Gilbert writes: "The exhibit, with only seven works, is stunning in its simplicity and beautifully conceived, and it shows off one of this museum's strengths -- displaying art that is either new to the viewer or placed in a context that makes it seem new... The altarpiece demonstrates something that is often overlooked in narrative religious imagery -- telling a story to people who don't know how to read. Bartolo, for the first time, depicted with the Adoration four narratives of the kings' journey across the upper part of the painting. He painted Siena itself as the New Jerusalem -- the upper left corner shows that city's famous cathedral and bell tower."
Laurie Fendrich considers the unique contributions of Siense Painters such as Simone Martini, Duccio Bartolo di Fredi, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Sano di Pietro, Sassetta, and Gentile da Fabriano.
Fendrich writes: "Vasari's 16th-century Lives of the Artists bequeathed us a closed narrative whereby Western art culminates in Renaissance linear perspective, mastery of naturalistic anatomy, and empirically-based imitations of light and shadow -- all the tricks that make for great illusionistic painting (what most people call painting that 'looks real') that were perfected in Florence... an alternative, smaller and more intimate, more mysterious and imaginative, and, to many minds–including mine - a more beautiful and moving kind of Western painting was developed by painters working in Siena... beginning around 1276 and lasting for the next two centuries."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.