Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Museum of Art >> Hall of Italian Art >> 501.jpg





American’s Four United Republics: Discovery-Based Curriculum

For More Information go to America's Four United Republics Curriculum


 


Duccio Di Buoninsegna

1255 - 1318

Sienese Artist



Nativity With Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel

Painter, and founder of the Sienese School, b. about 1255 or 1260, place not known; d. 3 August, 1319. About this time Siena was at the zenith of her political power. She had just defeated Florence on the field of Montaperti (4 September, 1260), and an era of marvellous development followed this conquest. Then was begun the huge task of building the cathedral, where, in 1266, was commenced the incomparable pulpit sculptured by Nicholas of Pisa, and it was under these flourishing conditions that Duccio received his artistic education. However, he owed nothing to the Gothic style nor to the naturalistic renaissance of Nicholas of Pisa: he allied himself exclusively with Byzantine tradition. Duccio has been called the "Last of the Greeks", and his genius consisted in giving exquisite expression to the refined sentiment of the masters of Byzantium, discovering its original meaning despite the barbarous, hideous imitations made by a degenerate school.

Duccio is first mentioned in 1278, when he was engaged upon minor work, such as painting the coffers of the archives and the tablettes (memorandum-books) of the Biccherna, one of them for the year 1293 now in the Industrial Museum of Berlin. But his great work at this time was the famous "Madonna de' Ruccellai" — one of the most illustrious specimens of Italian painting — preserved at Florence in a side-chapel of Santa Maria Novella and, on the authority of Vasari, so long considered one of Cimabue's masterpieces. But that the painting was Duccio's is now beyond question, as Milanesi has published the text of a contract drawn up for this picture, 15 April, 1285, between the artist and the rectors of the Confraternity of the Virgin. Although still hieratical and archaic, Duccio's "Madonna", when compared, for instance, with that of Guido of Siena, painted in 1221 and shown today in the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena, seems fully to deserve its celebrity.
But it was in 1311 that Duccio achieved his principal work, the glory of which is destined to remain traditional, the great reredos for the high altar of the Siena cathedral. This panel, removed in the fifteenth century, may now be seen in the museum of the Opera del Duomo. The day of its installation was observed as a public feast; shops were closed and bells were rung and the people of the city, carrying lighted candles, solemnly escorted the picture from the artist's residence at the Porta Stalloreggi to the cathedral. This painting was indeed a national masterpiece and in this regard is comparable only to the reredos by Van Eyck in Flemish painting. The two sides represent the two Testaments of the school. The back comprises twenty-six scenes from the life of Jesus between the entry into Jerusalem and the Ascension. The steps, now taken apart, were decorated with twenty other scenes representing Christ's childhood, and His miracles, and the life of the Virgin. In fact, the theme was the same as that treated by Giotto in 1305 in the Arena of Padua. But Duccio consulted Byzantine formularies only, and his compositions resemble the famous miniatures of the "Evangelistarium" of Rossano, or those of the great Benedictine school of Mont' Amiata. However, apart from his perfect taste in colour and in style, Duccio excelled in the essentially Greek elegance of his portrayal of ordinary life. He abounds in genre pictures as pure as some of the selections in the Anthology. The scene of "Peter before the High-Priest", the dialogue of the holy women with the angel at the Sepulchre, and the "Pilgrims of Emmaus" are models of poetic conception expressed in a familiar, true-to-life, lyric fashion. On the front of the great panel is the "Madonna Maestà" (Majesty), which is in reality the "Madonna de' Ruccellai" more amply, richly, and harmoniously developed. Never did Byzantine painting attain greater plasticity of expression. But here the form is animated by a new sentiment, a tenderness that manifests itself in the distich engraved on the step of the Virgin's throne: --


Duccio painted only frame (and panel) pictures and, without doubt, miniatures, and hence the oblivion into which he fell in a country where monumental painting alone is glorified. Nevertheless his is the first of the great names in Italian painting. He preceded Giotto by a score of years and had the honour of founding an original Sienese school at a time when there were as yet no painters in Florence: since, in 1285, it was to him that the Florentines had to have recourse. And the most magnificent work of the Sienese School, the "Maest..." by Simone di Martino, in the Palazzo Pubblico (1315) is but an enlargement of Duccio's. His type of beauty and his poetic ideal were indelibly impressed upon this charming school. Duccio seems to have been gay and light-hearted. In 1313 he was imprisoned for debt and at another time fined for refusing to mount guard. Some of his lesser works are preserved in various collections in the Siena Museum, the National Gallery, London, and at Windsor.


