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Paintings of Italian Soldiers of the late 13th Century

Tournament scenes, fresco in the Palazzo Comunale di San Gimignano, attributed to Azzo di Masetto

Click on a picture for a larger image

A                          B

C                          D



Affreschi del Palazzo Comunale di San Gimignano, 1288-1292.
From Il Sabato di San Barnaba. La battaglia di Campaldino 11 giugno 1289-1989, edited by Scramasax, Electa, Milano, 1989, pp. 25-33
Source: Forum Villaggio Medievale
Tournament scenes dedicated to Charles of Anjou, 1292, Azzo of Masetto (active 13th century) fresco, Dante's Hall, People's Palace, San Gimignano (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1990).
San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy.



Referenced on p229, Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350, Western Europe and the Crusader States by David Nicolle.
614A-D Wall paintings, Tuscany, c.1280-92
(in situ Dante Hall, Town Museum, San Gimignano, Italy)

The wall-paintings in San Gimignano are crude but very important in the history of Italian arms and armour. Three types of helmets are present: a small brimmed chapel-de-fer with a coif or probable aventail (D); a pointed great helm (B); and a large helmet with a movable visor (A). A similar type is probably worn by the fourth figure (C). Mail hauberks are worn beneath surcoats, two of which are slit down the front (A and C). A third has a decorated upper edge and a somewhat pronounced chest, perhaps indicating that a coat-of-plates or some form of cuirie was attached to the inside (D). All four horsemen have mail chausses, but the most important features are the plate arm and leg defences. Their highly decorated surfaces and their clear similarity with such defences shown in more detail in other sources indicates that they are of hardened, perhaps decoratively tooled leather. These pieces of armour include shoulder roundels (C and D), as well as rerebraces and vambraces (A and C). The hands are unclear but might be covered by padded gauntlets (A and C). Comparable leg defences include greaves (A, C-D), and in all cases presumed rounded poleyns. The latter are attached to some kind of more flexible cuisses, which also extend some way below the knees (A-C). Two men fight with lances (C and D), the other two with heavy tapering swords having long quillons and large round pommels. One figure (A) clearly has a large basilard dagger on his hip. All four shields are large, flat-topped and kite-shaped, with a distinct curvature. Three horses wear caparisons, one of which does not go over the animalís head (D). In another case the horse is also protected by a chanfron (C).



Other 13th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Italian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers