A statue is a sculpture representing one or more people or animals, normally full-length, as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size, or larger. A small statue, usually enough to be picked up, is called a statuette or figurine. Statues have been produced in many cultures from prehistory to the present, the worlds tallest statue, Spring Temple Buddha, is 128 metres, and is located in Lushan County, China. Many statues are built on commission to commemorate a historical event, many statues are intended as public art, exhibited outdoors or in public buildings. Some statues gain fame in their own right, separate from the person or concept they represent, Ancient statues often survive showing the bare surface of the material of which they are made. For example, many people associate Greek classical art with white marble sculpture, most of the colour was weathered off over time, small remnants were removed during cleaning, in some cases small traces remained which could be identified.
Richter goes so far as to say of classical Greek sculpture, All stone sculpture, whether limestone or marble, was painted, medieval statues were usually painted, with some still retaining their original pigments. The colouring of statues ceased during the Renaissance, as excavated classical sculptures, the Löwenmensch figurine from the Swabian Alps in Germany is the oldest known statue in the world, and dates to 30, 000-40,000 years ago. The Venus of Hohle Fels, from the area, is somewhat later. Throughout history, statues have been associated with images in many religious traditions, from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece. Egyptian statues showing kings as sphinxes have existed since the Old Kingdom, the oldest statue of a striding pharaoh dates from the reign of Senwosret I and is the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. The Middle Kingdom of Egypt witnessed the growth of block statues which became the most popular form until the Ptolemaic period, the oldest statue of a deity in Rome was the bronze statue of Ceres in 485 BC.
The oldest statue in Rome is now the statue of Diana on the Aventine, the wonders of the world include several statues from antiquity, with the Colossus of Rhodes and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. While Byzantine art flourished in various forms and statue making witnessed a general decline, an example was the statue of Justinian which stood in the square across from the Hagia Sophia until the fall of Constantinople in the 15th century. While making statues was not subject to a ban, it was hardly encouraged in this period. Starting with the work of Maillol around 1900, the human figures embodied in statues began to move away from the schools of realism that had held them bound for thousands of years. The Futurist and Cubist schools took this even further until statues, often still nominally representing humans, had lost all. By the 1920s and 1930s statues began to appear that were abstract in design
Italians are a nation and ethnic group native to Italy who share a common culture and speak the Italian language as a native tongue. The majority of Italian nationals are speakers of Standard Italian. Italians have greatly influenced and contributed to the arts and music, technology, sports, jurisprudence, Italian people are generally known for their localism and their attention to clothing and family values. The term Italian is at least 3,000 years old and has a history that goes back to pre-Roman Italy. According to one of the common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned by Aristotle and Thucydides. The Etruscan civilization reached its peak about the 7th century BC, but by 509 BC, when the Romans overthrew their Etruscan monarchs, its control in Italy was on the wane.
By 350 BC, after a series of wars between Greeks and Etruscans, the Latins, with Rome as their capital, gained the ascendancy by 272 BC, and they managed to unite the entire Italian peninsula. This period of unification was followed by one of conquest in the Mediterranean, in the course of the century-long struggle against Carthage, the Romans conquered Sicily and Corsica. Finally, in 146 BC, at the conclusion of the Third Punic War, with Carthage completely destroyed and its inhabitants enslaved, the final victor, was accorded the title of Augustus by the Senate and thereby became the first Roman emperor. After two centuries of rule, in the 3rd century AD, Rome was threatened by internal discord and menaced by Germanic and Asian invaders. Emperor Diocletians administrative division of the empire into two parts in 285 provided only temporary relief, it became permanent in 395, in 313, Emperor Constantine accepted Christianity, and churches thereafter rose throughout the empire. However, he moved his capital from Rome to Constantinople.
