Vecchietta (Lorenzo di Pietro), one of the outstanding Sienese artists of the 15th century, a painter, sculptor, architect, and military engineer. He was probably trained by Sassetta,
but he also came under the influence of Florentine art and his large-scale paintings have a monumentality rare in Siena in the quattrocento. As a sculptor he worked in wood and marble and late in his career in bronze, this change in medium reflecting the influence of Donatello,
who was in Siena 1457-59. The Risen Christ
(Sta Maria della Scala, Siena, 1476) has something of Donatello s sinewy expressiveness. Donatello s influence may also account for the strength and plasticity of Vecchietta s later paintings, such as the St Catherine in the Town Hall, Siena, and the Assumption in Pienza Cathedral, both dating from 1461/2. Another side to Vecchietta s talent is seen in his delightful illuminations in a manuscript of Dante s Divine Comedy (British Library, London, c.1440).
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