2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Duccio di Buoninsegna
Little is known about the founder of the Sienese school of painting, Duccio. He was born c. 1255/1260 in Buoninsegna, near Siena. He enters public record in 1278 when the Siena commune paid him for document chests. His life seems to have been chaotic, littered with commissions and fines for failure to pay his debts. He was in 1302 accused of witchcraft and cowardice for refusing to fight in a war between Siena and Maremma. When he died c. 1319, he was survived by his wife Taviana and seven children. Two sons, Galgano and Giorgio, were painters.
Like Giotto, Duccio used perspective in his work, and his style infuses Byzantine formality with Gothic spirituality. His figures tend to retain the serenity of Byzantine figures, but his presentation of scenes is more dramatic. Because he had a large workshop, attribution of his work is not always certian. He is thought to have had some relationship with Cimabue, the nature and extent of which is not known. The Madonna Rucelli, once attributed to Cimabue, is now attributed to Duccio because the documents of its commissioning say that Duccio was asked to paint it. His last important work is the Virgin in Majesty (or Maestą), once the altarpiece of the cathedral in Siena.
Karen Rae Keck
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