The Annunciation (detail), ca. 1333, by Simone Martini (Uffizi)
Evidence that the Renaissance comprised a myriad of creative visions is easily found in the cities of Siena and Florence. Artisans at work in both places in the early years of the Renaissance took great pride in their unique styles. In Florence, artists including Giotto and Masaccio began a progressive trend toward realism in painting. Although the artists left in the Divine presence—to keep devout Christian patrons happy—their work also reflected a growing interest in perspective and the humanizing of religious figures. In contrast, Siena’s artists Duccio and Simone Martini, among others, favored painterly traditions that kept the focus on heaven itself, with all the pomp and style associated with an otherworldly realm.
Lisa Baumann, professor of art history at George Mason University, explores the stylistic differences among artists working in the city-states of Florence and Siena at the cusp of the Renaissance.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit
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