Biccherna is the term given to the municipal account book covers commissioned by the chief financial office in Siena between the 13th and 17th centuries. Often secular, they are also known for their religious iconography, and include popular scenes from scripture, as represented in the beautiful example ACU treasures as part of its art collection.
The Virgin Annunciate, after Taddeo di Bartolo, depicts Mary interrupted from her reading by Gabriel, the angel of the Annunciation, proclaiming that she will conceive and become the mother of Jesus. The University’s example was painted in 2016 using traditional methods by Italian artist Chiara Perinetti Casoni, in the style of Taddeo di Bartolo, a renowned artist active in Siena during the 15th Century who is well-known for his religious artworks, particularly for his interpretations of The Assumption of the Virgin and Madonna and Child.
This seminal work has been realised in egg tempera and gold leaf on two painted walnut panels measuring 33cm x 17cm each, one side portraying a copy of The Virgin Annunciate, the other depicting ACU's Coat of Arms.
Beautifully presented, and finished with leather bindings, ACU Curator Caroline Field said: “These works take pride of place on official occasions, including graduation ceremonies, at the University”.