Drappellone by Giovanni Gasparro presented

Tonight, Wednesday June 26, the Drappellone for the Palio of July 2, 2024 was presented in the Cortile del Podestà. It is dedicated to the Madonna of Provenzano and created by Giovanni Gasparro, with a special mention of the eightieth anniversary of the liberation of Siena, which took place on July 3, 1944. After the introduction of the mayor of Siena Nicoletta Fabio, it was the director of the National Museums of Siena Axel Hémery illustrated the work, followed by the artist Giovanni Gasparro himself.

The Drappellone pays tribute to the figure of the Virgin with an extremely clear chromatic value, accentuating its mystical and transcendent inspiration. The blue-white of the veil is the canonical color, symbolizing purity. In contrast, the coats of arms are at the bottom. The figure, with darker shades, takes us back to the worldly dimension.

Gasparro painted the Virgin in the upper register of the work, in a glory of angels, crowned as in the image venerated in the famous collegiate church of Santa Maria in Provenzano and looking down, with a hand on her breast. One of the angels holds a golden horseshoe, an allusion to the race in Piazza del Campo.

In the lower register of the Drappellone are the coats of arms of the three thirds of the city, namely Terzo di San Martino, Terzo di Camollia and Terzo di Città. A piece of the blue veil of the Madonna of Provenzano, lowered from the sky, becomes itself the side with which the Drappellone is forged, supported by a rod that is also golden and extends downwards, over the entire extension of the Cencio. The Madonna’s veil has become the Drappellone.

A page, dressed in the traditional black and white dress, headdress and Balzana on the chest, carries the Palio and leans slightly away from the Veil/Drappellone, reinforcing the divide between real and unreal with which the image is conceived. The coats of arms of the ten Contrade riding the Palio in July are painted halfway up the faux blue flag, simulating gold thread embroidery. Gold is attributed to the divine, so the Contrade is ideally invested with the blessing of the Virgin. The same gold with the Contrade coats of arms is used in the silk band at the top of the Drappellone to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of the liberation of Siena on July 3, 1944.

The Masgalano, made by Lara Aldrovandi, was also presented tonight. This prize is for the best performance on the two Corteo Storici that precede the 2 Palios of 2024. It was presented by the Gruppo Donatori di Sangue delle Contrade.