The Municipal Museum

In the highest part of the village stands the 13th century Town Hall. Between the stones of the façade are still visible many coats of arms and inscriptions of the mayor and deputies that during the '500 - '700 were appointed of the Public Service.
The first floor of the building was once occupied by the offices and apartments of the Magistrate, and today it is still the seat of the municipal offices and of the beautiful Council Hall, painted by Luigi Ademollo in 1812.
The ground floor of the Palace, ancient seat of the Court and prisons, now houses the Municipal Museum, opened in 1924 to collect and exhibit the most precious works of art of Lucignano.

#1 Crucifixion

The icon of the Crucifixion is the most ancient piece preserved in the Museum of Lucignano. This is a wooden panel of the second half of the 13th century, without certain paternity, although recent studies have identified the ​​provenance in the school of Arezzo, although influenced by Sienese and Umbrian masters. It has been damaged and restored several times during the 19th century for instance, at some point in the previous staging of the works for the museum, not recognized, it was used for mixing lime. Fortunately someone noticed the painting and immediately the restoration began. In 1974 it was also stolen along with other pieces of the museum but found the following year, with no damage.


madonna in trono

#2 Enthroned Virgin and Child with Donor

The Virgin Enthroned and Child by Niccolò e Francesco di Segna is a 14th century spire panel from the Church of St. Francis. The background, once gilded, has punching along the frame and all around the heads of the characters, to draw the halos.
In the lower right corner, there is the figure of a woman in prayer portrayed in reduced dimensions compared to the Virgin: this is the commissioner of the painting. The inscription that runs to the base of the throne reveals the identity of the woman "Mrs Muccia who was wife of Guerrino Ciantari", a rich and pious widow, who donated this piece to the Church of San Francesco.

#3 Enthroned Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist

The triptych is depicted by Bartolo di Fredi (1330-1410), a painter who lived and worked during the second half of the 14th century in Siena, San Gimignano and Montalcino.
The triptych of Lucignano is the central part of an altarpiece consisting of five boards, whose external parts, now lost, portrayed Saint Lucia and Saint Petronilla or St. Peter the Apostle.
At the base was originally placed a dais, also in five compartments, which is now conserved in the Picture Gallery of Siena.
At the center the Virgin Mary sits on a marble throne, covered with a red cloth adorned with gold. Even the edge of the red robe and the blue mantle of the Virgin Mary are decorated with gold ornaments. The child standing on his mother's lap turns his gaze to her eyes, as typical of Sienese painting, laying a hand on the edge of her neckline.
Along the bottom edge of the central compartment runs an incomplete inscription that can be interpreted as: “Mrs Lina daughter of Pietro Cacciari and Giacomo son of Mr Griffi commissioned this painting for the salvation of their souls”.
This work comes from the Church of St. Francis in Montalcino where it was kept until 1628. In 1910 it came into possession of the Angeli family of Lucignano. In 1923 it was donated to the Museum by Carlo Angeli , first curator of the Museum.

madonna in trono

madonna in trono

#4 Virgin Enthroned with Child, St. Peter and St. John the Baptist

The tablet with the Madonna enthroned between St. Peter and St. John the Baptist was originally part of a spire tablet composed of two other parts: an Annunciation at the top and Saints Catherine of Alexandria, Michael, Francis and Mary Magdalene at the bottom. It is an early work of Lippo Vanni, 14th century painter and miniaturist from Siena, whose most famous work is the cycle of frescoes in the hermitage of San Leonardo al Lago (SI).
The work was commissioned by Ser Piero de' Vanni, sponsor of the hospital of St. Anne, built in 1397 thanks to his bequest.

#5 Golden Tree

The Tree of Life or Golden Tree, or even Tree of Love stands in its almond shaped window at the center of the Museum of Lucignano, the spiritual center of the town. The Tree is a large reliquary: the small trefoil hanging in pairs on each of its twelve branches are shrines that once retained Franciscan relics and fragments of the Cross of Christ. It belongs to the type of phytomorphic reliquaries, namely that reproduce vegetable forms. Although very common in ancient times, today there remain only a few specimens of this type and, among these, the one of Lucignano stands for grandeur, complexity and value.

As stated in a long inscription that runs along the foot of the Tree, the beginning of the work dates back to 1350. Nevertheless, it was completed only in 1471, 120 years later, by the master goldsmith Gabriello di Antonio from Siena.

The tree contains, in its tripartite morphological structure (root, trunk and crown), the metaphor of the life of Christ in three different phases: birth, passion and glory, as it is developed in the Lignum vitae, a mystical poem by Bonaventura da Bagnoregio (1260). The quatrefoil base supports the drum, on which are grafted first a small temple in Gothic style, then the twelve branches and finally, on the top of the Tree, a crucified Christ and a pelican, the Christological symbol of the animal that injures itself to death to feed its children.

The medallions that decorate the branches contain miniatures on parchment depicting the prophets, while on the back are characters of the New Testament realized on embossed silver and enamel.

The tree was originally stored in a wooden cabinet painted, according to a contract still preserved in the Archives, by the painter Luca Signorelli from Cortona, one of the most prestigious artists of the time.

On the night of September 28th 1914, the tree was stolen and it was found again - disassembled and partially damaged - only in November 1917 in a cave near Sarteano, so that it was soon restored by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence.

The Tree, symbol of divine love, has originated a legend, according to which lovers exchanging vows in front of its branches receive good luck.