America's Four United Republics Exhibit - Click Here


Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy

Search:

About Us

 

 

Image Use

Please join us in our mission to incorporate America's Four United Republics discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here

 

Childhood & Family

Click Here

 

Historic Documents

Articles of Association

Articles of Confederation 1775

Articles of Confederation

Article the First

Coin Act

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

Emancipation Proclamation

Gettysburg Address

Monroe Doctrine

Northwest Ordinance

No Taxation Without Representation

Thanksgiving Proclamations

Mayflower Compact

Treaty of Paris 1763

Treaty of Paris 1783

Treaty of Versailles

United Nations Charter

United States In Congress Assembled

US Bill of Rights

United States Constitution

US Continental Congress

US Constitution of 1777

US Constitution of 1787

Virginia Declaration of Rights

 

Historic Events

Battle of New Orleans

Battle of Yorktown

Cabinet Room

Civil Rights Movement

Federalist Papers

Fort Duquesne

Fort Necessity

Fort Pitt

French and Indian War

Jumonville Glen

Manhattan Project

Stamp Act Congress

Underground Railroad

US Hospitality

US Presidency

Vietnam War

War of 1812

West Virginia Statehood

Woman Suffrage

World War I

World War II

 

Is it Real?



Declaration of
Independence

Digital Authentication
Click Here

 

America’s Four Republics
The More or Less United States

 
Continental Congress
U.C. Presidents

Peyton Randolph

Henry Middleton

Peyton Randolph

John Hancock

  

Continental Congress
U.S. Presidents

John Hancock

Henry Laurens

John Jay

Samuel Huntington

  

Constitution of 1777
U.S. Presidents

Samuel Huntington

Samuel Johnston
Elected but declined the office

Thomas McKean

John Hanson

Elias Boudinot

Thomas Mifflin

Richard Henry Lee

John Hancock
[
Chairman David Ramsay]

Nathaniel Gorham

Arthur St. Clair

Cyrus Griffin

  

Constitution of 1787
U.S. Presidents

George Washington 

John Adams
Federalist Party


Thomas Jefferson
Republican* Party

James Madison 
Republican* Party

James Monroe
Republican* Party

John Quincy Adams
Republican* Party
Whig Party

Andrew Jackson
Republican* Party
Democratic Party


Martin Van Buren
Democratic Party

William H. Harrison
Whig Party

John Tyler
Whig Party

James K. Polk
Democratic Party

David Atchison**
Democratic Party

Zachary Taylor
Whig Party

Millard Fillmore
Whig Party

Franklin Pierce
Democratic Party

James Buchanan
Democratic Party


Abraham Lincoln 
Republican Party

Jefferson Davis***
Democratic Party

Andrew Johnson
Republican Party

Ulysses S. Grant 
Republican Party

Rutherford B. Hayes
Republican Party

James A. Garfield
Republican Party

Chester Arthur 
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland
Democratic Party

Benjamin Harrison
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland 
Democratic Party

William McKinley
Republican Party

Theodore Roosevelt
Republican Party

William H. Taft 
Republican Party

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic Party

Warren G. Harding 
Republican Party

Calvin Coolidge
Republican Party

Herbert C. Hoover
Republican Party

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic Party

Harry S. Truman
Democratic Party

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican Party

John F. Kennedy
Democratic Party

Lyndon B. Johnson 
Democratic Party 

Richard M. Nixon 
Republican Party

Gerald R. Ford 
Republican Party

James Earl Carter, Jr. 
Democratic Party

Ronald Wilson Reagan 
Republican Party

George H. W. Bush
Republican Party 

William Jefferson Clinton
Democratic Party

George W. Bush 
Republican Party

Barack H. Obama
Democratic Party

Please Visit

Forgotten Founders
Norwich, CT

Annapolis Continental
Congress Society


U.S. Presidency
& Hospitality

© Stan Klos

 

 

 

 


Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum