The Virgin and Child Enthroned in Majesty was commissioned by the Commune of Siena from Simone Martini in 1315 for the most important room in the Palazzo Pubblico. It is one of the greatest Gothic masterpieces in all of Europe. Beautiful and elegant, Mary was asked to protect the city and its governors. This grand fresco, which takes up an entire wall of the room, shows the Virgin Mary enthroned, holding the Child and surrounded by angels and saints. Around the whole scene, set under an elegant canopy, is a painted frame decorated with medallions showing Christ giving his blessing, prophets, the evangelists – recognizable in the corners by their iconographic symbols – and the emblems of the commune of Siena, with the black and white Balzana and the coat of arms of the Sienese people, a rampant lion on a red field.


  • Title: Maestà
  • Date created: 1315 - 1321
  • painter: Simone Martini
  • collocation: Siena, Civic Museum and Mangia Tower, Province of Siena
  • Place Part Of: Province of Siena
  • Artist Biography: Simone Martini, one of the greatest Sienese artists, started to work by the workshop of Duccio di Buoninsegna between the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century , but his style is definitively influenced also by Giotto and the French Gothic. After working in the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, in 1333 he signed, along with his brother-in-law Lippo Memmi, the triptych of the Annunciation for the Cathedral and now in the Uffizi Gallery. His stay in Avignon by the papal court is recorded by a memory i of his friend, the poet Francesco Petrarca.
  • Type: fresco
  • Rights: Comune di Siena; Fondazione Musei Senesi, Fondazione Musei Senesi
  • External Link: Fondazione Musei Senesi

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