The frescoes in the Piccolomini Library, in Siena Cathedral, were painted by Bernardino di Betto (1454-1513), better known as il Pinturicchio (the little painter), between 1502 and 1508.
The frescoes were commissioned in 1502 by Cardinal Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini to celebrate the life of his uncle Pope Pius II (r. 1458-64). After the death of Alexander VI in 1503, the cardinal succeeded him as Pope Pius III, but only lived to reign 26 days. However, his heirs continued to finance the painting of the frescoes, requesting an additional image on the exterior of the library representing the cardinal's coronation as pope.
The ten frescoes in the library depict salient episodes in the eventful life of Enea Silvio Piccolomini (1405-64), who, in 1458, became Pope Pius II.
Pinturicchio worked on the frescoes with a team of assistants, one of whom was the young Raphael.
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