For two centuries, the city-republic of Siena was home to a brilliant succession of painters who produced some of the greatest masterpieces of all time. Taking a broadly chronological approach, Hyman examines the defining characteristics of Sienese painting through its golden age. His enthusiasm shines through as he situates the art in its social, political and religious context, with an emphasis on the Franciscan movement, the cult of the Virgin Mary, the veneration of local saints and the dramatic impact of the Black Death. Important throughout is Siena's civic self-consciousness, felt in the many cityscapes of Sienese art.
An unimprovable union of exceptionally acute looking, magical prose and authoritative prose . . . a wonderfully balanced account of a woefully neglected school. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT