Lucrezia Tornabuoni to commemorate the birth of their first-born son Lorenzo.
It is the largest and most elaborate surviving birth tray. Twenty-eight men on horseback are shown pledging allegiance to Fame, a beautiful winged woman who holds a sword and a statuette of Cupid as she stands atop a globe on an enormous pedestal. This scene, known as the Triumph of Fame and based on Boccaccio's Amorosa Visione (1342) and Petrarch's Trionfi (1354–74), clearly shows the dynastic ambitions of Piero de' Medici, Lorenzo's father, who commissioned the work and gave it to his wife Lucrezia Tornabuoni. The tray must have had considerable commemorative value to Lorenzo, as it was hanging in his bedchamber at the time of his death.


Master of Charles of Durazzo, The Conquest of Naples by Charles of Durazzo

Master of Charles of Durazzo (Italian, Florentine, late 14th century), The Conquest of Naples by Charles of Durazzo

This panel represents three scenes from the conquest of Naples by Charles III of Durazzo in 1381. On the right, Charles wages war against Otto of Brunswick. Otto submits to Charles in the center, and on the left Charles enters the city of Naples as victor.

Cristelle L. Baskins, Cassone Painting, Humanism and Gender in Early Modern Italy, Cambridge University Press (November 13, 1998).
Overlooked in traditional studies of Italian art, cassone painting was nonetheless a popular genre in Early Renaissance Tuscany. In this study, Cristelle Baskins questions the traditional readings of these decorated chests as merely didactic or moralizing. She argues that the pieces performed an important role in the socialization and gender formation of women during the Renaissance. She demonstrates that cassone, which invariably depict exemplary women from classical mythology, invited a range of responses, ranging from coercion to pleasure.

Cristelle Baskins, The Triumph of Marriage: Painted Cassoni of the Renaissance, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Periscope, 2008.
The Triumph of Marriage is the show catalogue of an art exhibition jointly curated by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.
Cassoni is the Italian word for the chests, painted with scenes from myth and literature, central to upper-class weddings of the 15th century. Little known today, cassoni deserve recognition as masterworks of the Renaissance. Botticelli, Pesellino and other superlative artists painted them, and they are precious early examples of the mythopoetic subjects that would form the core of European art until the 20th century. The essays in this book shed new light on the meaning of cassoni through informative discussions of Renaissance wedding rituals, male-female relations and daily domestic life. A catalogue section on cassoni in the exhibition that this book accompanies provides a unique guide to the stories of love, marriage and politics depicted on these sumptuous objects.
In addition to the Triumph of Marriage, other exhibitions on Renaissance marriage include: the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Art and Love in Renaissance Italy (November 18, 2008–February 16, 2009); and the Peabody Essex Museum’s Wedded Bliss, The
Marriage of Art and Ceremony
and the Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s recent Beauty and Duty: The Art and Business of Renaissance Marriage.

Ms. Jacqueline Marie Musacchio Ph.D. (Author), Art, Marriage, and Family in the Florentine Renaissance Palace, Yale University Press (February 24, 2009).
Jacqueline Marie Musacchio is associate professor of art at Wellesley College. She is the author of The Art and Ritual of Childbirth in Renaissance Italy (Yale).
In Renaissance Italy, middle- and upper-class families spent enormous amounts on marriages that were intended to establish or consolidate the status and lineage of one or both of the respective families.
Art, Marriage, and Family in the Florentine Renaissance Palace, explores the social and economic background to marriage in Renaissance Florence and discusses the objects—paintings, sculptures, furniture, jewelry, clothing, and household items—associated with marriage and ongoing family life. By analyzing urban palaces and their furnishings, Jacqueline Marie Musacchio shows how families interacted with art on a daily basis. This began at marriage, when the bride brought a dowry and the groom provided the home and its furnishings. It continued with the accumulation of objects during the marriage and the birth of children. And it ended with the redistribution of these same objects at death. Through the examination of art, documents, literature, and more, this lively book traces the life cycle of the Florentine Renaissance family through the art and objects that surrounded them in their home.

