For two centuries, the city-republic of Siena was home to a brilliant succession of painters who produced some of the greatest masterpieces of all time. This overview is an essential introduction to this extraordinary artistic tradition. Taking a broadly chronological approach, it moves from the fourteenth-century Siena of Duccio, Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers, to the fifteenth-century city of Sassetta and Giovanni di Paolo. Perceptive visual analysis of the distinctive styles and conventions of Sienese painting is combined with clear explanations of traditional techniques such as fresco and tempera. The works are also placed in their social and religious context through discussion of Siena’s system of government, its civic consciousness, the importance of the Franciscan movement and the cults of local saints.