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Simone Martini

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Gothic and Early Renaissance
 
 
 
Simone Martini
 
 
 
born c. 1284, , Siena, Republic of Siena
died 1344, Avignon, Provence



important exponent of Gothic painting who did more than any other artist to
spread the influence of Sienesepainting.

Martini was very possibly a pupil of Duccio di Buoninsegna, from whom he probably inherited his love of harmonious, pure colours and most of his early figure types. To these he added a gracefulness of line and
delicacy of interpretation that were inspired by French Gothic works that the young artist studiedin Italy. He carried to perfection the decorative line of the Gothic style and subordinated volume to the rhythm of this line.

Simone's earliest documented painting is the large fresco of the “Maesta” in the Sala del Mappamondo of the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. The fresco depicts the enthroned Madonna and Child with angels and saints. This painting, which is signed and dated 1315 but was retouched by Simone himself in 1321, is a free version of Duccio's “Maestà” of 1308–11. But the hierarchic structure of Duccio's work has been replaced by a growing interest in illusionary perspective, and the abstract character and lack of setting ofthe earlier work has given way to concrete concepts: Simone's Virgin, crowned and splendidly attired, is a Gothic queen who holds court beneath a Gothic canopy.

About 1317 the artist painted, in Naples, the highly spiritual altarpiece “St. Louis of Toulouse Crowning His Brother, King Robert of Anjou.” Two years later he composed for the Church of Santa Caterina, Pisa, a colouristically magnificent Madonna polyptych. Perhaps in the middle of the 1320s he began the 10 scenes, full of chivalrous ideals, from the life of St. Martin of Tours in this saint's chapel in the lower Church of San Francesco, Assisi. His equestrian portrait (1328) representing Guidoriccio da Fogliano, general of the Sienese republic, was perhaps the first Sienese
work of art that did not serve a religious purpose. It was also an important precedent for the numerous equestrian portraits of the Renaissance. On the other hand, the “Annunciation” triptych, painted for the Siena Cathedral, but now in the Uffizi, Florence, is deliberately unreal. Simone signed this work in 1333 with his brother-in-law, the Sienese painter Lippo Memmi, an associate for many years. The exquisite rhythm of the lines and dematerialized forms of Gabriel and Mary in the central portion of the “Annunciation” led a number of artists to imitation, but none of them achieved such vibrant contours and such spirited forms as did Simone in this greatmasterpiece.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)
 
 
 
 

Simone Martini.
Death of
St Martin, Lower Church, Assisi. c. 1326.


 

Simone Martini
Stained glass window
1312
St Louis Chapel, Lower Church,
San Francesco

 

 
 

Simone Martini
Stained glass window
1312
St Louis Chapel, Lower Church,
San Francesco

 

 

Simone Martini
Stained glass window
1312
St Louis Chapel, Lower Church, San Francesco

 

 
 
 

Madonna of Mercy
1308-1310
Pinacoteca
Nazionale, Bologna

 

Madonna and Child
1308-1310
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna


 

 

Meditation
1312-1317


 

 

Miracle of Fire
1312-1317


 

 

Miraculous Mass
1312-1317


 

 

The Miracle of the Resurrected Child
1312-1317

 
 
 
 

 
 
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