Sano di Pietro is one of the most easily recognizable Sienese fifteenth century artists. In recent years he has been identified with the so-called Master of the Osservanza, an artist influenced by Sassetta (ca. 1392–1450), but this view has been disputed. Paintings attributed to the Osservanza master seem closer to Sasseta and more incisively observed than the works of Sano. However, since the identification of the Osservanza Master with Sano is supported by a leading scholar Miklós Boskovits and backed by some documentary evidence, it cannot be discounted. If works such as the St. Anthony series at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. are indeed by Sano, he becomes a highly original and major Sienese quattrocento painter, almost on a level with Sassetta himself.
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Books on Sano di Pietro
Timothy Hyman, Sienese Paintings: The Art of a City-Republic, 1278-1477, London, 2003.
Keith Christiansen, Laurence B. Kanter, and Carl Brandon Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena: 1420-1500, exh. cat., New York, 1988.
Miklós Boskovits, “Il Gotico Senese Rivisitato: Proposte e Commenti su una Mostra,” in Arte Cristiana, Milan, v. 71 no. 267, 1983.
Émile Gaillard, Un Peintre Siennois au XVe Siècle: Sano di Pietro 1406-1481, Chambéry, 1923.
Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artist, 1550, trans. Julia Conway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella, New York, 2009.