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we're in the Museum of the Cathedral of Siena and we're looking at one of the great seeing these artists Pietro Lorenzetti 'he's the birth of the Virgin this was painted by a man who was Duccio the great Sini's masters student and some scholars think that Pietro helped do CHEO paint the Maya stuff huh there's a lot of paintings and the mayest I hope someone else it's true this is a painting that would have functioned as a secondary altarpiece in the Siena Cathedral it is a three-part painting it actually shows one continuous space well in let's remember that Virgin Mary was the protector of the city of Siena and so this is about the birth of the Virgin not the birth of Christ but the birth of Mary herself in the central scene we have this beautiful medieval interior and I have to say that the scene is pay attention in the 14th century to architecture in a way that nobody else does there's a love of the rendering of space and furnishings we have the vaulting in the ceiling the windows the painted moldings the tiles on the floor the chest next to Anne's bed we almost get a sense of what it was like in a household in 14th century Siena it's true even the fact that a bedroom was a kind of public space and you can see and reclining on the bed she's got a real sense of mass and volume and the bit doesn't look all that comfortable it doesn't seem to be yielding to her yeah but the body does seem to be under that drapery in the most emphatic way and I think Pietro has seen Giotto because his figures are really bulky and three-dimensional of course do CHEO his master was already moving towards a sense of mass and volume using cute Escudo but perhaps not as emphatically as John O'Hara she's just big and shabby the way that Joe's figures are right almost like the Agnes awti Madonna exactly yeah if you look at the attendants who are washing Mary in the basin they're pretty substantial and the figure in green on the right looks like she could have come right out of the lamentation from the arena Chapel there are more attendants coming in with fresh cloths it looks like on the right and fresh water the two scenes on the writer unified in their architecture although an is separated out the mother of Mary in the left panel we see a room outside where it seems as if yo Hakeem and his husband is being told that the birth has taken place I know I love his face is like an expectant father who's been worried about what's going on and is now anxious to hear and the view outside must be Sienna as we walked around the streets of the city I can recognize buildings that look like this of course it's important to remember that the architecture that we're seeing is 12th and 13th century and of course that's twelve and thirteen hundred years after this event would have taken place and so it's completely out of chronology but I think the point was to create something that was familiar something that the Sini's audience would recognize I'm also taken with the attempt by Pietro Lorenzetti to create a sense of recession not only do you have an interior space that is architecturally detailed but if you look at the vaulting for example you can see where the ribs in the vaulting come together in the central panel and the panels on the right and the left they're obscured as they would be if we were looking at those ceilings this is not linear perspective but there is a real attention to the basic tenants of seeing space and rendering it on a two-dimensional surface that's also really evident in the bedspread so their diagonal lines that appear to be receding into space and the bedspread right but I bet if we line them up with a pencil we would not reach a single vanishing point right so it's not when your perspective but there is a real sensitivity and a real attempt to create a sense of space I think the Sienese were doing just amazing things in the 14th century and so often we pay attention to Florence and maybe we don't give Siena quite as much attention as we should you