The town Museum is in the ground floor of the Town Hall (XIII sec.): you can get in from the main entrance of the building, through a pointed-arch door whicht introduces to a corridor covered by a voult, with two communicating rooms and the room of the Chancellery of the ancient Court.
In the corridor there are two couples of coffin-heads (senese school), painted in both sides.
The first two are dated 1626 and are from the oratory of S. Francis; the second two are dated 1777 and are from the Sanctuary of Madonna della Querce.
In a showcase at the end of the corridor some other sacred objects from the Sanctuary of Madonna della Querce are exposed, while in the leading wall there are two paintings by unknown author which represent "S. Caterina from Siena" and "Madonna with Child and Saints."
In the first room you can find two tables of Luca Signorelli: "S. Francis receiving the stimmates" and "Madonna with Child". The first work is linked to a wider work of Signorelli in 1482 on the closet that in S. Francis had to contain the "Golden Tree" or "Tree of Life." The second work underwent a series of restorations as shown by the pointilled-gold background and by the suppression of the figures to the sides of the Madonna.
In the second room they put different works of school senese dated between the XIII and the XV century: a beautiful "Madonna with Child in throne" (XIV sec.) with the portrait of the donor and the writing-Monna Muccia, Guerrino Cantari's wife -, on the left wall a tryptych (XIV sec.) by Bartolo of Fredi which represents Madonna with Child in the centre with the Saints Giovanni Battista and Giovanni Evangelista on the right and left sides.
On the leading wall, a work by Pietro of Giovanni D'Ambrogio (1409 cs. - 1449) which represents S. Bernardino who admonishes to the contempt of the terrestrial things and it holds under his feet the mitries, symbols of the ecclesiastical power, emphasized by the counterpoint of colours blue and gold of background of the painting that critics has defined unanimously a great masterpiece. On the same wall you can admire a "Crucifixion" of the XIII century, work attributed to the umbrian circle and discovered by chance during an intervention in the Town Hall; thanks to the vivacity of colours and the particular of the characters, it is considered to be a work of great artistic and cultural value.
The voult and the lunettes of the Chancellery of the ancient Court are painted in fresco and represent a cycle of illustrious men, homage to the greatness of the ancients and example for those people who had to administer justice. The cycle (realised between 1438 and 1479) is part of the tradition of the representations of the ancient heroes, taken from the Roman history and from the Bible, that from the XIV sec. appear in the decorations in the rooms of the public Buildings from Florence to Siena. An insciption in the wall of entry remembers his function and tells:" Speak few, hate a lot, think at the aim of what you are doing" and another inscription admonishes "Hate the other side."
A door, now closed, on the wall of entry reminds us that it was the access to the jails under the Town Hall. In the room, a showcase with the "Golden Tree" or "Tree of Life" or "Tree of Lucignano." It is a shrine ( XIV-XV cen.) coming from the church of S. Francis. From the central stem, supported on a three-floor gothic reliquary, spread twelve branches, surmounted by a Crucifix and a pelican. On the branches you can find coral sprigs representing the blood of Christ; moreover the branches are covered by decorated leaves with some glazed tiles.
Pictures Copyright Del Mazza Studio