The Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art of San Bernardino
The Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art, with the adjacent oratory of San Bernardino, is a place with the magical and suspended atmosphere in which to read the history of the spirituality of the territory and the Sienese painting from the XIII to the 18th century. The architectural structure of the Oratory of San Berrardino, of late medieval origin, was restructured during the sixteenth century. Born to host the Brotherhood of Santa Maria and San Francesco, in the 16th century the Oratory was named after the Frate Bernardino Albizzeschi, very venerated already in life and canonized in 1450 to just six years after death, famous for its inferty sermons in Sienese squares. On the sober side facade, the elegant portal in travertine stand out and the symbol of San Bernardino, which also occurs on the public palace and the Duomo: a raged sun at the center of which the letters are camped, abbreviation of "Jesus Hominum Salvator" (Jesus Salvatore of men).
The ceiling of the entrance hall, with the Madonna who protects Siena, San Bernardino and Santa Caterina of Arcangelo Salimbeni and Francesco Vanni, is surrounded by lunettes dedicated to the life of San Bernardino, to whose realization attack Salimbeni, Rutilio Manetti and many others Artists of the first half of the seventeenth century. Inside the museum you can admire paintings and sculptures ranging from the two hundred to the seventeenth and numerous objects of goldsmiths.
The heart of the museum remains the splendid chapel of the upper oratory, named after Santa Maria degli Angeli, with coffered ceiling with cherub heads on a blue background. The walls are entirely frescoed with the stories of the Virgin, offer a unique example of the Sienese painting of the first five hundred represented here by its protagonists: Domenico Beccafumi, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi called the "Sodoma" and Girolamo del Pacchia.