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No. 2: Enea Piccolomini as an Ambassador to the Court of James I of Scotland

1502-08
Fresco
Piccolomini Library, Duomo, Siena

by PINTURICCHIO *
(b. ca. 1454, Perugia, d. 1513, Siena)

The cycle's first three scenes, beginning with the one on the right wall closest to the windows, represent the initial phase of Enea Silvio Piccolomini's secular career.

The second scene is set at the court of the Scottish king in 1435. While in Basel, Enea Silvio was employed as a secretary by cardinal Albergati, who immediately dispatched him to the court of James I of Scotland. His job was to try to enlist the king as an ally against England, and at this he was unsuccessful. We see the ambassador in a long red cloak on the left, standing in front of the throne and gesturing in the typical pose of debate.

* Bernardino di Betto, called Pintoricchio or Pinturicchio (Italian: [pinturikkjo]; 14541513) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance. He acquired his nickname, Pintoricchio ("little painter"), because of his small stature, and he used it to sign some of his works.