Sano di Pietro, 1405-1481
A miniaturist and painter from Siena, he was recorded among the painters of the city in 1428, while his first known work is the polyptych of the Gesuati, dated 1444. During his period of formation he together with Vecchietta, made an Annunciation dated to 1439 for the Duomo of Siena, and a few years later (1445), he completed the Coronation of the Virgin for the Palazzo Pubblico, which had been begun by Domenico di Bartolo. In the same year, the payments for a Psalter, now lost, were made for the Duomo, while the following year witnesses the activity of a miniaturist in a Franciscan Breviary from the monastery of Santa Chiara (today Siena, Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati, codex X.VI.2). Together with the activity of a monumental painter and miniaturist, Sano’s commitment to small-sized devotional works such as a St. Nicholas of Tolentino and a St. Augustine (Rome, Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Barberini, inv. 1998) is also noteworthy.
The corpus of works brought back to Sano is very vast and demonstrates the artist’s ability to adapt to the style of his times while maintaining a well-recognizable style, which includes the diversity of the supports that he used (large and small panels and parchment). Among the illuminated manuscripts that contain liturgical contents, we may mention the Psalter for Monteoliveto, now divided into three codices preserved in the Museum of the Cathedral of Chiusi, Antiphonary 62 for the Duomo of Pienza, the Antiphonary for the Cathedral of Siena (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, codex 90.L.). The following may also be attributed to the miniaturist: the decoration with the image of Justice in the codex containing the Statute of the art of Mercanzia dated 1472 (Siena, Archivio di Stato Merc. 2); and the codex with the works of Cicero preserved in the Vatican Apostolic Library (ms. Vat. lat. 1742) related to the sojourn of Gaspare di Sant’Angelo in Siena and therefore ascribable to the fifth or sixth decade of the century, also due to the undersigning of the copyist, Pietro di Middelburch, in which the decoration a bianchi girari was adopted for the first time in Siena, which Linda Pisani instead attributes to another hand, excluding the possibility that Sano might have adopted and introduced this decorative style to the Sienese milieu. The last known work of the artist is a painting on a panel depicting the Compianto, which comes from the Capuchin monastery (today coll. Monte dei Paschi di Siena) and dated to 1481.
PISANI, Sano di Pietro, pp. 926-928; FREULER, The Producion and Trade, pp. 432-433; GAVALLOTTI CAVALLERO, Pietro, Ambrogio, pp. 69-74; BENATI, Il gotico a Siena, pp. 403-405.