Agnolo Bronzino

Agnolo Gaddi

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Andreadi di Bonaiuto

Andrea del Castagno

Andrea del Sarto

Andrea di Bartolo

Andrea Mantegna

Antonello da Messina

Antonio del Pollaiuolo

Bartolo di Fredi

Bartolomeo di Giovanni

Benozzo Gozzoli

Benvenuto di Giovanni

Bernard Berenson

Bernardo Daddi

Bianca Cappello

Bicci di Lorenzo

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Buonamico Buffalmacco

Byzantine art



Dietisalvi di Speme

Domenico Beccafumi

Domenico di Bartolo

Domenico di Michelino

Domenico veneziano


Duccio di Buoninsegna

Eleonora da Toledo

Federico Zuccari

Filippino Lippi

Filippo Lippi

Fra Angelico

Fra Carnevale

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco Pesellino

Francesco Rosselli

Francia Bigio

Gentile da Fabriano


Domenico Ghirlandaio


Giorgio Vasari

Giotto di bondone

Giovanni da Modena

Giovanni da San Giovanni

Giovanni di Francesco

Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni Toscani

Girolamo di Benvenuto

Guidoccio Cozzarelli

Guido da Siena

Il Sodoma

Jacopo del Sellaio

Jacopo Pontormo

Lippo Memmi

Lippo Vanni

Lorenzo Ghiberti

Lorenzo Monaco

Lo Scheggia

Lo Spagna

Luca Signorelli


masolino da panicale

master of monteoliveto

master of sain tfrancis

master of the osservanza

matteo di giovanni

memmo di filippuccio

neroccio di bartolomeo

niccolo di segna

paolo di giovanni fei

paolo ucello


piero della francesca

piero del pollaiolo

piero di cosimo

pietro aldi

pietro lorenzetti



sandro botticelli

sano di pietro


simone martini

spinello aretino

taddeo di bartolo

taddeo gaddi

ugolino di nerio



Giovanni di Paolo, Adoration of the Magi (detail), about 1450-1460, tempera and gold on panel, 27 x 23.2 cm, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Travel guide for Tuscany

Giovanni di Paolo | Adoration of the Magi, about 1450-1460

Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia (ca. 1403 - ca. 1483), one of the most important Italian painters of the 15th-century Sienese school. He is chiefly notable for carrying the brilliantly colourful vision of Sienese 14th-century paintings on into the Renaissance. His early works show the influence of previous Sienese masters, his landscapes and his figures still reverberate with echoes of Duccio's work, but his later style grew steadily more individualized, characterized by vigorous, harsh colors and elongated forms. His art most beautifully reflects the 15th-century artistic conservatism of a commercially declining city.[1]

The Adoration of the Magi

According to the Gospel of Matthew, three Magi, guided by a star, found the newborn Christ and laid gifts before him. Artists throughout the 15th century considerably elaborated upon this biblical account, devoting particular attention on the Magi's entourage, which gave them an opportunity to depict the splendor of contemporary aristocratic life. Here, the Magi supplicate solemnly before the divine child in the Virgin's arms, while their bustling retinue of courtiers and animals provides an exuberant visual diversion.

Giovanni's brilliant color and pattern were typically Sienese, but he is distinguished from his teachers and contemporaries by an expressive imagination. His unique style is otherworldly and spiritual. Here the drama is heightened by a dark background and contrasting colors, nervous patterns, and unreal proportions. In the center, Gabriel brings news of Christ's future birth to the Virgin. Thus is put in motion the promise of salvation for humankind, a salvation necessitated by the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, which we see happening on the left, outside Mary's jewellike home. Mary will reopen the doors of Paradise closed by Eve's sin. The scene of Joseph warming himself in front of a fire, on the right, is an unusual addition. Perhaps it refers simply to the season of Jesus' birth, but more likely it is layered with other meanings, suggesting the flames of hope and charity and invoking the winter of sin now to be replaced by the spring of this new era of Grace. The three scenes help make explicit the connection between the Fall and God's promise of salvation, which is fulfilled at the moment of the Annunication.

Trained in Siena, Giovanni di Paolo was heir to a long tradition of famous painters who worked in the city. The artist borrowed heavily from his contemporaries in creating his own highly personal and graceful style. Giovanni di Paolo depicts the arrival of the Magi at Bethlehem in a wealth of color and detail befitting the riches they brought the Christ Child. The Magi pay homage to Christ as he sits on the Virgin's lap beneath a blazing, golden star. Crowns, sumptuous robes, a crowd of servants (one sprawling to remove the spurs of the standing king), and even a pet monkey stress the wealth and power of the visitors. The visit of the Magi is described in the Book of Matthew as the epiphany, when the arrival of Christ became known to the world. Magi are literally astrologers, but over the centuries, popular legends transformed them into kings and they are usually shown in royal robes and crowns.  
Adoration of the Magi, 1440-45, The Cleveland Museum of Art


The adoration of the kings, 2nd quarter 15th C., Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, collection in Otterlo

Giovanni di Paolo, Adoration of the Magi , about 1450, tempera on panel, 26.9 x 46.4 cm, Washington, National Gallery of Art

