Self-portrait. Detail of a fresco in Collegata di Castiglione Olona

Years of life: 1410 – 1480
Artist's Teachers: Sassetta, Taddeo di Bartolo, Jacopo della Quercia (?)
Artist's students: Francesco di Giorgio, Neroccio de’ Landi (?)
Art Movement: Renaissance
Painting School: Sienese School
Genre: Religious
Country: Italy
Century: XV

Vecchietta was an architect, painter, sculptor, jeweler, and engineer. Also called by his birth name, Lorenzo di Pietro (known by his nickname of “Vecchietta” from c. 1442 onward). Vecchietta was Born and worked in Siena; influenced by Florentine School. He was far ahead of his peers in Siena in terms of understanding lighting and its painterly properties. He worked both in miniature and on a large scale, including the illuminations for Dante’s Divine Comedy. In the 1430s, he was commissioned by Cardinal Branda Castiglione to paint a series of frescoes in Lombardy; he continued to paint frescoes for the rest of his career. In the 1450s, he met Donatello, who had a strong influence on his sculptural techniques.

Toward the end of his life, he designed, built, and decorated an ornate burial chapel for himself and his wife Francesca inside Santa Maria della Scala, in Siena. Note Vecchietta’s precise brushwork, densely populated scenes in his frescoes, an understanding of foreshortening, and forward-thinking lighting techniques. His figures are always realistically portrayed, with faces recreated without idealism; his works are sometimes characterized by his self-portrait as one of the figures. His works also demonstrate his architectural training: look for intricately detailed buildings and architectural details in his paintings and sculptures.

’Vecchiettas major works are Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints, 1457 (Florence: Galleria degli Uffizi); Assumption of the Virgin, c. 1461–62 (Pienza Cathedral); St. Catherine, c. 1461–62 (Siena: Palazzo Pubblico); The Resurrection, 1472 (New York: Frick Collection); The Risen Christ, 1476 (Siena: Santa Maria della Scala).


  1. Robert Cumming. Art: complete encyclopedia. – 512 p. – Moscow: Astrel, 2005.


  • Arliquiera


    Arliquiera   •  1445

  • Madonna and Child with Saints

    Madonna and Child with Saints

  • St Peter the Martyr


    St Peter the Martyr  •  1470s

  • Road to Calvary

    between 1447 and 1450

    Road to Calvary   •  between 1447 and 1450

  • The Blessed Agostino Novello Assigning the Habit of the Hospital to the Rector


    The Blessed Agostino Novello Assigning the Habit of the Hospital to the Rector   •  1445

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