The last Western emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed in 476 by a Germanic foederati general in Italy and his defeat marked the end of the western part of the Roman Empire. During most of the period from the fall of Rome until the Kingdom of Italy was established in 1861, Odoacer ruled well for 13 years after gaining control of Italy in 476. Then he was attacked and defeated by Theodoric, the king of another Germanic tribe and Odoacer ruled jointly until 493, when Theodoric murdered Odoacer. Theodoric continued to rule Italy with an army of Ostrogoths and a government that was mostly Italian, after the death of Theodoric in 526, the kingdom began to grow weak
Azulejo is a form of Spanish and Portuguese painted tin-glazed ceramic tilework. Azulejos are found on the interior and exterior of churches, ordinary houses and they were not only used as an ornamental art form, but had a specific functional capacity like temperature control in homes. There is a tradition of their production in former Spanish and Portuguese colonies in North America, South America, Goa and they still constitute a major aspect of Portuguese architecture as they are applied on walls and even ceilings. Many azulejos chronicle major historical and cultural aspects of Portuguese history, the word azulejo is derived from the Arabic الزليج, meaning polished stone because the original idea was to imitate the Roman mosaics. This origin shows the unmistakable Arab influences in many tiles, interlocking curvilinear, the craft of zellige is still in use in the Arab world in two main traditions the Egyptian Zalij and the North African Zellige, the latter being the most famous. The Spanish city of Seville became the centre of the Hispano-Moresque tile industry.
The earliest azulejos in the 13th century were alicatados, Tiles were glazed in a single colour, cut into geometric shapes, and assembled to form geometric patterns. Many examples can be admired in the Alhambra of Granada, the old techniques of cuerda seca and cuenca developed in Seville in the 15th century. These techniques were introduced into Portugal by king Manuel I after a visit to Seville in 1503 and they were applied on walls and used for paving floors, such as can be seen in several rooms, and especially the Arab Room of the Sintra National Palace. The Portuguese adopted the Moorish tradition of horror vacui and covered the walls completely with azulejos, potters from Italy came into Seville in the early 16th century and established workshops there. They brought with them the techniques which allowed the artists to represent a much larger number of figurative themes in their compositions. The first Italian potter to move into Spain was Francisco Niculoso who settled in Seville in 1498, examples of his work can still be admired in situ in the Alcazar of Seville.
Mannerism and the style, with its bizarre representations, had much influence on azulejos. One of the early Portuguese masters of the 16th century was Marçal de Matos, to whom Susanna, the Miracle of St. Roque is the first dated Portuguese azulejo composition. It is the work of Francisco de Matos, probably the nephew, both drew their inspiration from Renaissance and Mannerist paintings and engravings from Italy and Flanders. A fine collection of 16th-century azulejos can be found in the Museu da Rainha D. Leonor in Beja, in the late 16th century, checkered azulejos were used as decoration for large surfaces, such as in churches and monasteries. Diagonally placed plain white tiles were surrounded by square ones. An inset votive usually depicts a scene from the life of Christ or a saint and these carpet compositions, as they were called, elaborately framed with friezes and borders, were produced in great numbers during the 17th century
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchys capital was Florence, Tuscany was nominally a state of the Holy Roman Empire until the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797. Initially, Tuscany was ruled by the House of Medici until the extinction of its branch in 1737. The Medicis only advancement in the days of their existence was their elevation to royalty, by the Holy Roman Emperor. Francis Stephen of Lorraine, a descendant of the Medici, succeeded the family. Tuscany was governed by a viceroy, Marc de Beauvau-Craon, for his entire rule and his descendants ruled, and resided in, the grand duchy until 1859, barring one interruption, when Napoleon Bonaparte gave Tuscany to the House of Bourbon-Parma. Following the collapse of the Napoleonic system in 1814, the duchy was restored. The United Provinces of Central Italy, a client state of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, Tuscany was formally annexed to Sardinia in 1860, following a landslide referendum, in which 95% of voters approved.
In 1569, Cosimo de Medici had ruled the Duchy of Florence for 32 years, during his reign, Florence purchased the island of Elba from the Republic of Genoa, conquered Siena and developed a well-equipped and powerful naval base on Elba. Cosimo banned the clergy from holding positions and promulgated laws of freedom of religion. Cosimo was a supporter of Pope Pius V, who in the light of Florences expansion in August 1569 declared Cosimo Grand Duke of Tuscany. The international reaction to Cosimos elevation was bleak, Queen Catherine of France, though herself a Medici, viewed Cosimo with the utmost disdain. Rumours circulated at the Viennese court that had Cosimo as a candidate for King of England, Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and King Philip II of Spain reacting quite angrily, as Florence was an Imperial fief and declared Pius Vs actions invalid. However, Maximilian eventually confirmed the elevation with an Imperial diploma in 1576, during the Holy League of 1571, Cosimo fought against the Ottoman Empire, siding with the Holy Roman Empire.
The Holy League inflicted a defeat against the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto. Cosimos reign was one of the most militaristic Tuscany had ever seen, Cosimo experienced several personal tragedies during the years of his reign. His wife, Eleanor of Toledo, died in 1562, along with four of his due to a plague epidemic in Florence. These deaths were to him greatly, along with illness
It was characterized by new explorations of form and shadow, and dramatic intensity. Baroque architecture and its embellishments were on the one hand more accessible to the emotions and on the other hand, the new style manifested itself in particular in the context of the new religious orders, like the Theatines and the Jesuits who aimed to improve popular piety. The architecture of the High Roman Baroque can be assigned to the reigns of Urban VIII, Innocent X and Alexander VII. Dissemination of Baroque architecture to the south of Italy resulted in variations such as Sicilian Baroque architecture or that of Naples. To the north, the Theatine architect Camillo-Guarino Guarini, Bernardo Vittone and Sicilian born Filippo Juvarra contributed Baroque buildings to the city of Turin and the Piedmont region. A synthesis of Bernini and Cortona’s architecture can be seen in the late Baroque architecture of northern Europe which paved the way for the more decorative Rococo style. During the 17th century, Baroque architecture spread through Europe and Latin America, michelangelos late Roman buildings, particularly St.
Peters Basilica, may be considered precursors to Baroque architecture. Colonialism required the development of centralized and powerful governments with Spain and France, the initial mismanagement of colonial wealth by the Spaniards bankrupted them in the 16th century, recovering only slowly in the following century. While this was good for the industries and the arts, the new wealth created an inflation. Rome was known just as much for its new sumptuous churches as for its vagabonds, one of the first Roman structures to break with the Mannerist conventions exemplified in the Gesù, was the church of Santa Susanna, designed by Carlo Maderno. The dynamic rhythm of columns and pilasters, central massing, there is an incipient playfulness with the rules of classic design, but it still maintains rigor. These concerns are more evident in his reworking of Santa Maria della Pace. Probably the most well known example of such an approach is Saint Peters Square, the piazza, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, is formed principally by two colonnades of free standing columns centred on an Egyptian obelisk.
Berninis own favourite design was his church of SantAndrea al Quirinale decorated with polychome marbles. His secular architecture included the Palazzo Barberini based on plans by Maderno, Berninis rival, the architect Francesco Borromini, produced designs that deviated dramatically from the regular compositions of the ancient world and Renaissance. His building plans were based on geometric figures, his architectural forms were unusual and inventive. Borrominis architectural spaces seem to expand and contract when needed, showing some affinity with the style of Michelangelo. A work, the church of SantIvo alla Sapienza, displays the same playful inventiveness and antipathy to the flat surface, following the death of Bernini in 1680, Carlo Fontana emerged as the most influential architect working in Rome
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in only to Jupiter and he was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the named for him, and in October. Under the influence of Greek culture, Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars. But the character and dignity of Mars differed in fundamental ways from that of his Greek counterpart, Mars was a part of the Archaic Triad along with Jupiter and Quirinus, the latter of whom as a guardian of the Roman people had no Greek equivalent. Mars altar in the Campus Martius, the area of Rome that took its name from him, was supposed to have been dedicated by Numa, the peace-loving semi-legendary second king of Rome. Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, in the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia.
Like Ares who was the son of Zeus and Hera, Mars is usually considered to be the son of Jupiter, however, in a version of his birth given by Ovid, he was the son of Juno alone. Jupiter had usurped the mothers function when he gave birth to Minerva directly from his forehead, to restore the balance, Flora obtained a magic flower and tested it on a heifer who became fecund at once. She plucked a flower ritually using her thumb, touched Junos belly, Juno withdrew to Thrace and the shore of Marmara for the birth. Ovid tells this story in the Fasti, his poetic work on the Roman calendar. In the earliest Roman calendar, March was the first month, Ovid is the only source for the story. The consort of Mars was Nerio or Nerine and she represents the vital force and majesty of Mars. Her name was regarded as Sabine in origin and is equivalent to Latin virtus, in the early 3rd century BC, the comic playwright Plautus has a reference to Mars greeting Nerio, his wife. A source from late antiquity says that Mars and Nerine were celebrated together at a festival held on March 23, in the Roman Empire, Nerine came to be identified with Minerva.
