Sienese School

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Sienese School


a 13th-century Italian school of painting whose earliest representatives included Guido da Siena. The Sienese school developed from Italo-Byzantine icon painting and the art of the book miniature that flourished in Benedictine abbeys near Siena. Its best works, which were produced in the 13th and early 14th centuries, display spiritualistic imagery, rich color, graceful linear rhythms, and, in a number of instances, convincing narrative. Artists of this period included Duccio di Buoninsegna, Simone Martini, and Lippo Memmi. The works of the brothers Pietro Lorenzetti and Ambrogio Lorenzetti are very similar to Proto-Renaissance painting, including the art of Giotto.

In the 15th century many Sienese masters, including Domenico di Bartolo, Matteo di Giovanni, Vecchietta, and Neroccio dei Landi, strove to overcome gothicizing tendencies and to master the innovations of the Florentine school. The school’s most important trait, elaborate decorativeness of color and composition, remained as a whole in tune with the trecento. The work of the 15th-century Sienese masters was also marked by a sense of lyric contemplation, which brought a fairy-tale quality to the paintings of Sassetta, Giovanni di Paolo, and others.

In the 16th century the Sienese school produced a number of original masters, such as Sodoma and the mannerist D. Beccafumi, but as a whole it lost its significance.


Lazare, V. N. Proiskhozhdenie ital’ianskogo Vozrozhdeniia, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1956–59.
Carli, E. La pittura senes. Milan, 1955.