The Annunciation of the Siena Pinacoteca
The Annunciation by Ambrogio Lorenzetti preserved in the Siena Pinacoteca is absolutely one of the art works to see in Siena if you have the opportunity to visit the museum.
The museum, considered one of the most important gold backdrop paintings collections, is located not far from the city’s cathedral, a much better-known destination for visitors.
Reaching the second floor which is chronologically the first space to visit in the museum – while instead you move on to the first where there is the collection dedicated to the Renaissance – you can see the works by the first Sienese painters, where to mark an important watershed in the history of Sienese art, there are the works by Duccio di Buoninsegna, such as the beautiful Madonna dei Francescani.
In the following rooms the first painters there are the masters of the fourteenth century, such as Simone Martini and Bartolomeo Bulgarini.
Although not exactly positioned in a precise chronological order, we find a large room dedicated to the Lorenzetti brothers (Ambrogio was the younger brother of Pietro, a painter directly pupil of the great Duccio).
This is where we find our beautiful Annunciation, painted on wood with tempera and gold. Square in size, the work was commissioned for the financial magistracy office of the city, which was the Gabella.
Details like an earring
The painting is not large in size, however it contains a series of truly surprising details: from the marble seat of the Virgin, to the preciousness of the execution of the angel’s hands, to the earring protruding from the lobe of Mary’s left ear, Lorenzetti’s Annunciation, one of the art works to see in Siena, is authentically a great sight for the eyes.
Annunciation, A.Lorenzetti, 1342, Pinacoteca di Siena
One of the first examples of perspective
In addition to the preciousness that distinguishes Ambrogio’s painting in the last years of his activity, to which this work is assigned – 1342 – it is an element not just one of the first attempts at spatial arrangement according to the rule of perspective that still falls within one way. to do essentially empirical.
Although other artists had dedicated themselves to these operations in foreshortening (primarily Giotto), Lorenzetti had already demonstrated a certain spatial coherence in other works of his production, such as in the Stories of San Nicola for the church of San Procolo, now at the Uffizi.
Detail of the Annunciation, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, 1342
Finally we remember how in this Annunciation, the artist does not spare himself in details that are of important theological content, such as the Holy Spirit that descends towards the Virgin and which is made with a technique that had to combine the gold leaf with that of silver, a riot of lights that today we can only partially appreciate due to the irreversible oxidation of the silver leaf.
So if you happen to be in Siena, and you are wondering which are the important art works to see in Siena, well, do not forget that the Pinacoteca preserves some great art treasures waiting to be admired. If you want to visit the museum by a guided tour you will be sure not to miss anything in this treasure chest.