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Sienese Painting: The Art of a City-Republic (1278-1477) (World of Art) Paperback – 29 Sep 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; First Edition edition (29 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500203725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500203729
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 15.3 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 203,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Timothy Hyman RA is a painter and writer on art. As well as nine solo shows in London, he has exhibited abroad, notably in India and Italy, and was elected an RA in 2011. Sienese Painting (Thames and Hudson, 2003) was described in the TLS as "an unimprovable union of exceptionally acute looking, magical prose, and authoritative scholarship". His monograph on Bonnard (1998) was praised by Jed Perl in The New Republic: "very impressive. I can't think of another recent book about a painter that has struck me as so heartfelt, so lucid, so wise." Julian Bell in the TLS called it "an incomparable guide", while Hilton Kramer in" The New Criterion judged it "by far the best thing ever written about the painter". Writing in The Spectator the Bonnard-scholar Sargy Mann declared it: "a wonderful book...in a completely different class from the other Bonnard monographs." He has curated exhibitions such as 'Carnivalesque' (Hayward) and the Tate's 2001 Stanley Spencer Retrospective.

Product Description

About the Author

Timothy Hyman is a practising artist, author and curator. Among his previous books is Bonnard, also in the World of Art series.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Richard on 11 July 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully written exploration of the work produced in Siena over a two-century period of glory, during which artists like Martini, Sassetta, and Giovanni di Paolo pioneered new narrative techniques. For anyone who has seen or read about these groundbreaking freschi and paintings, which include Lorenzetti's magnificent depictions of Good and Bad Government, this book is a must, since Hyman is able to put such masterpieces into a political and social context. The author writes intelligently throughout, working his research expertly into the text. Happily, he completely avoids the obfuscation and silly post-modern jargon that generally characterize art criticism. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. (And if Hyman's analysis of Sienese life and art doesn't make you want to visit Italy, I can't imagine what could!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ms. M. S. Barnes on 21 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Having just visited Siena I wanted to learn more about the unique art in the city and this book gave me an insight into why the paintings are so different from the Florentine painters and sculptures. Hyman sets the painting in their political and historical context which is so important in understanding the magic of this citie's unique art form. IT is worth packing this book along with any other travel guide to enable you to really appreciate this jewel of a city.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. C. jones on 9 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This an extraordinarily good book. I picked it up very casually after a visit to the Met in New York and enthralled - even though I knew absolutely nothing about these painters or the period and had previously been unable to penetrate art like this. Mr Hyman uses his scholarship to enlighten and his passion for the subject illuminates the way for the reader - I often found his descriptions very moving. Since reading this book over 2 years ago I have since gone on to read much more about these painters and other Italian painters of this period . In particular I make a point of hunting down Sassettas wherever I am ( although since I live in London I am lucky to be able to see many of them quite regularly) . Thank you Mr Hyman!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Sienese Painting Discussed by a Painter 28 Nov. 2003
By David Maxim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Any reader who is familiar with Timothy Hyman's BONNARD will be pleased to find the same clarity, depth of knowledge, and instructional vision in his treatment of Sienese painting (SIENESE PAINTING: THE ART OF A CITY REPUBLIC is in the same beautiful small-book format as BONNARD).
Hyman is an odd bird as fas as the art history publishing world is concerned. He is an accomplished artist, but when he puts his energy toward his parallel careers in curating and writing, he knows his stuff just as thoroughly as any other more conventional art history scholar. This comes as a blessing for the general reader as well as historian because he has the gift to blend human feeling and sparkling vision with academics in a highly readable way.
And he makes the material so CLEAR. At the very outset with his discussion of the physical description of the city and the governing body known as "The Nine", the foundation is set to build his elegant story of the city's glorious paintings. The governing principles of Siena were almost Athenian in their idealism, and were cautiously balanced against aggressive clan and economic forces. Somehow the author makes the reader see that the colorated delicacy of Sienese painting is a very logical outgrowth of these various opposing powers.
It didn't used to be all right (critically) to like Sienese painting too much. Duccio--OK, and the Lorenzetti, also. But mainly, Sienese painting wasn't considered "progressive" enough by the Renaissance standards that were constructed by later historians.The republic's painting paled in the shadow of mighty and magnificent Florence with it's army of artists who defended artistic soverignty. Well, all the silly prejudice that was perpetrated on unknowning art students for generations is cleared away once and for all by Mr. Hyman. Just as he convinced us that it's more than all right to love mature Bonnard,the artist-author persuades the reader of the excitement, superb beauty, and compelling legitimacy of Sienese painting.
His descriptions shimmer. How many times have I seen Ambrogio Lorenzetti's Good and Bad Government? After reading his discussion of it, it seemed like the first time. Siena excelled in color, pattern, landscape and narrative--and, dare I say it? Tenderness. Go ahead, let your heart break a little when you see Sassetta or a Giovanni di Paolo, Hyman seems to say. It's OK!
He concludes by giving several examples of contemporary artists whose works are sympathetic to the directions first begun by Sienese forebears.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful and Beautiful 13 Oct. 2006
By Richard Zimler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully written exploration of the work produced in Siena over a two-century period of glory, during which artists like Martini, Sassetta, and Giovanni di Paolo pioneered new narrative techniques. For anyone who has seen or read about these groundbreaking freschi and paintings, which include Lorenzetti's magnificent depictions of Good and Bad Government, this book is a must, since Hyman is able to put such masterpieces into a political and social context. The author writes intelligently throughout, working his research expertly into the text. Happily, he completely avoids the obfuscation and silly post-modern jargon that generally characterize art criticism. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. (And if Hyman's analysis of Sienese life and art doesn't make you want to visit Italy, I can't imagine what could!)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Very Good Introduction 12 May 2004
By harsil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Clear and concise, enthusiastic and insightful, this book provides a very useful introduction to Sienese art. It traces its roots and development, links it to the political state of affairs in Siena and Italy, and contrasts it with the art of Florence, which ended up eclipsing it. The main Sienese artists are discussed in their own chapters, and a clear line of development is laid out, though at the same time the individual characteristics of each artist are discussed. The book is generally very readable and it is clearly laid out and structured.
My only quibble is the fact that so many of the illustrations are black and white. This is particularly annoying in cases where the author is discussing the subtlety of the color!
That point notwithstanding, anyone looking for a basic introduction to the art of Siena need not hesitate.
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