Musacchio, Jacqueline Marie. "The Medici-Tornabuoni Desco da Parto in Context." Metropolitan Museum Journal, Vol. 33 (1998) | PDF

Virtu' d'Amore or Nuptial Art Exhibit, at La Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence | The virtues of love | Nuptial painting in XV century Florence
The bedroom was the fulcrum of the Renaissance home: the most intimate and protected place where the wedding was consumed, children were born, and one died. Spalliere/headboards like the so-called Cassone Adimari of the Galleria dell'Accademia, which occasions the exhibition, and the historiated panels of chests are extraordinary testimonies of the Florentine Renaissance home, high fashion, the celebration of festivities, the rituality that accompanied marriage, from engagement to the wife's entrance into her husband's house. Moreover, with the stories depicted, "nuptial painting" served the fundamental function of conveying messages of warning and encouragement to a couple to adopt a conduct considered as exemplary. This aspect helps us today to focus in on a mainstay of fifteenth-century Florentine culture: the role of the family and those of the husband and wife. Drawing on classical mythology, the Bible, historical episodes and contemporary literature, all of the facets of love are depicted, along with the ensuing duties: from love triumphant over adverse circumstances (The Marriage of Thetis and Peleus), to the virtues of obedience and abnegation that the woman must pursue (The Legend of Griselda from Boccaccio's Decameron), to the courage of the heroines Lucretia and Virginia, who choose death as source of redemption. An entire section illustrates the harmful consequences of love as sexual beguilement capable of totally subduing a man's will. We must not forget, however, that marriage meant first and foremost to give life to new progeny and perpetuate the family. Towards this end, the last section of the exhibition is dedicated to family pride, asserted in stories that recount the foundation of famous families like those of Aeneas and David or that, following the texts of Petrarch, celebrate the Triumphs of Fame, Time and Eternity. These images could also be painted on deschi da parto (birth salvers), which were tondos painted on both sides, offered as ceremonial gifts to women of the upper classes who had just given birth. A particularly famous one is the desco da parto realised on the occasion of the birth of Lorenzo the Magnificent (Triumph of Fame, New York, Metropolitan Museum). Finally, the exhibits feature works by illustrious painters like Botticelli (Story of Virginia Romana, Bergamo, Accademia Carrara), Filippino Lippi (Story of Lucretia, Florence, Galleria Palatina), and Pesellino (Stories of Susanna, Avignon, Musée du Petit Palais), which open an extraordinary view onto the Florentine workshops engaged in the production of these objects that enjoyed their greatest fortune precisely in the fifteenth century. The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with the Museo Horne of Florence which will present an itinerary valorising a consistent nucleus of painted chests (cassoni) from its collection which come from the original collection that belonged to Herbert Percy Horne, for the occasion joined by several works on exceptional loan from private collectors.

Immagini Scaricabili | Download images

Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence: The Courtauld Wedding Chests, 12 February – 17 May 2009, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London.

A marriage in 15th century Florence was not primarily about love or religion. Instead it was a dynastic alliance between powerful families.
To celebrate these marriages, pairs of great chests, lavishly decorated with precious metals and elaborate paintings, were commissioned. These items – now generally called cassoni – were often the most expensive of a whole suite of decorative objects commissioned to celebrate marriage alliances between powerful families. They were displayed in Florentine palaces and used to store precious items such as clothes and textiles.
The painted panels set into the wedding chests tell fascinating tales from ancient Greece, Rome and Palestine, as well as from Florentine literature and more recent history. These beautifully told stories were intended to entertain as well as to instruct husband and wife, their servants, children and visitors.


The exhibition Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence: The Courtauld Wedding Chests is the first in the UK to explore this important and neglected art form of Renaissance Florence. The exhibition is focused around two of The Courtauld’s great treasures: the pair of chests ordered in 1472 by the Florentine Lorenzo Morelli to celebrate his marriage with Vaggia Nerli. These are the only pair of cassoni to be still displayed with their painted backboards (spalliere).The unusual survival of both the chests and their commissioning documents enables a full examination of this remarkable commission.
The Courtauld cassoni are displayed alongside other superb examples of chests and panels. Discover the stories behind these chests and gain rich insights into Florentine art and life at the height of the city’s glory.

Art in Tuscany | Watch three short films about the exhibition

This display presents rarely seen Italian 16th century design drawings for furniture, household objects and architectural ornaments.

