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



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

Travel guide for Tuscany

Guidoccio di Giovanni Cozzarelli

Guidoccio (di Giovanni) Cozzarelli (b Siena, 1450; d Siena, 1516-17) was aainter and illuminator. He trained in the workshop of Matteo di Giovanni, with whom he was associated from about 1470 to 1483 and with whom he is often confused. Early illuminations for the Antiphonals of Siena Cathedral and a number of securely attributed paintings demonstrate Guidoccio's development of a fine, distinctive style that reflects Tuscan and northern European as well as Sienese influences. A scene from an Antiphonal depicting a Religious Ceremony (Siena, Bib. Piccolomini), a fragment of an altarpiece depicting the Annunciation and the Journey to Bethlehem and a cassone panel depicting the Legend of Cloelia all combine masses of rusticated and Classical architectural structures into perspective vistas. The dense cityscapes are played off against open sky and landscape, while porticos, gateways and vaulted spaces form the stage on which tactile and sprightly figures re-enact religious drama or ancient legends. In the Baptism of Christ with SS Jerome and Augustine the deep, panoramic landscape and triad of angels suggest Umbrian influences. A connection with Piero della Francesca through Matteo di Giovanni is possible.



Guidoccio Cozzarelli's greatness derives from eclecticism and the spirit of humanity that saturate his paintings. Cozzarelli's historical works possess a passionate exuberance, bursting with dramatic details. His energetic style generated steady lucrative commissions throughout his painting career. He is considered one the greatest Renaissance painters of all time.
The newly emerging painting techniques and styles were a reflection of the transformation that was taking place in Europe, the change from the medieval period to a more enlightened, tolerant society. According to Historian Hendrik van Loon, "People were tremendously alive. Great states were being founded. Large centres of commerce were being developed. High above the turreted towers of the castle and the peaked roof of the town-hall, rose the slender spire of the newly built Gothic cathedral. Everywhere the world was in motion. The high and mighty gentlemen of the city-hall, who had just become conscious of their own strength (by way of their recently acquired riches) were struggling for more power with their feudal masters.

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

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 Legend of Cloelia
Cloelia was one of ten daughters and ten sons of Roman nobility who were given as hostages by the Roman consul Publicola to the Etruscan king Lars Porsena, as a token of good faith following the conclusion of a treaty between the Romans and the Etruscans. Cloelia led an escape by crossing the Tiber river on horseback and persuading her female companions to swim after her. Publicola returned the girls to the Etruscans, but Porsena, in admiration of Cloelia's courage, presented her with a horse, and freed her and some of her companions. The story of Cloelia is recounted by Plutarch ("Life of Publicola," XIX).

This painting depicts the girls swimming across the Tiber in the center and arriving at the gate of Rome on the right. At the left Publicola returns them to the Etruscan camp and Cloelia kneels before Porsena.



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

The Annunciation and the Journey to Bethlehem

The Annunciation and the Journey to Bethlehem,
ca. 1480-1490

The Annunciation and the Journey to Bethlehem originally formed the upper right-hand corner of a large altarpiece, the exact format of which is unknown. The two scenes were part of the series illustrating either the infancy of Christ or the life of the Virgin, which may have served as the backdrop to an image of the Madonna and Child Enthroned; in that case, the cornice and pilaster at the far left of the panel may have been part of the Virgin’s throne. However, it is more likely that the foreground of the picture was occupied by a scene of the Nativity. This is suggested by the lower edge of the classical entablature, which, before it was partially repainted by an overzealous restorer, appeared as a ruin. The works of Cozzarelli, a painter of miniatures, altarpieces, and cassone panels (secular paintings used to decorate furniture), are frequently confused with those of his presumed master, Matteo di Giovanni (active 1452-1495). The format of Cozzarelli’s paintings and his feeling for decorative detail and textural richness are in the Sienese stylistic tradition, but his interest in perspective, naturalistic movement, classical architecture, and antique ornamentation reflects the significant influence of contemporary Florentine art.



