The drawing for this post is a copy I drew with gel ink on Strathmore paper. The original drawing is by Italian artist ?Domenico Beccafumi. You are probably asking why there is a question mark in front of his name. Well, there is a reason for it. The so-called experts at the Harvard Art Museum are not totally sure if the drawing was done by Domenico Beccafumi. Most institutions will just say ‘Attributed to’ if they are not sure. Created around 1544, the drawing is a ‘Study for Part of the Mosaic Frieze of the Siena Cathedral Pavement’. The experts seem fairly certain of that. It was created with brown wash and brown ink on cream antique-laid paper. In the description, at the Harvard website, it also states that on March 8, 2002, a man by the name of Craigen Bowen did not see a watermark on the drawing when he observed it. So, in case you were wondering if sometime around the beginning of March 2002 a person with the name of Craigen Bowen did or did not see a watermark on the drawing that may or may not have been created by Domenico Beccafumi? The answer would be no.
Since the drawing was done for the floor of the Siena Cathedral let’s talk about that. Renaissance artist and writer Giorgio Vasari called the mosaic the “most beautiful, largest and most magnificent floor ever made”. But instead of hearing from other so-called experts. Let’s instead hear from a few, not so impressed tourists that only gave it a one-star rating.
Mark P. says “the inlaid marble floors are covered most of every year. It is not worth the trip”. Another visitor states: “Tourist trap, don’t bother”. Local guide Jimmie B. admitted: “I did not go in. Picked up a brochure instead”. And Ramon sums things up with: “Well, I have not been able to visit it because of the incompetence of a local guide”. I’m pretty sure the local guide he is talking about is Jimmie B.