Domenico Beccafumi: Designing Devotion at Siena Cathedral
Jennifer Sliwka (PhD, Johns Hopkins University) is Curator of Art and Religion at the National Gallery, London. Her research interests draw on both art-historical and anthropological models to consider the ways space, architecture, memory, and tradition might condition our experience and understanding of sacred works of art. She co-curated ‘Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces before 1500’ (2011) and is curator of ‘Visions of Paradise: Botticini’s Palmieri Altarpiece’ (opening November 2015) and author of the accompanying catalogue. She has published on a variety of Italian Renaissance works for international exhibition catalogues and is currently writing a book on John the Baptist.
This project examines Domenico Beccafumi’s works in marble, bronze, stucco, and fresco for Siena Cathedral (1519 -1551) and explores relationships between their form, content, and location. These works appear to memorialize cult sites and sacred objects that were deeply embedded in Siena’s civic-religion but had been removed during the reign of the Petrucci tyrants (1484-1524).