Birth of the Virgin; Stories of the life of the Virgin

Sano di Pietro1437 - 1439

Fondazione Musei Senesi

Fondazione Musei Senesi
Siena, Italy

The painting, dating to between 1437 and 1439, reveals its true character as a masterpiece in the painter's attention to sophisticated details that recall the international Gothic of Gentile da Fabriano, in the compositional rhythm of the scene set off by the succession of female figures who, in a theatrical representation, act out their roles with great skill. The perspective recreation of the environment shows spatial innovations and great care for detail - note the multi-coloured glass window behind Saint Anna's bed, the realistic domestic interior, and the small "hortus conclusus" - all of which join elements from a well-consolidated tradition, such as the profusion of gold and the gem-like colours. The oanel has often been attributed to the "Osservanza Master", which scholars now tend to identify with the young Sano di Pietro.


  • Title: Birth of the Virgin; Stories of the life of the Virgin
  • Creator Lifespan: 1405 - 1481
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Creator Gender: male
  • Creator Death Place: Siena
  • Creator Birth Place: Siena
  • Date Created: 1437 - 1439
  • painter: Sano di Pietro
  • collocation: Asciano, Palazzo Corboli Civic Archeological and Sacred Art Museum, Province of Siena
  • Place Part Of: Province of Siena
  • Physical Dimensions: w172.5 x h222 cm
  • Artist Biography: The conventional name of the 'Osservanza Master' - derived from the masterpiece for the Basilica of Osservanza in Siena and related to a group of paintings datable in the 1430s - has been recently abandoned since scholars have identified him in the young Sano di Pietro, who was active since 1428, but whose documented works are known to us only from 1444. As a very successful and enduring protagonist of Sienese painting of the early Renaissance, Sano di Pietro, after a brilliant youth, intensely poetic and raised in the shadow of the great Sassetta, in his later years converted his commitment to a vast production, sometimes serial, thanks to a well-organized workshop, specializing in devotional images especially appreciated by the public of fraternities and popular religiosity.
  • Type: tempera on panel
  • Rights: Comune di Asciano; Curia Arcivescovile di Siena, Colle di Val d'Elsa, Montalcino; Fondazione Musei Senesi, Fondazione Musei Senesi
  • External Link: Fondazione Musei Senesi

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps