Margherita of Cortona and the Lorenzetti : Sienese Art and the Cult of a Holy Woman in Medieval Tuscany, Hardback Book

Margherita of Cortona and the Lorenzetti : Sienese Art and the Cult of a Holy Woman in Medieval Tuscany Hardback



This interdisciplinary study explores the role of art within the growth of the cult of civic saints in 14th-century Italy.

It focuses on three versions of the story of Margherita of Cortona narrated on a panel painting, in her tomb reliefs, and in the extensive fresco cycle that once decorated her burial church and whose design is here attributed to Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

These images present an intriguing contrast with the text of Margherita's "Legenda", compiled by her Franciscan confessor, which primarily portrays the intensity of her spiritual life, her ascetism and her visions.

The three visual cycles together provide a sequence that demonstrates the changing significance of Margherita for the people of Cortona in the 50 years following her death.

The role of that art - predominantly Sienese in workmanship - in shaping mediaeval perceptions of the saint is also considered.

Illustrations, much of them from new photographs specially made for this book, form an integral part of the argument. This study introduces an important group of works into the discussion of later mediaeval art and spirituality and demonstrates the value of visual evidence for our knowledge and understanding of civic religion and religious experience, especially among the laity, in the Italy of the communes.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 384 pages, 19 colour & 204 b&w illustrations
  • Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Byzantine & Medieval art c 500 CE to c 1400
  • ISBN: 9780271017563



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