This Adoration of the Magi panel is the latest of four known depictions of the subject by the artist. The other three are in the Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Giovanni di Paolo's brilliant color and pattern were typically Sienese, but he is distinguished from his teachers and contemporaries by an expressive imagination. His unique style is otherworldly and spiritual.
Though Giovanni's primary concern is not the appearance of the natural world, it is clear that he was aware of contemporary developments in the realistic depiction of space.
This panel originally formed part of the predella of an altarpiece, along with a "Nativity" (Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts), an "Infant Christ Disputing in the Temple" (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston), and possibly a "Crucifixion" (Christ Church, Oxford). The central panel of the altarpiece may have been the "Presentation of Christ in the Temple" formerly in the Conservatorio di S. Pietro at Colle di Val d'Elsa and now in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena.

Art in Tuscany | Giovanni di Paolo | The Annunciation and Expulsion from Paradise


Giovanni di Paolo, Adoration of the Magi, about 1450-1460, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art

[1] Giovanni di Paolo was an independent artist who managed to thrive in a Siena which was on the one hand conservative and on the other responsive to such inventive minds as Sassetta and the Osservanza Master. Like these artists, Giovanni di Paolo had remarkable narrative gifts as an artist as is clear from such masterpieces as The Life of John the Baptist (Art Institute of Chicago), The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (Robert Lehman Collection, Metropolitan Museum, New York) and the Paradise (Metropolitan Museum, New York). His early training seems to have included contact with Lombard artists (his earliest patron was the Lombard Anna Castiglione a relative of Cardinal Castiglione Branda, patron of Vecchietta) and probably French artists too. He could, for example, have known the Limbourg brothers, the Franco-Flemish illuminators who were in Siena in 1413. Certainly the nervous, staccato quality of line that distinguishes his work from that of his Sienese contemporaries betrays an assimilation of Lombard and French Gothic forms. By the mid 1420s Giovanni di Paolo's career was flourishing and from that period come the Pecci and Branchini altarpieces (Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena and Norton Simon Museum, San Marino) which both show the influence of Gentile da Fabriano who had painted a (now lost) altarpiece in 1425/6 for the Sienese Notaries Guild.

Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 249
Keith Christiansen in The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1984, pp. 26–29, no. 4, ill. (color). Keith Christiansen discusses its relationship to other depictions of the subject by the artist, mentions its dependence on Gentile da Fabriano's Strozzi altarpiece of the same subject of 1423 (Uffizi, Florence). Keith Christiansen mentions that the unusual gesture of the youngest magus, who embraces Joseph, has a precedent in the work of Fra Angelico, and postulates a common literary source; accepts the MMA, Fogg, and Gardner panels as parts of the same predella, and does not rule out the inclusion of the Ashmolean picture as well; suggests dating the series prior to 1463.

Art in Tuscany | Sienese Biccherna Covers | Biccherne Senesi



Siena is in fact surrounded by the Chianti hills (north-east), the Montagnola (west) and the Crete Senesi (south-east).
Often reproduced in breathtaking postcards and posters, Siena`s hills are a real distillation of beauty.
Their gentle profiles, fruit of human labour, are covered with vineyards, cereal fields and cypresses whose dark green canopies rise against the skyline, and dotted with ancient reddish sharecropper houses.
It is not by chance that UNESCO has included not only Siena historical centre (in 1995) but also a part of the Sienese countryside, that is, Val d`Orcia (in 2004) in its list of World Heritage Sites.

Tuscany | The crete Senesi | The Val d'Orcia | The Maremma

Holiday accomodation in Tuscany | Podere Santa Pia | Artist and writer's residency


Podere Santa Pia is situated in the unspoiled valley of the Ombrone River, only 21 kilometres from Montalcino. This valley is famous locally as being of great natural beauty and still very undeveloped.

Podere Santa Pia
Podere Santa Pia, garden view, December
San Gimignano  

The towers of San Gimignano
Siena, Duomo

Asciano, between Montalcino and Siena

The Val d'Orcia and the Crete Senesi
On the hill of Vespignano, near Vicchio, stands the house which saw the birth of Angiolo di Bondone, better known as Giotto. After lengthy restoration works the Casa di Giotto is re-opening to the public in its new guise.

The operation put in hand by the commune of Vicchio has been aimed above all at making this ancient country dwelling into a centre of knowledge and an incentive in art in the present day. To attain this end the space has been divided ideally into 4 large areas: reception, Giotto and the Territory on the ground floor, with workshops occupying the spaces on the upper storey. The life of Giotto is related on a video, while interactive multimedia points will serve to supply additional information on matters connected with the artist, according to the interests of the individual visitor. As regards the territory, the interior/exterior relationship with the surrounding country will be particularly stressed, and here also a number of videos will be used as an aid to understanding.
On the upper floor are two spaces for workshops, one devoted to form, the other to colour. It will be a place of experiment, in which visitors, be they school parties, families or artists, will be encouraged to play and create. The Casa di Giotto intends in particular to establish itself as a destination for educational excursions for primary to secondary schools.