Nerio probably originates as a personification of Mars power, as such abstractions in Latin are generally feminine. Her name appears with that of Mars in an archaic prayer invoking a series of abstract qualities, the influence of Greek mythology and its anthropomorphic gods may have caused Roman writers to treat these pairs as marriages. The union of Venus and Mars held greater appeal for poets and philosophers, in Greek myth, the adultery of Ares and Aphrodite had been exposed to ridicule when her husband Hephaestus caught them in the act by means of a magical snare
Portuguese people are an ethnic group indigenous to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and their predominant religion is Christianity, Portuguese people were a key factor to the Age of Exploration, discovering several lands unknown to the Europeans in the Americas, Africa and Oceania, helping to pave the way for Globalization. There are around 10 million native Portuguese in Portugal, out of a population of 10.34 million. A small minority of about 15,000 speak the Mirandese language, in the municipalities of Miranda do Douro, all of the speakers are bilingual with Portuguese. An even smaller minority of no more than 2,000 people speak Barranquenho, some people from the former colonies have been migrating to Portugal since the 1900s. More recently, a number of Slavs, especially Ukrainians, Moldovans and Russians. There is a Chinese minority, in addition, there is a small minority Gypsies of about 40,000 people, Muslims about 34,000 people and an even smaller minority of Jews of about 5,000 people.
Between 1886 and 1966, Portugal lost to more than any West European country except Ireland. From the middle of the 19th century to the late 1950s, about 40 million Brazilians have relatively recent Portuguese background, due to massive immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. About 1.2 million Brazilian citizens are native Portuguese, significant verified Portuguese minorities exist in several countries. Portuguese Sephardic Jews are in Israel, the Netherlands, the United States, Venezuela, Brazil, in Brazil many of the colonists were originally Sephardic Jews, converted, were known as New Christians. In the United States, there are Portuguese communities in New Jersey, the New England states, in the Pacific, Hawaii has a sizable Portuguese element that goes back 150 years and New Zealand have Portuguese communities. Canada, particularly Ontario and British Columbia, has developed a significant Portuguese community since 1940, argentina and Uruguay had Portuguese immigration in the early 20th century.
So has Chile where an estimated 50,000 descendants live, an estimated 800,000 Portuguese returned to Portugal as the countrys African possessions gained independence in 1975, after the Carnation Revolution, while others moved to Brazil and South Africa. Vincent and the Grenadines and Tobago, Equatorial Guinea, in 1989 some 4,000,000 Portuguese were living abroad, mainly in France, Brazil, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada and the United States. Portuguese constitute 13% of the population of Luxembourg, in areas such as Thetford and the crown dependencies of Jersey and Guernsey, the Portuguese form the largest ethnic minority groups at 30% of the population, 20% and 3% respectively. The British capital London is home to the largest number of Portuguese people in the UK, with the majority being found in the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster. The Portuguese diaspora communities still are very attached to their language, their culture and their national dishes, in colonial times, over 700,000 Portuguese settled in Brazil, and most of them went there during the gold rush of the 18th century
Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country on the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, to the west and south it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east and north by Spain. The Portugal–Spain border is 1,214 kilometres long and considered the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union, the republic includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. The territory of modern Portugal has been settled, invaded. The Pre-Celts, Celts and the Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigothic, in 711 the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Moors, making Portugal part of Muslim Al Andalus. Portugal was born as result of the Christian Reconquista, and in 1139, Afonso Henriques was proclaimed King of Portugal, in the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the worlds major economic and military powers.
