This book provides a new perspective on Sienese painting after the Black Death, asking how social, religious, and cultural change affect visual imagery and style. Judith Steinhoff demonstrates that Siena's artistic culture of the mid and late fourteenth century was intentionally pluralistic, and not conservative as is often claimed. She shows that Sienese art both before and after the Black Death was the material expression of an artistically sophisticated population that consciously and carefully integrated tradition and change. Promoting both iconographic and stylistic pluralism, Sienese patrons furthered their own goals as well as addressed the culture's changing needs. Steinhoff presents both detailed case studies as well as a broader view of trends in artistic practice and patronage. She offers a new approach to interpreting artistic style in the Trecento, arguing that artists and patrons alike understood the potential of style as a vehicle that conveys specific meanings.
Judith Steinhoff is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Houston. She has contributed to Renaissance Studies, Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschicte, and The Art Bulletin.
Part I. Trecento Art History and Historiography: 1. General introduction; 2. Meiss and method: historiography of scholarship on mid-Trecento Sienese painting; Part II. Artists and Patrons: Working Relationship in Transition: 3. Patrons and artists; 4. Economic, social and political conditions and the art market after 1348; 5. Artists' working relationships in the early Trecento; 6. A Sienese 'compagnia', c.1348-63; Part III. Transmission and Transformation of Civic-Religious Imagery; 7. The crafting and consolidation of Sienese civic-religious imagery; 8. Sienese civic-religious imagery at the mid Trecento; Part IV. Artistic Style: Tradition and Transition: 9. Stylistic pluralism in the 1330s and 1340s; 10. The politics of style in the 1350s and 1360s: the case of Santa Maria della Scala; 11. Style as iconography: general reflections; Part V. Conclusion.