Sienese School

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
M is devoted to the gallery's most cherished possession, Christ Discovered in the Temple, by Simone Martini, the 14 century Italian painter of the Sienese school. Other favourites include Woman Ironing by Edgar Degas, one of his best paintings in the Laundress series: Mrs Mounter by Harold Gilman, loved by children because of her craggy countenance;
The text is detailed but its belle-lettrist tone wearying: 'The design of the Uffizi collection makes for a richly woven tapestry: the sweetly graceful Sienese school is followed by the poetic Umbrian school ...' and so on.
The first Venetian gold-ground painting to enter the Toledo Museum of Art's collection, joining examples from the Florentine and Sienese schools, The Crucifixion has most recently been attributed to Jacobello del Fiore, a leading painter in Venice in the first decades of the 15th century.