Duccio di

Italia • 1260−1319
With the name of Duccio di Buoninsegna (presumably 1260-1319) connects a Gothic update of the Italian art of the XIII-XIV centuries and the formation of the Sienese school of painting.

The very existence of the Sienese school as a separate and peculiar protorenessansa flow science recognized only recently – in the early twentieth century. In contrast to the more widely known Florentine school of painting, the Sienese majored not on the frescoes and altar paintings. Sienese painting is much stronger than Florentine, depends on the Byzantine and Gothic traditions. Where the Florentines prefer a concentrated dramatic story, the latter is more lyrical and I love to write all sorts of decorative details such as drawing Golden lines. Although Duccio di Buoninsegna fulfilled some orders the Florentine churches, and perhaps even studied at the famous Florentine Cimabuehe is the flesh of Sienese art. Everything said about the Siena school can be attributed to the painting of Duccio.

Siena was a cult of the mother of God. And without exception, the paintings of Duccio di Buoninsegna from the first of the known "Madonna Crevole" to the last "Madonna with saints" is the glorification of the blessed virgin.
For many years, reconstruction of the creative and personal life of Duccio di Buoninsegna is no easy task. Many of the details, even the exact date of birth of the artist and the period of his discipleship, is simply lost. The difficulty is the attribution of some works.

However, in the archives of Siena has preserved a lot of documents mentioning Duccio di Buoninsegna. Their study has allowed historians to recreate the character of the artist. Apparently, Duccio was a willful, cocky, and did not recognize over them any authority. Many of the documents are, oddly enough, not contracts of employment, which would be typical for the artist, and the fines that are imposed on Boninsegna power of Siena. The penalty for evading military service, numerous fines for not paying taxes to the city Treasury, and even small fine of a few Soldi for the practice of magic.

However, the government of Siena, although subjected to Duccio di Buoninsegna administrative sanctions, still appreciated his rare talent. After all, he, rebellious Duccio, the city entrusted the performance "Majesty" grandiose altarpieces for the main Cathedral of Siena.

A contract in the amount of three thousand gold florins, signed in 1308 between Duccio di Buoninsegna and representing the Cathedral of Siena Jacopo Mariscotti worthy of being called a monument of business ethics. In addition to the purely practical things like the quality of wood and amount of gold paint, it contains some items that govern the behavior of Duccio in the process. For example, specifically provides that painting in all its parts must be written by the hand of Duccio, and not any of his enthusiastic apprentices. And that Duccio is not entitled to undertake any other work until it completes "Maestu". There was also the solemn obligation on the part of the artist to use all the finesse, ingenuity and skill, given it by God. The word, Duomo di Siena made every effort to insure themselves against the unpredictable nature of Duccio.

The work on "Maestas", a Central piece in the works of Duccio di Buoninsegna, lasted three years. According to evidence of local Chronicles, the transfer of "Majesty" from the workshop in Siena, the temple has become a Grand national holiday. Day 9 June 1311 year announced the weekend, urban workshops and shops were closed in the Central streets and squares were musicians, clergy and the city fathers with candles in their hands was the head of a large procession of citizens that accompanied the picture. So solemnly the city met the "Maesto", which will be a real symbol of Siena...

Information about the personal life of Duccio more scarce than information about his famous "Maesta". It is assumed that his political views he belonged to the party of the Ghibellines, and in business matters was so impractical that the end of life finally broke. When Buoninsegna died, his wife and children (there were seven of them, artists were two), not to repay multiple debts, publicly disowned him.

We know very little about late stage in the work of Duccio di Buoninsegna. The only extant work of this period is preserved in the National art gallery (Siena), a polyptych "Madonna with the saints"the authorship of which, however, disputed. But the deep originality Duccio makes it not only one of the leading masters of the trecento-Quattrocento, but also one of the most expensive artists in the modern world: in 2004 year, the Metropolitan Museum of art (new York) bought the "Stoclet Madonna" (1300) by Duccio di Buoninsegna for a record sum of $ 45 million.

Author: Anna Yesterday
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