(b. 1409, Settignano, d. 1464, Firenze)

Exterior view

begun 1469
Palazzo Piccolomini, Siena

On Via Banchi di Sotto, opposite the former Jesuit convent that today houses the University of Siena, stands the magnificent Palazzo Piccolomini, undisputedly Siena's finest Renaissance construction, erected by Giacomo and Andrea Piccolomini Todeschini – nephews of Pope Pius II. This building was once the town house of this noble dynasty, which grew to considerable power and influence from the 12th century when they began to act as bankers to the Papal Court in Rome.

The original project of the building was probably a joint effort by Bernardo Rossellino, the favourite architect of Pope Pius II, and Enea Silvio Piccolomini. The works started in 1469. The elegant and proportioned façade of the palazzo is in stone on three floors, decorated with two coats of arms of the Piccolomini family as well as by bifore and guelph cross windows, surmounted by a cornice.

The opulent design of the building is reminiscent of both Palazzo Ruccelai, designed by Leon Battista Alberti, and the Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza, designed also by Rossellino.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.