Tavoletta ( Italian. Tavoletta di Biccherna , from Italian. Tavola - board) - wooden covers for Siena Treasury's consumable books. Signed by the best Siena artists .
In 1257, the Siena Treasury Bikkern, created by the city authorities specifically to take into account the income and expenses of this city-state, established a unique tradition - to order artists painting panels for the covers of their ledgers, which were issued every six months when the treasury staff changed. Such a frequent change of staff was invented to avoid corruption. The tradition of painting wooden covers continued until the 17th century, that is, virtually until the end of the existence of this treasury.
Tavoletta are wooden boards 30X48 cm in size. They usually depicted any scenes associated with fiscal activities or some urban events (this happened at a time when in all of Europe the images were almost exclusively religious in nature). Until the middle of the XIV century , only the heads of the fiscal service sitting in their office were depicted on the tavoletta (very often monks were chosen as these finance heads), but later they began to depict different scenes of a secular and religious nature. Since all orders for these coverlets and the amounts paid for their manufacture were carefully recorded in ledgers, they have become a valuable source of information for modern researchers about Siena artists of the XIII , XIV and XV and XVI centuries . The main assembly of tavoletta is located in the building of the Siena City Archives.
- Enzo Carli. Sienese Painting. Century Hutchinson. 1983.
- WILLIAM HEYWOOD. Pictoral Chronicle of Siena. Siena, Enrico Torrini Publisher. 1902.