One can argue that Guidoriccio is the true figurehead of Siena, the essential Senese character. Why? First of all, he is not Senese. He was born in Fogliano, hence he is historically referred to as „Guidoriccio da Fogliano“. Like all „fantinis“, the famous jockeys riding in the Palio, he was a mercenary paid to do the dirty work for the power driven nobility of the city. As with the Palio the pride of the Senese character seems to rather originate in the art of strategic control and the knowledge to play the intricate game of power than risking one´s own life.
While the controversy among art historians about the real attribution of the fresco is still going strong - Guidoriccio might not be the guy portrayed and Simone Martini not even the painter – it is very clear that everybody who´d ever seen the enormous wall painting will always recognize it, be it on a wine bottle, a coffee mug, an apron or a piece of chocolate.