Momentous moment in art at National Gallery London

Art National Gallery

In 2025, the art world will witness a remarkable event at the National Gallery as “Siena: The Rise of Painting 1300?1350” opens its doors in spring, marking the 200th anniversary of the institution. This exhibition promises an unprecedented reunion of paintings by some of the most celebrated Italian artists of the 14th century, artworks that have been scattered across the globe for centuries. Highlighting this unique collection are masterpieces in gold ground, many originally part of larger compositions, offering visitors an opportunity to experience the innovative spirit of Western painting tradition from this era.

The spotlight of the exhibition is the coming together of several panels from the revolutionary double-sided altarpiece, the Maestà, painted by Duccio di Buoninsegna for the cathedral in Siena. Recognized as the first double-sided altarpiece in Western art, this narrative shift in art will be showcased along with other significant pieces from the ensemble. Notably, the National Gallery’s panels from the Maestà will be reunited with works like “Christ and the Woman of Samaria” from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, and “The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew” from the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

Another focal point is the reunion of the Orsini Polyptych by Simone Martini, a folding piece created for private devotion, likely for Cardinal Napoleone Orsini. Dispersed between prestigious institutions – the Louvre in Paris, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, and the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin – the exhibition will bring together all six panels for a rare presentation.

Besides these reunifications, the exhibition will also highlight two triptychs by Duccio and further explore the advancements in painting through the works of Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti among others. The exhibition aims to not only showcase the masterpieces of these Sienese artists but also to illuminate the connections between their works and those of their contemporaries across different media and cultures.

Curated by a distinguished team, including Dr. Laura Llewellyn, Dr. Caroline Campbell, Stephan Wolohojian, and Professor Joanna Cannon, “Siena: The Rise of Painting 1300?1350” is an exploration of the distinctive yet internationally impactful art from Siena. Prior to its presentation at the National Gallery, the exhibition will be on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, offering art enthusiasts a unique opportunity to experience the evolution and the influence of Sienese painting across borders and centuries.

Prior to the National Gallery, Siena: The Rise of Painting 1300?1350 will be at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from 13 October 2024?26 January 2025.  

The exhibition is organised by the National Gallery and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Siena: The Rise of Painting 1300-1350 

8 March ? 22 June 2025 
The National Gallery

Ground Floor Galleries
Admission charge
Members go free 
(Members view: Friday 7 March 2025)