First storm painted in western art

first storm painted in western art Piccolomini Library in Siena Cathedral

Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, painted as a youth with long blond hair, leaves for the Council of Basel. In the background is the first storm painted in western art.

The Piccolomini Library (Libreria Piccolomini) inside Siena Cathedral is a colorful Renaissance highlight in the otherwise predominantly Romanesque-Gothic Duomo. It was commission by Cardinal Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini (1439-1503), archbishop of Siena, and later (for less than a month) Pope Pius III to honor his uncle Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (1405-1464) who was Pope Pius II (1458-1464).

The early 16th-century frescoes by Pinturicchio, with some help from Raphael, show ten scenes from the life of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini. They are further elaborated by painted architectural details and especially on the ceiling by mythological figures. Biblical symbols were rarely used.