Sienese School 1250 – 1550

The Sienese School of painting flourished in Siena, Italy between the 13th and 15th centuries and for a time rivaled Florence, though it was more conservative, being inclined towards the decorative beauty and elegant grace of late Gothic art Its most important representatives include Duccio, whose work shows Byzantine influence; his pupil Simone Martini; Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti; Domenico and Taddeo di Bartolo; Sassetta and Matteo di Giovanni Unlike the naturalistic Florentine art, there is a mystical streak in Sienese art, characterized by a common focus on miraculous events, with less attention to proportions, distortions of time and place, and often dreamlike coloration 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 by new paintings or rebuilding

The Sienese School of painting flourished in Siena, Italy between the 13th and 15th centuries and for a time rivaled Florence, though it was more conservative, being inclined towards the decorative beauty and elegant grace of late Gothic art Its most important representatives include Duccio, whose work shows Byzantine influence; his pupil Simone Martini; Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti; Domenico and Taddeo di Bartolo; Sassetta and Matteo di Giovanni Unlike the naturalistic Florentine art, there is a mystical streak in Sienese art[who?], characterized by a common focus on miraculous events, with less attention to proportions, distortions of time and place, and often dreamlike coloration 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 by new paintings or rebuilding Siena remains a remarkably well-preserved Italian late-Medieval town

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The first paintings kept in Siena and in the territory date back to the period between the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century Works like the painted crosses of San Giovanni d’Asso (museum of Pienza), the convent of Santa Chiara (National Picture Gallery of Siena) or the Abbey of Sant’Antimo (museum of Montalcino) show a strong Romanesque substratum

The passage to Siena of Coppo di Marcovaldo, a prisoner of Montaperti in 1261, brings to the city a stronger Byzantine influence, with his Madonna del Bordone (the Servant church, a table today altered by a 14th-century painting of the faces of Mary and Jesus) Which was resumed by Guido da Siena, a figure famous as the first exponent of the Sienese school, although still largely enveloped by the mystery This author signed the Majesty of San Domenico (church of San Domenico, Siena) probably in the sixties of the 13th century, although the date on the table, now considered a purely symbolic note, dates back to 1221: on that date it was sustained for a long time The priority of the Sienese school on all other Tuscan and Italian schools

From the handpiece of active painters in the city at the end of the century, Cimabue’s most important example was the much higher and more complex personality of Duccio di Buoninsegna Among his first works are the Madonna di Crevole (from the hermitage of Montespecchio, today in the Museum of the Opera subway of the Duomo, circa 1280) and the Madonna dei Francescani (Pinacoteca nazionale, circa 1290) He senses the progressive insertion of elements of Gothic painting and of greater spontaneity in the gestures of the Child Of the 1288 is the circular glass of the Duomo, now in the Museum of the Metropolitan Opera, of which Duccio provided the drawing and then intervened with a brush