Simone Martini, Annunciation with St. Margaret and St. Ansanus, 1333

The Sienese School of painting flourished in Siena, Italy, between the 13th and 15th centuries. Its most important artists include Duccio, whose work shows Byzantine influence, his pupil Simone Martini, the brothers Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Domenico and Taddeo di Bartolo, Sassetta, and Matteo di Giovanni.


Pietro Lorenzetti, detail of the Deposition of Christ, Fresco in the Lower Basilica at Assisi

Duccio may be considered the "father of Sienese painting".[1] The brothers Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti were "responsible for a crucial development in Sienese art, moving from the tradition inherited from Duccio towards a Gothic style, incorporating the innovations in Florence introduced by Giotto and Arnolfo di Cambio".[2]

"Sienese art flourished even when Siena itself had begun to decline economically and politically. And while the artists of 15th-century Siena did not enjoy the widespread patronage and respect that their 14th-century ancestors had received, the paintings and illuminated manuscripts they produced form one of the undervalued treasures in the bounty of Italian art."[3]

In the late 15th century, Siena "finally succumbed" to the Florentine school's teachings on perspective and naturalistic representation, absorbing its "humanist culture".[3] In the 16th century the Mannerists Beccafumi and Il Sodoma worked there. While Baldassare Peruzzi was born and trained in Siena, his major works and style reflect his long career in Rome. The economic and political decline of Siena by the 16th century, and its eventual subjugation by Florence, largely checked the development of Sienese painting, although it also meant that a good proportion of Sienese works in churches and public buildings were not discarded or destroyed.


Unlike Florentine art, Sienese art opted for a more decorative style and rich colors, with "thinner, elegant, and courtly figures".[4] It also has "a mystical streak...characterized by a common focus on miraculous events, with less attention to proportions, distortions of time and place, and often dreamlike coloration".[3] Sienese painters did not paint portraits, allegories, or classical myths.[5]

Maestà by Duccio (1308–11) Tempera on wood, 214 x 412 cm Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

List of artists



Ugolino di Nerio, predella scene of The Last Supper



Giovanni di Paolo, Madonna of Humility, c. 1442



Domenico Beccafumi, Public Virtues of Greek and Roman Heroes – The Sacrifice of King Codron of Athens, fresco, c. 1530


See also


  1. ^ Christiansen, Keith. "Sienese Painting (last updated October 2004(". Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Effects of Good Government in the city". Google Arts & Culture. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Kimmelman, Michael (11 September 1988). "Art; Sienese Gold". New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  4. ^ Nici, John B. (2008). AP Art History. Barron's Educational Series. p. 232. ISBN 9781438080536. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  5. ^ Spence, Rachel (16 April 2010). "Early Renaissance art in Siena". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2022-12-10. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  6. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Matteo da Sienna" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

Further reading