Portugal monopolized the trade during this time, and the Portuguese Empire expanded with military campaigns led in Asia. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, democracy was restored after the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to almost all its overseas territories, Portugal has left a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe and a legacy of over 250 million Portuguese speakers today. Portugal is a country with a high-income advanced economy and a high living standard. It is the 5th most peaceful country in the world, maintaining a unitary semi-presidential republican form of government and it has the 18th highest Social Progress in the world, putting it ahead of other Western European countries like France and Italy. Portugal is a pioneer when it comes to drug decriminalization, as the nation decriminalized the possession of all drugs for use in 2001.
The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe, the name of Portugal derives from the joined Romano-Celtic name Portus Cale. Other influences include some 5th-century vestiges of Alan settlements, which were found in Alenquer, the region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula. These were subsistence societies that, although they did not establish prosperous settlements, neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing. Chief among these tribes were the Calaicians or Gallaeci of Northern Portugal, the Lusitanians of central Portugal, the Celtici of Alentejo, a few small, semi-permanent, commercial coastal settlements were founded in the Algarve region by Phoenicians-Carthaginians. Romans first invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 219 BC, during the last days of Julius Caesar, almost the entire peninsula had been annexed to the Roman Republic.
The Carthaginians, Romes adversary in the Punic Wars, were expelled from their coastal colonies and it suffered a severe setback in 150 BC, when a rebellion began in the north
Painting is the practice of applying paint, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, Painting is a mode of creative expression, and the forms are numerous. Drawing, composition, narration, or abstraction, among other aesthetic modes, may serve to manifest the expressive, Paintings can be naturalistic and representational, abstract, symbolistic, emotive, or political in nature. A portion of the history of painting in both Eastern and Western art is dominated by motifs and ideas. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action, the term painting is used outside of art as a common trade among craftsmen and builders. What enables painting is the perception and representation of intensity, every point in space has different intensity, which can be represented in painting by black and white and all the gray shades between. In practice, painters can articulate shapes by juxtaposing surfaces of different intensity, the basic means of painting are distinct from ideological means, such as geometrical figures, various points of view and organization, and symbols.
In technical drawing, thickness of line is ideal, demarcating ideal outlines of an object within a perceptual frame different from the one used by painters. Color and tone are the essence of painting as pitch and rhythm are the essence of music, color is highly subjective, but has observable psychological effects, although these can differ from one culture to the next. Black is associated with mourning in the West, but in the East, some painters, theoreticians and scientists, including Goethe and Newton, have written their own color theory. Moreover, the use of language is only an abstraction for a color equivalent, the word red, for example, can cover a wide range of variations from the pure red of the visible spectrum of light. There is not a register of different colors in the way that there is agreement on different notes in music. For a painter, color is not simply divided into basic, painters deal practically with pigments, so blue for a painter can be any of the blues, phthalocyanine blue, Prussian blue, cobalt, and so on.
Psychological and symbolical meanings of color are not, strictly speaking, colors only add to the potential, derived context of meanings, and because of this, the perception of a painting is highly subjective. The analogy with music is quite clear—sound in music is analogous to light in painting, shades to dynamics and these elements do not necessarily form a melody of themselves, they can add different contexts to it. Modern artists have extended the practice of painting considerably to include, as one example, some modern painters incorporate different materials such as sand, straw or wood for their texture. Examples of this are the works of Jean Dubuffet and Anselm Kiefer, there is a growing community of artists who use computers to paint color onto a digital canvas using programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, and many others. These images can be printed onto traditional canvas if required, rhythm is important in painting as it is in music
Illusionistic ceiling painting
Italian terminology for this technique reflects the latter artists influence and is called prospettiva melozziana, or Melozzos perspective. Another notable use is by Antonio da Correggio in the Duomo of Parma, the technique often uses foreshortened figures and an architectural vanishing point to create the perception of true space on a painted, most-often frescoed, ceiling above the viewer. Quadratura, a term which was introduced in the century and is normally used in English. Although it can refer to the opening up of walls through architectural illusion. Due to its reliance on perspective theory, it more fully unites architecture and sculpture, the artist would paint a feigned architecture in perspective on a flat or barrel-vaulted ceiling in such a way that it seems to continue the existing architecture. The perspective of this illusion is centered towards one focal point, the steep foreshortening of the figures, the painted walls and pillars, creates an illusion of deep recession, heavenly sphere or even an open sky.