Selected from The Courtauld’s extensive collection, these drawings illustrate the increasing use of classical motifs in High Renaissance designs. They also testify to the increasing professionalism of design in the High Renaissance, when the artist who was commissioned to design an object was often a different person from the craftsman who executed the design. This tradition of collaborative design has particular relevance in today’s artistic climate, where the line between functional object and work of art has become ever less marked.

The Italian Renaissance Cassone | A Microcosm of Style or Thinking Outside the Box

[1] During the 14th century there was an artistic and cultural revolution. The main thrust of this transformation, which started in the city-states of northern Italy, was a revived confidence in the power and dignity of humanity. Society began to examine contemporary artists in light of classical antiquity.
It was at this time that society began to admire artists as inspired creators, and their social status was elevated by the patronage extended by popes and other influential figures in Rome. In Florence, the vision of a new art with a passion for realism began to dominate the minds of the Italian masters.
The "universal" or "Renaissance" man was well read in the classical texts; he could also master the complexities of engineering, science and military works. Growing attention to anatomy and perspective allowed sculptors and architects to fashion three-dimensional forms with greater assurance than ever before. Furniture-makers were inspired to blend architectural columns, pilasters and pediments with motifs from the rich and varied classical repertoire into their lavishly decorated constructions. In the search for an alternative to the dominant Gothic esthetic, the glamour of the new Italian achievement became irresistibly appealing throughout all Europe.
To the visitor from England or France, the great palaces of Florence, Venice, Genoa, Milan and Rome must have seemed unbelievably rich and luxurious. The walls of the main rooms were often frescoed by the greatest artists; ceilings were boldly carved and nearly always gilded; floors were inlaid with marble. There was an abundance of costly fabrics. Sideboards were decked with massive, intricately wrought silver ewers and basins. In the smaller rooms there might be oil paintings on the walls, exquisite little bronze statuettes on tables, and less finely worked bronze andirons in the fireplace.

Cassoni – marriage chests – were the most elaborate pieces of furniture to be found in an Italian palace in the early 16th century. They were made by craftsmen who seem to have held themselves rather above the common falegnami – household carpenters and joiners responsible for the rougher objects of furniture – and belonged to a separate guild.
These cassoni were made to contain a bride's trousseau and were decorated not only with the coats of arms of her family and those of her intended husband, but with relief ornament, swags of fruit, panels of wooden mosaic in patterns (intarsia) or narrative paintings taken from the Bible and classical mythology. Often they were made in pairs.
The painted, carved and gilded "Conquest of Trebizond" chest at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has the grandeur of the full-fledged early Renaissance cassone. The flat, painted panel depicting Trebizond -- one of the Greek states that sprang up in 1204 after the overthrow of the Byzantine Empire by the army of the Fourth Crusade -- was decorated by Marco del Buono, who ran one of the largest of the workshops that made painted marriage chests in Florence in the mid-15th century.

These gilded and carved gesso objects, the symbols of dynastic patronage and achievement, were replaced in the later 16th century by cassoni made for brides in general rather than for a specific bride. In carved and polished walnut, these cassoni were fashioned in the form of antique sarcophagi, all their surfaces patterned with acanthus foliage around reliefs of classical scenes.

The Italian architect and designer Giorgio Vasari said in the 1550s that it was "the custom at that time for all citizens to have large coffers or chests of wood in their chambers, made like a sarcophagus…and nobody failed to have these chests adorned with paintings, and in addition to the stories, which were usually depicted on the front and cover of these coffers, the ends, and frequently other parts, were commonly adorned with the arms and other insignia of the respective families." The greater the family, the more ostentatious the chest or cassone.
Vasari also described how the painted cassone gave way to the carved cassone: "The custom prevailed, after no long time, of forming richer decoration, by carving in natural wood, covered in gold, which did indeed produce most rich and magnificent ornaments."

The flat, Gothic, painted surfaces of the 15th century were largely superseded by assertive sculptural carved ornament, which originated in antique stone ornament. The obvious classical models for carved chests were the numerous late antique funerary sarcophagi, carved with vigorous human figures, lion-paw feet, acanthus decoration, and given a bombé or kettle shape. The furniture that resulted, whatever its modern purpose, reflected the weight and solemnity of antique stone. Such architectural forms in furniture exhibit an elaborate grandiosity and controlled richness that reflect much of the antique Roman spirit.

