Jun 11, 2007
Jun 11, 2007

Panel from a Cassone: The Race of the Palio in the Streets of Florence

Panel from a Cassone: The Race of the Palio in the Streets of Florence


Giovanni Francesco Toscani

(Italian, c. 1380–1430)

Tempera and gold on wood

Framed: 46.5 x 143.5 x 7 cm (18 5/16 x 56 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.); Unframed: 42.1 x 139.5 cm (16 9/16 x 54 15/16 in.)

Holden Collection 1916.801


A cassone was a wooden chest used for the storage of clothing, an essential piece of furniture in Italian homes during the Renaissance and often produced in matched sets. The cassone was often made on the occasion of a marriage and elaborately decorated with painted scenes and gilded moldings. This panel comes from such a painted cassone. It was not uncommon for the painted decoration to represent a memorable event at the time of the marriage. This scene depicts the end of the Palio, a horse race held in the streets of Florence on the Feast of John the Baptist (June 24). The panel from the other side of the cassone is now preserved in the Bargello Museum in Florence and shows the procession of the Palii banners before the race. The cassone commemorates a wedding between members of the Fini and Aldobrandini families in 1418.


The Race of the Palio
What is a Palio?
Trading Carpets
How Was This Painting Displayed?
The Palio Race Today
See also
MED - Medieval Art
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Holden Collection

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