Perceptive visual analysis guides the reader through the golden age of Sienese painting from 1278 to 1477, featuring the masterpieces of Duccio and Lorenzetti, also including discussion and illustration of less well-known works by artists such as Giovanni di Paolo and the Master of Osservanza. A broadly chronological approach is adopted, with each chapter devoted to the work of one artist or group. This study looks at the defining characteristics of Sienese painting - rich colour and spatial inventiveness - in panel painting, frescoes and manuscript illumination. The first two, executed for both religious and civic institutions, form the focus of the book. Painting is situated in its social and religious context, with an emphasis on the Franciscan movement, the cult of the Virgin Mary and the veneration of local saints, and discussion of Siena's civic self-consciousness and the dramatic impact of the Black Death. An epilogue concludes with a look at renewed interest in Sienese painting among artists and historians, and it relevance for modern painters.