Sienese painter, c.1255/60 - 1315/19
Duccio was the first, and arguably the greatest of Sienese artists, comparable with Cimabue and Giotto. It is therefore surprising how badly informed Vasari was concerning him, and the Life clearly demonstrates the difficulty he had in getting reliable information outside Florence. Vasari mentions the Maesta, which, despite his 'utmost diligence' and its considerable size, he failed to locate in the Duomo. Most of it is still in Siena, with some smaller pieces in London and the United States.
Duccio's Rucellai Madonna was attributed by Vasari to Cimabue, along with the triumphal procession that accompanied the installation of the Maesta in Siena Cathedral.
|Vasari relied entirely on the few lines of Ghiberti's Commentarii written about 1450. Ghiberti's note on Duccio reads, in full: "In Siena there was also Duccio, who was most noble; he retained the Greek manner; by his hand is the main altarpiece of the cathedral of Siena; and on the front of it the Coronation of Our Lady and on the back the New Testament. The picture was most excellently done and with great skill. It is a magnificent thing and he was a most noble painter."|
The Virgin and Christ Child enthroned with angels and Saints
The front face of the Maesta (above)
The passion of Christ (back face of the panel)
Detail from the main front panel
From the front predella
|The Nativity, flanked by the Old Testament prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel who foretold the birth of Jesus|
|Detail of the Nativity|
|The Adoration of the Magi|
|The Massacre of the Innocents|
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