Seeing Sienese

Simone Martini, Title page from Petrarch's Virgil (c. 1336), Illuminated manuscr
Simone Martini, Title page from Petrarch's Virgil (c. 1336), Illuminated manuscript, 29,5 x 20 cm, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan (Wikipedia)

Laurie Fendrich considers the unique contributions of Siense Painters such as Simone Martini, Duccio Bartolo di Fredi, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Sano di Pietro, Sassetta, and Gentile da Fabriano.

Fendrich writes: "Vasari's 16th-century Lives of the Artists bequeathed us a closed narrative whereby Western art culminates in Renaissance linear perspective, mastery of naturalistic anatomy, and empirically-based imitations of light and shadow -- all the tricks that make for great illusionistic painting (what most people call painting that 'looks real') that were perfected in Florence... an alternative, smaller and more intimate, more mysterious and imaginative, and, to many minds–including mine - a more beautiful and moving kind of Western painting was developed by painters working in Siena... beginning around 1276 and lasting for the next two centuries."