The Università per Stranieri of Siena, in partnership with the Opera della Metropolitana of Siena, is organizing a Summer School in Higher Education dedicated to the genesis and development of the Gothic polyptych in Siena. Conceived as a seminar, the course combines lectures and visits to the complex of the Opera della Metropolitana, to public and private city collections and to places normally difficult to access. Siena and the complex of the Opera della Metropolitana are an ideal setting for studying this important subject. Thanks to Duccio’s activity the city performed a decisive role in the genesis and success of the polyptych with several registers, in open dialogue with other cities, above all Giottoesque Florence. It is no coincidence that the leading characters of early 14th century Sienese painting, Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti, both implemented Duccio’s experimentations around 1320. The course will examine extensively their inspiring role, the relentless success of these complex microarchitectures in Siena and outside Siena, and their increasingly complicated development between the 14th and 15th century. Issues regarding conservation and fruition of Gothic polyptychs, often housed in museums following traumatic alterations and dismemberment, will also be discussed. A philological and multidisciplinary approach is indispensable for the reconstruction of their original layout.

The course, lasting five days and divided into 30 hours, will be held in Siena from 26 to 30 September 2022 and is aimed at young graduates, postgraduates, university doctoral students and other professionals within the cultural sector.  The deadline to apply is 15 July 2022. Please send applications to

For more information, please visit:


Published by Blair Apgar

Blair (they/them) recently completed their PhD in History of Art at the University of York with Hanna Vorholt and Amanda Lillie. Their thesis focused on the role of Matilda of Canossa in the sociopolitical development of the Investiture Controversy, and its relationship to Matilda’s material patronage. As an early career researcher, their work aims to unpack the historiographic construction of powerful medieval women’s legacies. They are also interested in the representation of the Middle Ages in modern media.

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