Donald Strachan's verdict on Top Tuscan art
Gothic. The name was added later—a derogatory term for what some saw as a crude artistic style. That is not an opinion many share today. Siena is Tuscany’s ultimate Gothic city. Inside its palaces are walls decorated with frescoes (murals painted onto fresh plaster) rich in Christian symbolism and golden decoration, and populated with the sinewy figures that are characteristic of Gothic painting.
Renaissance. This is the period when humanism and the academic study of draftsmanship reached a peak. Technically, Renaissance art is characterized by more precise representation of space, line, and human bodies. Philosophically, the overt religiousness of the Gothic period is supplemented with stories and characters from Greek and Roman legend.
Mannerist. This art movement followed the Renaissance, and was centred on of Florence—hence its other name, ‘Florentine Mannerism’. Paintings are full of action; contorted bodies allow the artist to show off a knowledge of human anatomy. The major names are Andrea Del Sarto, Jacopo Pontormo, and Rosso Fiorentino.