The prize for the triumphant Contrada in Piazza del Campo in Siena
The Drappellone, also called ‘Palio’ or ‘Cencio’ by the Sienese, is the trophy given to the winning Contrada of the Palio di Siena on 2 July and 16 August.
The Drappellone consists of an original painting on silk and has precise dimensions in an elongated rectangular shape. It’s supported vertically on a black and white halberd pole and topped by a silver plate, two plumes also black and white fall from the sides.
After the Palio, it remains the property of the winning Contrada and it will be kept in the neighbourhood museum after the victory celebration. The pole and plumes also remain with the Contrada, while the plate must be returned to the City of Siena before the two Palio of the following year and in any case after engraving the name of the Contrada and the date of the victory on the back.
There are two silver plates, one for the July Palio and one for the August Palio. Once the space for engravings is finished, a new plate is added (approximately every 10 years).
Each Palio represents a particular moment in the history of Siena as it has imprinted the symbols of the various governments that have administered the city, from the Lorraine to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, from the Savoy of the Kingdom of Italy to the Fascist government and finally the Republic.
The process that an artist must follow in making the Drappellone is very strict. First of all, they must respect religious iconography since the July Palio is dedicated to Our Lady of Provenzano and the August Palio to Our Lady of the Assumption. They must include the coat of arms of the municipality, those of the city’s Terzi areas, and the 10 participating Contrade.
The Administration shall from time to time award the painting of the Drappellone by competition or, in the event of opportunity or urgency, directly to a trusted artist (Art. 94 of the Palio Regulations), usually to a Sienese for 2 July, and to an internationally renowned artist for 16 August.
World-renowned painters, including Fernando Botero Igor Mitoraj and others, have also been called to paint the Drappello of the Palio di Siena.
Tradition dictates that the presentation of the Drappellone should take place on 26 June and 10 August at 7:00 pm. Following the display of the cloth to those present, the mayor and an art critic, in the presence of the Drappello’s author, present the work to the public.
The Masgalano, which will go as a prize to the best parade performer of the year, is also presented at the July Palio.