The Capitulation of Colle di Val d'Elsa

From one of the biccherne, or painted book-covers, used on town accounting books from Siena, Italy. This one is associated with an account book for the year 1479. According to Alexander van Dorpmunde, it was painted by Pietro di Francesco Orioli, and depicts the tents of the Alliance among Pope Sixtus IV, King Ferdinand of Naples and the Republic of Siena.

A variety of tent shapes: circular with external guys, rectangular "cabin" tents, and a half dozen simple, undecorated pup tents, which seem to be a rectangle of fabric draped over two short vertical poles, staked down at the ends, with the vertical poles staked straight out. The ridge lines are straight, not swaybacked, which suggests either that there's a ridge pole between the two vertical poles or that the painter was idealizing the appearance of the tents. All the round and "cabin" tents are decorated with stripes, have golden spherical finials topped with flags, and have rectangular doors flapping around inside.

Thanks to Bob Charrette, who found this picture in the 2002 exhibition "Art and Economics: Sienese Paintings From the Dawn of the Modern Financial Age" at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. I gather the collection of accounting-book-covers ("biccherne" in Italian), 103 of them ranging from 13th to 18th centuries, are now on display back in Siena, either at the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala or at the Palazzo Piccolomini.