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A Naval Battle by Spinello Aretino, Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, 1406-7
A larger image of this fresco of a Naval Battle by Spinello Aretino, Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, 1406-7.
Spinello painted this fresco in 1406-7, in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena in honour of Pope Alexander III who was Sienese.
The battle (Punta San Salvatore) which it allegedly commemorates,
between Papal/Venetian and Imperial forces, never actually took place.
It was painted for diplomatic purposes - for the glory of the Pope.
Photo by Calvin Kramer
Used as the source for figure 64. VENETIAN OARSMAN c.1410 in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath
The fresco indicates that at this date oarsmen generally wore at most only light armour comprised of a helmet, arming-cap and tight brigandine or mail corselet. Additional protection was provided by a shield, which was hung along the telaro frame of the galley when the men were rowing; 64a depicts such a shield from the fresco, painted red with the winged and haloed lion of St Mark in gold. Similarly decorated oval, heater and small circular shields are also depicted in use in this fresco. The figure depicted here is armed with one of a variety of broad-bladed polearms to be seen in this source, which indicates that they must therefore have been popular shipboard weapons.
Used as the source for figure 65. VENETIAN CROSSBOWMAN c.1410 in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath
The figure depicted here wears a long-sleeved mail corselet (giacho), a celata helmet, and leather gauntlets. Some other Venetian crossbowmen in the fresco are more heavily equipped in brigandines and arm-harness, but they are all invariably shown with their legs unarmoured.
Back to Paintings of Italian Soldiers of the early to mid 15th Century