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siena hospital becomes a museum

Post #166 • December 2, 2003, 4:13 PM

Fascinating story by Elisabeth Rosenthal in the New York Times:

Rich Sienese left vast fortunes to Santa Maria when they died, and in 1348 they died a lot. Two-thirds of Siena's citizens perished during an outbreak of plague.

As a result, as recently as a decade ago patients in the emergency room at Santa Maria could look up at a cross-vaulted ceiling and at walls displaying the remnants of paintings by the 16th-century master Domenico Beccafumi. The high ceilings of an underground staircase to hospital storerooms hid a fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

Tell me this Domenico di Bartolo (photo credit: Luciana Zigiotti) doesn't look as modern as any WPA mural.




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