During the 19th century, collectors and connoisseurs prized Italian cassoni as tangible symbols of the Renaissance, and because of the elaborate painting and carving incorporated in the chests, many people continue to treat them as fine art objects. [WENDELL GARRETT, senior vice president of American Decorative Arts at Sotheby's].
[2] The right panel, probably the front of a birth tray, is the earliest representation of Boccaccio's novella, written about 1342. In the first scene, the hunter Ameto, behind a hill on the far right and wearing a tunic, discovers a group of nymphs hunting, bathing, and singing in a luxuriant landscape. In the second of the multiple narrative scenes, Ameto strides toward the nymphs, joining their group so that he may learn about love and virtuous living. Boccaccio's Commedia delle ninfe fiorentine suggests the close link between love and virtue in the Renaissance mind. The married couple to whom this tray belonged and whose union had, or hoped to have, offspring would have known the story and taken inspiration from it. The panel was probably painted by a master of a prolific workshop of the Florentine artist Lorenzo di Niccoló (active 1371–1420).
["Master of 1416: Childbirth tray (desco da parto) with scenes from Boccaccio's Commedia delle ninfe fiorentine: Ameto's Discovery of the Nymphs and Contest between the Shepherds Alcesto and Acaten (26.287.1,2)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art | ]

See also Deborah L. Krohn, Birth and Family in the Italian Renaissance and Andrea Bayer, Paintings of Love and Marriage in the Italian Renaissance.

[3] Source: Cristelle Baskins, "'Rare and Wonderful' Marriage Pictures," in Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 64-67.

[4] Jacopo da Sellaio (1442-1493). Sometimes known as Jacopo di Arcangel, Sellaio was an eclectic Italian painter from the early Renaissance, who painted in the style of the Florentine School. He was a pupil of Fra Filippo Lippi, with his contemporary Sandro Botticelli , who became a lasting influence on him. It is noted that by 1460 he had joined the Confraternity of Saint Luke (Compagnia di S Luca) in Florence, and in 1473 he is documented to have shared a studio with Filippo di Giuliano.
A number of his paintings were commissioned for decorative wedding chests, or a cassoni, such as his Story of Cupid and Psyche commissioned for a 15th Century Florentine marriage. The latter depicts the ancient marriage of the mortal princess, Psyche to the god of love, Cupid. He executed another wedding cassone, The Nerli Cassone in collaboration with Zanobi di Domenico and Biagio d'Antonio in 1472. His piece now in the Uffizi Gallery, The Banquet of Ahasuerus, was also painted, along with two other panels, including, Esther before Ahasuerus, for a cassoni. These panels depict biblical scenes from the Old Testament. His small devotional pieces were well known, several of which depicted Saint Jerome and Saint John the Baptist. He also painted religious works for the church of San Lucia dei Magnoli and the church of San Frediano, both in Florence.
[5] Pope-Hennessy, John, and Keith Christiansen. "Secular Painting in 15th-Century Tuscany: Birth Trays, Cassone Panels, and Portraits." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 38, no. 1 (Summer, 1980), p. 23. | PDF

Podere Santa Pia is a very nice holiday home situated in the green hills of the Maremma near the tiny medieval town of Cinigiano, close to Montalcino and the Abbey of Sant'Antimo. Podere Santa Pia sits alone on a spectacular, private and tranquil hillside setting with expansive open views of wooded valley, vineyards and olive groves.
The Montecucco DOC area in Upper Maremma, is ideal for the growing of Sangiovese grapevines, and is situated between the DOCG area of Brunello di Montalcino and DOCG Morellino di Scansano. The best time to find out is during the Festa dell'Uva, the wine harvest festival, which takes place every year on the first October weekend. 

Artist and Writer's Residency | Podere Santa Pia


Podere Santa Pia, overlooking the vineyards and beautiful hills of the Maremma,

Abbazia di Sant' Antimo     San Gimignano
Sant'Antimo, between Santa Pia and Montalcino
  Massa Marittima   The towers of San Gimignano
Montecristo. Situated in panoramic position, overlooking vineyards and olive trees, Santa Pia features incredible sunsets...