Guidoccio Cozzarelli, The Baptism of Christ, 1486

Sienese Biccherna Covers


Biccherne are painted biccherna tablets, originally book covers of the ledgers of the biccherna and gabella, the financial and fiscal offices of the commune of Siena.
Almost all the Sienese Renaissance artists ventured on painting the wooden panels, precious like miniatures and very often characterized by the representation of the main events of Sienese history. Sano di Pietro was commissioned more than once to celebrate contemporary people and their noble achievements (in 1457, in 1471, in 1473); Vecchietta depicted the Coronation of Pope Pius II Piccolomini in the biccherna of 1460; Francesco di Giorgio recalled the earthquake in the biccherna of 1467; Neroccio was entrusted with the Intercession of the Virgin Mary to Jesus for the town of Siena and Guidoccio Cozzarelli depicted the scene of the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, so skillfully that considering he was confined to the small surface of the tablet the result is with no doubt equal to any of his altarpieces.

The panel The Virgin guiding “the ship of the Republic” refers to the return to Siena of the magistracy of the Nine lead by Pandolfo Petrucci, who later became Siena’s ruler, as a welcome change occurred under the Virgin’s protection. Traditionally attributed to Guidoccio Cozzarelli it was presented at the National Gallery exhibition in London as a work of Guidoccio’s master Matteo di Giovanni.

Art in Tuscany | Sienese Biccherna Covers | Biccherne Senesi


Guidoccio Cozzarelli
The Virgin guiding “the ship of the Republic”. Siena, archivio di Stato, Museo delle tavolette di Biccherna

Siena, Duomo | Guidoccio Cozzarelli, Sibilla Libica

Guidoccio Cozzarelli, Libyan Sibyl, mosaic floor (detail) 148, Siena, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, left nave

Of the numerous masterpieces enclosed in the Cathedral of Siena, one of the most exceptional is certainly its floor. The inlaid marble mosaic floor of Siena's Cathedral is one of the most ornate of its kind in Italy, covering the whole floor of the cathedral. This undertaking went on from the 14th to the 16th centuries, and about forty artists made their contribution.

According to 16th century artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari, Sienese master Duccio di Buoninsegna first designed the floor mosaics in the early 1300s.
The panels are rectangles, rounds, hexagons, squares and rhombuses.
The cartoons would be made on paper first by prominent local artists (or in one special case, by Umbrian master Pinturicchio), then they would be translated to marble mosaic format by stone cutting, carving and marquetry masters. The earliest panels were made using the graffito technique where lines were scratched into the surface of white marble and then filled with pitch or bitumen to make them black. Later panels used different colors of marble to create intricate inlays complete with delicate shading and strong chiaroscuro contrasts.
The earliest panels are the Wheel of Fortune (1372), the Sienese She-Wolf Surrounded by the Emblems of Allied Cities (1373) and the Imperial Eagle (1374).
In the 1480s, the 10 Sibyls were created and two large transept panels with shockingly vivid images of The Slaughter of the Innocents and The Expulsion of Herod.[2]

In 1480 Alberto Aringhieri was appointed superintendent of the works. From then on, the mosaic floor scheme began to make serious progress. Between 1481 and 1483 the ten panels of the Sibyls were worked out. A few are ascribed to eminent artists, such as Matteo di Giovanni (The Samian Sibyl), Neroccio di Bartolomeo de' Landi (Hellespontine Sibyl) and Benvenuto di Giovanni (Albunenan Sibyl). The Cumaean, Delphic, Persian and Phrygian Sibyls are from the hand of the obscure German artist Vito di Marco. The Erythraean Sibyl was originally by Antonio Federighi, the Libyan Sibyl by the painter Guidoccio Cozzarelli, but both have been extensively renovated.

