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.