Pavement of tiles from the Petrucci Palace

Pavement of tiles from the Petrucci Palace

Pavement of tiles from the Petrucci Palace
Siena, Italy
1509–10
Museum nos. 4915 to 5386-1857

This impressive pavement of tiles was commissioned by Pandolfo Petrucci to adorn the floor of the principal room of his palace in Siena. The colours and grotesque designs were inspired by the decoration of the recently-excavated Golden House of Nero in Rome. The pavement also shows aspects of Islamic influence. One is the tin-glazed technique in which the tiles were produced, which was introduced to Italy from Islamic Spain, as was the idea of having a tiled pavement at all. Lastly, the geometric framework of stars and crosses evokes Islamic patterns, which were well known in Italy by this date.