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No. 8: Pope Pius II at the Congress of Mantua
Piccolomini Library, Duomo, Siena

(b. ca. 1454, Perugia, d. 1513, Siena)

The pope, engaged in debate with the patriarch of Constantinople, sits enthroned in profile on the right. The patriarch stands across from him, beyond the circle of seated cardinals. The foreground figures in Ottoman dress make it clear that this is the congress convened by Pius II on June 26, 1459. From his Commentarii we know that Pius II received various embassies in Mantua, from Cyprus, Rhodes, Lesbos, Albania, and Asia.


* Bernardino di Betto, called Pintoricchio or Pinturicchio (Italian: [pinturikkjo]; 14541513) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance. He acquired his nickname, Pintoricchio ("little painter"), because of his small stature, and he used it to sign some of his works.