The Siena Baptistery is included in the Opa Si Pass which also includes the Cathedral and its pavement, the Piccolomini Library, the Opera Museum, the Crypt, the Oratory of St Bernardino.
Almost definable a crypt for its location below the spans of the Siena Cathedral, this wonderful rectangular Baptistery is a fourteenth-century work by Camaino di Crescentino.
The simple geometric white marble facade doesn’t announce anything about the brightness and preciousness of the colors that will surprise you inside; indeed you will remain open-mouthed in front of the marvelous fifteenth-century cycle of paintings that completely decorate the vaults in the typical style of the Sienese Renaissance. From the beautiful Apostles by Agostino di Marsiglio, to the twelve Articles of the Creed painted by Lorenzo di Pietro called Vecchietta, which also realized the Annunciation, the Flagellation of Christ and the Way to Calvary.
The protagonist of this environment is not only painting but also the Renaissance sculpture that finds its full expression in the hexagonal fifteenth-century Baptismal Font placed in the middle; at this masterpiece, decorated with the Stories of John the Baptist, there worked famous names like Jacopo della Quercia author of the panel with the Announcement to Zacharias about the birth of John, the two Sienese goldsmiths Turino di Sano and his son Giovanni di Turino, Lorenzo Ghiberti author of the wonderful Capture of the Baptist and the Baptism of Christ, and finally Donatello author of the the remarkable episode with the Banquet of Herod where it finds its highest expression the stiacciato technique, which allows the artist to represent figures on different plans of action.
A treasure chest that contains masterpieces of the Renaissance art, where painting and sculpture coexist in order to make this environment unique in the world.