Jennifer Sliwka

Jennifer Sliwka

Jean-François Malle Fellow
Domenico Beccafumi: Designing Devotion at Siena Cathedral
Jennifer Sliwka


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.

Project Summary

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).