The hospital of Santa Maria della Scala dates back to the 11th century and it is situated in the oldest, medieval part of Siena. It is the most ancient medical institution in the Western world, while on a global scale, it is second only to that of Istanbul. At the moment, part of the ancient hospital is under restoration in order to convert the area into a museum; the other half of the building has already been renovated and it exhibits a series of collections ranging from ancient art (National Archaeological Museum) to modern art. The building alternates between monumental rooms and narrow hallways, tangled galleries excavated from tuff and magnificent vaulted areas in brick. Within its 350,000 cubic meter extension, one can find historical and artistic evidence that synthesizes Siena and its history for a time interval of one thousand years; one of these traces is the famous Pellegrinaio (Pilgrims’ Shelter), which is the most important cycle of frescoes of the 15th century Sienese School. In this photographic reasearch, Federico Pacini portrayed the areas to be converted into the museum.
Quinlan Publishing (2015)
Curated by Roberto Maggiori