The Libyan Sibyl by the painter Guidoccio Cozzarelli



Siena | Piazza del Duomo is dominated by the imposing structure of Siena’s cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta. The building stands over an existing church that in turn was built over a pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva. Construction of the existing Duomo started in 1200, with the main sections already completed by 1215. The dome was built between 1259 and 1264.
The Latin cross design of the church includes three naves and is entirely sheathed in strips of alternating black and white marble, a reference to the black and white colours of the coat of arms of the city of Siena.
Between 1369 and 1547 the floor was completely inlaid in marble and, for conservation reasons, is usually covered by wooden boards near the dome and presbytery. This area in fact contains 56 square slabs each depicting a scene inspired by salvation and completed by 40 different artists, almost all of whom were from Siena. Two holy water basins sculpted by Antonio Federighi in 1462-63 are placed next to the first two columns of the church.
Six sided at its base, the cupola develops into twelve sides as it rises and is adorned with gilded statues of saints placed in the niches at its base. The asymmetrical canopy above is decorated with 42 figures of the patriarchs and prophets, painted at the end of the 15th century. In 1532 Baldassare Petruzzi completed the marble high altar, which is surmounted by a bronze tabernacle by Vecchietta (1467-1472). The vast stained glass window of the apse is by Duccio di Buoninsegna.

The hexagonal dome is topped with Bernini's gilded lantern, like a golden sun. The trompe l'oeil coffers were painted in blue with golden stars in the late 15th century. The colonnade in the drum is adorned with images and statues of 42 patriarchs and prophets, painted in 1481 by Guidoccio Cozzarelli and Benvenuto di Giovanni. The eight stucco statues in the spandrels beneath the dome were sculpted in 1490 by Ventura di Giuliano and Bastiano di Francesco. Originally they were polychromed, but later, in 1704, gilded.

Art in Tuscany | The Duomo in Siena

Siena Duomo’s mosaic floor|

[1] Cloelia is a figure from the early history of the city of ancient Rome. As part of the peace treaty which ended the war between Rome and Clusium in 508 BC, Roman hostages were taken by Lars Porsena. One of the hostages, a young woman named Cloelia, fled the Clusian camp, leading away a group of Roman virgins. According to Valerius Maximus, she fled upon a horse, then swam acorss the Tiber. Porsena demanded she be returned, and the Romans consented. Upon her return, however, Porsena being impressed by her bravery allowed her to choose half the remaining hostages to be freed. She selected from amongst the hostages the young Roman boys to be freed.
According to the Roman legend, the Romans honoured Cloelia with the unusual honour of a statue at the top of the Via Sacra, showing Cloelia mounted on a horse, that is as an eques.
Modern historians debate whether the story of Cloelia is a genuine historical record or a myth, although the truth of the account was widely upheld by the Romans themselves.


Located in the heart of the Maremma, in southern Tuscany, Podere Santa Pia sits alone on a spectacular, private and tranquil hillside setting with expansive open views of wooded valleys and olive groves. The house itself is an old 'podere' or farmhouse that dates back to the 19th century, now lovingly restored with many of the original details preserved.The Maremma is renowned for its culinary and wine traditions. Experience the best of Tuscany on day tours to Montalcino, Montepulciano, Scansano and the surreal beauty of the Val D'Orcia, and enjoy wine tastings of the famous Brunello, Montecucco and Montepulciano wines.
And Brunello di Montalcino, perhaps Italy's best-known wine region, makes a good starting place for a wine tasting tour. Castello Banfi is within easy reach and Montalcino is only 28 kms away.

Residency in Toscany for writers and artists | Podere Santa Pia


Podere Santa Pia is situated in a very panoramic and tranquil position, with spectacular views over Monte Argentario
and Isola Monte Christo


Podere Santa Pia
Siena, Piazza del Campo

Cypress trees between San Quirico d'Orcia and Montalcino, one of the bird trapping techniques to capture wild birds.

San Gimignano  

The towers of San Gimignano
Siena, Duomo
Bagni San Filippo

Bagni San Filippo

The Val d'Orcia and the Crete Senesi
This holiday home offers its guests a breathtaking view over the Maremma hills. On clear days or evening, one can even see Corsica.