Paintings on ceilings could, for example, simulate statues in niches or openings revealing the sky, Quadratura may employ other illusionistic painting techniques, such as anamorphosis. Examples of illusionistic painting include, Andrea Pozzo at San Ignazio in Rome and he wrote the standard theoretical work of his artistic ideas in the two volumes of, Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum Andreae Putei a societate Jesu. Pietro da Cortona at the Palazzo Barberini, Gianbattista Tiepolo in the Ca Rezzonico in Venice, Villa Pisani at Stra, other examples were by Paolo Veronese at Villa Rotonda in Vicenza and Baldassare Peruzzi in the Villa Farnesina of Rome. His masterpiece was a series of frescoes that culminated in 1474 in the Camera degli Sposi of the Ducal Palace, in these works, he carried the art of illusionistic perspective to new limits. This was the prototype of illusionistic ceiling painting that was to become an important element of Italian baroque, in a visual continuity between the architectural interior and its painted surfaces, Corregios clouds and figures appear to inhabit the same architectural space in which the spectator stands.
Lanfrancos work in Rome and in Naples was fundamental to the development of illusionism in Italy, Pietro Berrettini, called Pietro da Cortona, developed the illusionistic ceiling fresco to an extraordinary degree in works such as the ceiling of the gran salone of Palazzo Barberini. From 1676 to 1679 Giovanni Battista Gaulli, called Baciccio, painted an Adoration of the Name of Jesus on the ceiling of the Church of the Gesù, the Jesuit headquarters in Rome. From 1691 to 1694 Andrea Pozzo painted the Entrance of Saint Ignatius into Paradise on the vault of SantIgnazio, with theatricality. The Loves of the Gods Johann Paul Schor Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power Paul Troger, sjöström, studies in Italian ceiling painting, Stockholm,1978. Quadratura, Theorie, Technik, ed. Pascal Dubourg Glatigny and Matthias Bleyl, trevor Hunt, From Mantegna to Michelangelo, illusionistic ceiling paintings of the Renaissance pave the way for Baroque excess RomeArtLover, Baroque ceilings
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena, the historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nations most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008, Siena is famous for its cuisine, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year. Siena, like other Tuscan hill towns, was first settled in the time of the Etruscans when it was inhabited by a called the Saina. A Roman town called Saena Julia was founded at the site in the time of the Emperor Augustus, the first document mentioning it dates from AD70. Some archaeologists assert that Siena was controlled for a period by a Gaulish tribe called the Senones, according to local legend, Siena was founded by Senius and Aschius, two sons of Remus and thus nephews of Romulus, after whom Rome was named. Supposedly after their fathers murder by Romulus, they fled Rome, taking them the statue of the she-wolf suckling the infants.
Additionally they rode white and black horses, giving rise to the Balzana, some claim the name Siena derives from Senius. Other etymologies derive the name from the Etruscan family name Saina, Siena did not prosper under Roman rule. It was not sited near any major roads and lacked opportunities for trade and its insular status meant that Christianity did not penetrate until the 4th century AD, and it was not until the Lombards invaded Siena and the surrounding territory that it knew prosperity. Siena prospered as a trading post, and the constant streams of pilgrims passing to, the oldest aristocratic families in Siena date their line to the Lombards surrender in 774 to Charlemagne. This ultimately resulted in the creation of the Republic of Siena, the Republic existed for over four hundred years, from the late 11th century until the year 1555. During the golden age of Siena before the Black Death in 1348, in the Italian War of 1551–59, the republic was defeated by the rival Duchy of Florence in alliance with the Spanish crown.
After 18 months of resistance, Siena surrendered to Spain on 17 April 1555, the new Spanish King Felipe II, owing huge sums to the Medici, ceded it to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, to which it belonged until the unification of Italy in the 19th century. A Republican government of 700 Sienese families in Montalcino resisted until 1559, the picturesque city remains an important cultural centre, especially for humanist disciplines. The city lies at 322 m above sea level, the Siena Cathedral, begun in the 12th century, is a masterpiece of Italian Romanesque-Gothic architecture. Its main façade was completed in 1380, the original plan called for an ambitiously massive basilica, the largest in the world, with, as was customary, an east-west nave. However, the scarcity of funds, in due to war and plague, truncated the project