Foundlings and Pilgrims

Foundlings and Pilgrims Ingrandisci

Frescoes in the Sala del Pellegrinaio of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena

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  • Autore: Foreword by Giovanni Cherubini
  • Anno: 2002
  • Formato: 14 x 21 cm.
  • Pagine: 80 p., ill.
  • ISBN: 88-7145-177-5

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This volume has many of the features of a tourist guidebook, but it is at the same time something more and something different. In fact, it constitutes a didactic unit (conceived for the secondary-school level but adaptable for middle school as well) that considers the theme of information that can be gathered regarding hospital services from the frescoes of the Sala del Pellegrinaio (Pilgrims’ Hall) of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, in a period running from the end of the Middle Ages to the beginning of the Modern Era.

The text – also enjoyable for adults who wish to rediscover the pleasures of history and make a less hurried and superficial visit to the museum – is composed of four parts.

The first two parts provide information on the commissioning of the frescoes and the vicissitudes of Santa Maria della Scala in relation to the urban and socio-political history of Siena. The third presents a series of documents from the Hospital’s archive. The fourth offers an iconographic description of the frescoes.

The general objectives of the didactic unit have a predominantly methodological character and intend to develop students’ abilities in: individuating and describing the subject and iconography of a pictorial work or part thereof; comparing the various parts; establishing a relationship between the commissioner of the work (his intentions and ideology) and its content and style; reading the artwork as a document that illustrates the functions of a Medieval hospital; verifying the correspondence between the pictorial illustration and historical reality through the reading of documents from the archive. Classification, establishment of relationships and formulation of hypotheses are thus the habits we intend to stress and strengthen.

The specific objectives are those of learning and being able to refer some knowledge about Siena and its Hospital, as well as a series of facts about centres of hospitality in the Middle Ages and, in particular, about the way in which pilgrims, the poor, the sick and children abandoned by their parents were assisted.

The didactic unit calls for three hours of class time, necessary to comment on the text together with students; about an hour in the Sala del Pellegrinaio to observe the frescoes; and another three hours in class to complete exercises.

  • Autore Foreword by Giovanni Cherubini
  • Anno 2002
  • Formato 14 x 21 cm.
  • Pagine 80 p., ill.
  • ISBN 88-7145-177-5

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