I travelled to Siena in 2012 and was surrounded by medieval artwork. These are some photographs I took of particular paintings that inspired me as reference material for future paintings.
Siena was first settled in the time of the Etruscans (900 – 400 BC). It became a political, economic, and cultural leader in Tuscany during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. About 50 000 people lived there until the Black Death of 1348 when over half the population died. The centre of Siena is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Sienese School of painting was characterized by a focus on miraculous events, less attention to proportions, distortions of time and place and dreamlike colors.
- Guido da Siena (13th century) is the only Sienese painter to have surviving panel works which include a signature.
- Duccio di Buoninsegna (1255 -1319) is seen as the father of Sienese painting and a founder of western art. He painted on wooden panels in egg tempera and gold leaf. Sometimes he inlaid his work with jewels and ornamental fabric. His figures were much softer than earlier art styles and more 3-dimensional. He was also one of the first painters to put his figures in an architectural setting.
- Simone Martini (1284 – 1344) was influenced by French illuminated manuscripts and also ivory carvings. His paintings showed a softer, decorative style. He also introduced fresco painting to Siena.
- Ambrogio Lorenzetti 1285 – 1348) may have been the first European artist to use single-point perspective.
- Lippo Memmi (1291 -1356) was the brother-in-law of Simone Martini. He used distinctive finely stamped tin halos with long and short ray patterns in gold leaf depicting light.
- Sano di Pietro (1406 – 1481) produced painted altar pieces, frescoes, miniatures and book bindings (exquisite miniature paintings on the spine of a book).