This legend gave the idea for two initiatives promoted by the Town Council: "Signs of Love", that since 2002 takes place on February 14th, Valentine's day, and the more recent "Feast of the Spouses", the first Sunday of September, born from the partnership between Lucignano, his Golden Tree and the famous Japanese stylist of wedding dresses Yumi Katsura. The tree also witnessed the travel / research of the two protagonists of Certified Copy, a film by Abbas Kiarostami (2010).

albero d'oro

albero d'oro



# 6 Audience Hall , frescoes

The walls and the ceiling of the Golden Tree Room retain an interesting cycle of frescoes of great importance for the political and artistic history of Lucignano. Once this was the Audience Hall, the place where the Priori of Lucignano administered Justice, so the walls are painted with illustrious personalities of the past with the dual aim of paying tribute to the greatness of the Ancients and to serve as a warning and example for men to which was entrusted the difficult task of governing. The frescoes, commissioned by the governors who took turns in the times of Sienese domination, were painted during more than fifty years: the oldest date given is 1438, while 1479 is the most recent one. Characters are drawn from the history and myth of ancient Romans and Greeks , as well as from the Bible. We recognize kings and emperors (Caesar, Augustus , Constantine, Justinian), poets and philosophers (Virgil, Aristotle, Boethius), biblical heroes (Samson, Judith, Judah Maccabee, Noah), mythological characters (Hercules and Janus ), saints (St. Paul) and other famous Romans (Pompeus, Camillus, Brutus , Metellus , Muzio Scaevola, Lucretia, Cato of Utica) . Above all lies the Majesty by Agostino di Marsilio, guarantor of justice well administered and well-conducted, flanked by the guardians of Lucignano: St. John the Baptist , St. Blaise, Pope St. Felix, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Francis and St. Agatha.


The frescoes are clear references to the cycle painted by Taddeo di Bartolo in the Town Hall of Siena in the early 1400s, when under the influence of humanistic culture people began to decorate the halls of public buildings with examples of "Good Government". Another note of interest of this cycle is the presence of many inscriptions based on the Divine Comedy: for the first time, the heroes proposed as example are personalities that embodied Dante’s idea of ​​justice and freedom.

# 7 St. Francis receiving the Stigmata

The lunette depicting St. Francis receiving the stigmata is dated around 1510-12 and was attributed to Luca Signorelli (Cortona, 1445 ca. -1523). The scene is composed according to the biography of the Saint written by St. Bonaventura: St Francis is kneeling in front of a rock while his hands, his feet and chest are pierced with golden rays from a creature appeared in the sky, half Christ and half Seraph Angel; opposite is Brother Leo, Francis’ mate on the Mount Verna. The painting comes, as suggested by the subject represented, from the Church of Saint Francis. For years it was believed that it was the only surviving part of the closet commissioned to Luca Signorelli to protect the Golden Tree, but it has now been demonstrated that it was rather an altarpiece.

san francesco

madonna con bambino

# 8 Virgin and Child

Beside is a Virgin and Child, which also comes from one of the altars of the Church of St Francis. It was part of a larger composition that included other characters on either side of the Virgin, now covered by a fake golden punching. In the frame at the bottom is written: "The Word was made ​​flesh and dwelt among us" . This painting is attributed to the workshop of Luca Signorelli, but it's difficult to find out because of the many interventions. Notice that the little child is naked, as to give relief to his human nature, thus reflecting the high degree of naturalism typical of humanist culture and Renaissance.

# 9 St. Bernardino from Siena

Next, a painting by Pietro di Giovanni d' Ambrogio depicting St. Bernardino from Siena in the act of preaching against the vanity of earthly things. The Saint is dressed in the traditional Franciscan robe, under his feet are three mitres, the sign of his threefold denial to the office of bishop in Siena, Ferrara and Urbino, in favor of a more humble and poor life. In the open book on his left hand we read his message: "know the things about heaven, not about earth"; in the right hand almost suspended between his fingers is a golden disk with the Christian monogram "JHS" i.e. "Iesus Homini Salvator" surrounded by 12 sunbeams, how many as the apostles. This symbol is part of the iconography of the saint and was approved by Pope Eugene IV in 1432 becoming very popular among the faithful. His head is surrounded by a halo in a radial pattern, which is typical of the blessed, because at the time of this painting, 1448, he had not yet been canonized. At the bottom of the table it can be read the name of the painter, Pietro di Giovanni d' Ambrogio, and date of the execution of the work. The table comes from the Church of St Francis, exactly from the Chapel of San Bernardino, consecrated in the year of his canonization (1450).

san bernardino

oggetti sacri

# 10 Holy Items

The glass case contains some objects that come from the Sanctuary of Saint Mary of the Oaks: an incensory and spacecraft, dated 1628; a box made ​​of wood and bone by the Embriachi Workshop (Genoa, XIV – XV cent.) and a Processional cross, realized between Umbria and Tuscany, depicting the crucified Christ with God the Father between Saint Sebastian and Saint Rocco (early XVI cent.).

# 11 Funeral beds

The last room contains two pairs of catafalque of the 17th and 18th centuries. This funeral furniture was once used by Brotherhoods to transport the deceased to the burial and to allow exposure in the headquarters of the brotherhood. This kind of catafalque with painting appears in the 15th century and was a local habit of Sienese area.
The first pair, dated 1626, comes from the Collegiate Church of St. Michael the Archangel, while the second pair is from the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Oaks, where those brotherhoods were hosted.
The paintings of the first pair, the Coronation of the Virgin, the Visitation, the Pietà and the Annunciation, were recently identified as the work of Giovanni Antonio Cerretelli from Scrofiano (1584-1628), while the other pair depicting St. Charles Borromeo, Christ the Redeemer and the patron saints of Lucignano (San Biagio and St. Michael the Archangel , St. Francis, St Felice Pope) are generically to be referred to the area between Siena and Arezzo. The frames are made of a fine carving with supports in the shape of lion's paws.