Returning to the ancient custom of celebrating important civic or political events on the walls of the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena decided in 1881 to commemorate the death of Victor Emanuel II, the first king of united Italy, by illustrating the main events of his life by the frescoes of the so-called Sala del Risorgimento. The project had another purpose as well; besides paying tribute to the unification of Italy, it also had the open intent to celebrate the modern school of Sienese painting created by Luigi Mussini, who was charged with coordinating the undertaking. He called his closest collaborators and students to execute the paintings between 1886 and 1888.
The grand scenes, illustrated in the upper section of the walls, present episodes from the Risorgimento in which the king was directly involved; on the ceiling, were painted allegorical subjects alluding to the unification of Italy. This episode, painted by Amos Cassioli as a vivid and dramatic scene, was one of the clashes in the major Battle of Solferino and San Martino (24 June 1859), which brought the Second War of Independence to a close.


  • Title: The Battle of San Martino
  • Date Created: 1886
  • painter: Amos Cassioli
  • collocation: Siena, Civic Museum and Mangia Tower, Province of Siena
  • Place Part Of: Province of Siena
  • Artist Biography: Amos Cassioli was one of the most gifted pupils of Luigi Mussini, director of Sienese Art Institute in the late XIXth century and supporter of a purist ethic again the advent of realism. After his studies in Rome, where he was influenced by Villa Medici French painters, he started to execute intensely psychological portraits, particularly admired at that time. He also turned to depict large monumental scene, like the Battles in the Sala del Risorgimento in Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, before leaving to Florence. His son, Giuseppe, was also an eclectic painter, sculptor and architect.
  • Type: fresco
  • Rights: Comune di Siena; Fondazione Musei Senesi
  • External Link: Fondazione Musei Senesi

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps