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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Duccio
Maesta 021.jpg
Maestà detail of Madonna and Child on throne
Born
Duccio di Buoninsegna

c. 1255–1260
Diedc. 1318–1319 (aged 57–64)
Siena, Republic of Siena
Known forPainting
Notable work
Rucellai Madonna (1285), Maestà (1308–1311)
MovementSienese school, Gothic Style

Duccio di Buoninsegna (UK: /ˈdi/ DOO-chee-oh,[1] Italian: [ˈduttʃo di ˌbwɔninˈseɲɲa]; c. 1255–1260c. 1318–1319) was an Italian painter active in Siena, Tuscany, in the late 13th and early 14th century. He was hired throughout his life to complete many important works in government and religious buildings around Italy. Duccio is credited with creating the painting styles of Trecento and the Sienese school, and also contributed significantly to the Sienese Gothic style.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Duccio, Maesta (front)
  • ✪ Sienese Art: Duccio, Martini, and Lorenzetti
  • ✪ Duccio, Maesta (back)
  • ✪ Duccio, The Rucellai Madonna
  • ✪ Les clés du regard [1] - Duccio

Transcription

(piano playing) Dr. Zucker: We're in the museum of the Cathedral of Siena and we're looking at, probably the single most famous work of art from Siena. Certainly one of the most important works of art from the 14th Century. This is Duccio's Maesta. Dr. Harris: The title means The Virgin Mary in Majesty. Dr. Zucker: We see her very large, in the center of the main panel. She is by far the largest figure anywhere in this painting. Dr. Harris: This is a polyptic, it's made out of many, many panels, not all of which are here in the museum unfortunately. The Maesta is painted on both the front and the back, so Mary's on the front and stories of Mary's life are on the front, but the story of Christ is on the back. Dr. Zucker: In a sense, this is a freestanding painting, it is this large sculptural object that has all of this imagery all over it. Dr. Harris: The figures, the Saint's, and Prophets, and angel's are almost life-size. Dr. Zucker: It's true, there are three rows of them and they're lined up almost as if it were for a class picture. There are four local Saint's in front and then angels and Saint's in the second row and I think an unbroken row of angels in the back. We would have originally seen a predella below. That is a step of small paintings and then above the large panel there would have been a series of scenes as well. We think that the predella would have held scenes of the early life of the Virgin Mary. Then above, her death and ascent into Heaven. Dr. Harris: And there would have been a really elaborate frame. Dr. Zucker: In the previous century, Siena had won a significant battle against it's arch rival, Florence. Now, both Siena and Florence were wealthy city states and as they were independent nations. They were often at war with each other. Siena had believed that they won because of the grace of Mary. Many years later, the town of Siena, commissioned their most famous painter, Duccio, to create a very large painting dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It would have stood exactly on the altar of the Cathedral, in the crossing, just under the dome. As you approach the high altar you would be able to make out, just at the bottom, an inscription that read, "Holy Mother of God, be the cause of peace "to Siena and to the life of Duccio, "because he has painted thee, thus." Now, Siena was very much a competitor with Florence and the great Florentine painter of the day was Giotto. He had painted a major cycle telling the story of the Virgin Mary, of Christ's parents, of Christ, himself, and in some ways the Maesta was a kind of answer to that; We can do this too, we can be as comprehensive and have a masterpiece. Dr. Harris: I think they proved that, they did something that rivals what Giotto did in the Arena Chapel. Dr. Zucker: But while Giotto's painting was fresco, fresco didn't make sense for the Cathedral of Siena because the Cathedral of Siena is made of alternating blocks of black and white marble. Dr. Harris: It has a very decorative interior that wouldn't have worked with fresco and so it made sense to do a panel painting for the altar piece. Dr. Zucker: You have to remember that at the end of the Medieval, Mary had taken on an enormously important role. She was the bridge that normal people could access Christ through. You would speak and pray to the Virgin Mary and she would perhaps speak to her son on your behalf. Dr. Harris: Right, she had the role of an intercessor or someone who intercedes between God and mankind. Dr. Zucker: As is traditional, she is garbed in this intense blue, which must have been fabulously expensive given all the Lapis that would have been required to produce that ultramarine paint. There is this beautiful embroidered gold in this drape behind her. Dr. Harris: There are a lot of decorative surfaces that was something that was particular to the Sienese style. Dr. Zucker: There is a real sense of delicacy and subtlety. Look, for instance, at the clothing that Christ is swaddled in. There's a kind of transparency around his leg, there's a beautiful modulation of light and shadow, there's real chiaroscuro that's being used here, not only striations of gold. This is not the earlier work of Cimabue. This is an artist, Duccio, who's moving steadily and carefully and obviously very conscientiously towards creating a sense of real mask and real volume. Dr. Harris: The drapery around Christ is so softly and beautifully modeled. Look at how Christ with his left hand pulls at the drapery and you see those folds that pull towards him. Dr. Zucker: Yes, that's right. Dr. Harris: And the modeling that we see under Christ's chin and neck. He really is three dimensional in the way that we begin to see artists like Giotto, also in the early 1300s creating forms that are three dimensional. Dr. Zucker: And look at the face of Christ, there is a look of awareness of the kind of wisdom that is piercing. He seems to look directly at us and it is the stare of a fully conscience adult. Dr. Harris: The angels are remarkably animated, some look at Mary, some look away, some look at us; there's a kind of informality. Dr. Zucker: It's true, that informality is so unexpected. Dr. Harris: Yeah, you would expect something a lot more rigid, this is the Court of Heaven after all. Dr. Zucker: Which is really quite wonderful and gives it a sense of complexity. Dr. Harris: I'm also noticing the lovely curls that make up the wings of the angel's that somehow actually start to almost feel like feathers. Dr. Zucker: They create a sense of volume, those wings are not flat. Dr. Harris: If we look down at the ground we see the throne opening out moving into our space. Dr. Zucker: Now remember, in the Medieval era, Cathedral's and churches, in general, were not open for people to walk through as they are now. The lay people, that is every day people, would have gone to the front of the church only. The area of the altar at the back of the church, would have been reserved for those that were associated directly with the church. It's interesting to think about the Maesta in relationship to this. It meant that the public would have had access to the side of the painting that focused on the Virgin Mary. Dr. Harris: The intercessor between man and the divine. Dr. Zucker: But a more privileged view perhaps was available to the monks, to the priest, to those that were associated directly with the church. Let's walk around to the back and take a look at those panels. (piano playing)

Contents

Biography

Although much is still unconfirmed about Duccio and his life, there is more documentation of him and his life than of other Italian painters of his time. It is known that he was born and died in the city of Siena, and was also mostly active in the surrounding region of Tuscany. Other details of his early life and family are as uncertain, as much else in his history.

One avenue to reconstructing Duccio's biography are the traces of him in archives that list when he ran up debts or incurred fines. Some records say he was married with seven children. The relative abundance of archival mentions has led historians to believe that he had difficulties managing his life and his money. Due to his debts, Duccio's family disassociated themselves from him after his death.[2]

Another route to filling in Duccio's biography are by analyzing the works that can be attributed to him with certainty. Information can be obtained by analyzing his style, the date and location of the works, and more. Due to gaps where Duccio's name goes unmentioned in the Sienese records for years at a time, scholars speculate he may have traveled to Paris, Assisi and Rome.[3]

Nevertheless, his artistic talents were enough to overshadow his lack of organization as a citizen, and he became famous in his own lifetime. In the 14th century Duccio became one of the most favored and radical painters in Siena.

Artistic career

The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew (from the Maestà) c. 1308–1311.
The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew (from the Maestà) c. 1308–1311.

Where Duccio studied, and with whom, is still a matter of great debate, but by analyzing his style and technique art historians have been able to limit the field.[4] Many believe that he studied under Cimabue, while others think that maybe he had actually traveled to Constantinople himself and learned directly from a Byzantine master.

Little is known of his painting career prior to 1278, when at the age of 23 he is recorded as having painted twelve account book cases.[5] Although Duccio was active from 1268 to about 1311 only approximately 13 of his works survive today.[6]

Of Duccio's surviving works, only two can be definitively dated. Both were major public commissions:[7] the "Rucellai Madonna" (Galleria degli Uffizi), commissioned in April 1285 by the Compagnia del Laudesi di Maria Vergine for a chapel in Santa Maria Novella in Florence; and the Maestà commissioned for the high altar of Siena Cathedral in 1308, which Duccio completed by June 1311.[8]

Style

Madonna with child, the child touching the virgin's veil
Madonna with child, the child touching the virgin's veil
The Nativity with the Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel, 1308–1311, National Gallery of Art
The Nativity with the Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel, 1308–1311, National Gallery of Art

Duccio's known works are on wood panel, painted in egg tempera and embellished with gold leaf. Differently from his contemporaries and artists before him, Duccio was a master of tempera and managed to conquer the medium with delicacy and precision. There is no clear evidence that Duccio painted frescoes.[4]

Duccio's style was similar to Byzantine art in some ways, with its gold backgrounds and familiar religious scenes, however it was also different and more experimental. Duccio began to break down the sharp lines of Byzantine art, and soften the figures. He used modeling (playing with light and dark colors) to reveal the figures underneath the heavy drapery; hands, faces, and feet became more rounded and three-dimensional. Duccio's paintings are inviting and warm with color. His pieces consisted of many delicate details and were sometimes inlaid with jewels or ornamental fabrics. Duccio was also noted for his complex organization of space. He organized his characters specifically and purposefully. In his "Rucellai Madonna" (c. 1285) the viewer can see all of these qualities at play.[9]

Duccio was also one of the first painters to put figures in architectural settings, as he began to explore and investigate depth and space. He also had a refined attention to emotion not seen in other painters at this time. The characters interact tenderly with each other; it is no longer Christ and the Virgin, it is mother and child. He flirts with naturalism, but his paintings are still awe inspiring. Duccio's figures seem to be otherworldly or heavenly, consisting of beautiful colors, soft hair, gracefulness and fabrics not available to mere humans.

He influenced many other painters, most notably Simone Martini, and the brothers Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti.

Followers of Duccio

In the course of his life, Duccio had many pupils, even if it is not known if these were true pupils, formed and matured artistically within his workshop, or simply painters who imitated his style. Many of these artists are anonymous, and their connection to Duccio has emerged only from analysis of a body of work with common stylistic traits. The first pupils, whom we can refer to as a group as first-generation followers, were active between about 1290 and 1320 and include the Master of Badia a Isola, the Master of Città di Castello, the Aringhieri Master, the Master of the Collazioni dei Santi Padri and the Master of San Polo in Rosso.

Another group of followers, who could be termed followers of the second generation, were active between about 1300 and 1335 and include Segna di Bonaventura, Ugolino di Nerio, the Master of the Gondi Maestà, the Master of Monte Oliveto and the Master of Monterotondo. It should however be said that Segna di Bonaventura was already active prior to 1300, so that he overlaps as to period both the first and second generation of followers.

A third group followed Duccio only at a distance of several years after his death, a fact which shows the impact his painting had on Siena and on Tuscany as a whole. The artists of this third group, active between about 1330 and 1350, include Segna di Bonaventura's sons, that is, Niccolò di Segna and Francesco di Segna, and a pupil of Ugolino di Nerio, namely, the Master of Chianciano.

Some of these artists were influenced by Duccio alone, to the point of creating a decided affinity or kinship between their works and his. Among these the Master of Badia a Isola, and Ugolino di Nerio, along with Segna di Bonaventura and their sons. Other artists were influenced also by other schools, and these include the Aringhieri Master (think of the massive volumes of Giotto), and the Master of the Gondi Maestà (who shows the influence also of Simone Martini).

The case of Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti is somewhat different. These two artists painted works that have affinities with Duccio: for Simone from about 1305, and Pietro from about 1310 onwards. However, from the outset their work showed distinctive individual features, as can be seen in Simone's Madonna and Child no. 583 (1305–1310) and in Pietro's Orsini Triptych, painted at Assisi (about 1310–1315). Later the two developed styles with completely independent characteristics such that they acquired an artistic standing that elevates them well beyond being labelled simply as followers of Duccio.

Gallery

Known surviving works

Madonna with Child, c. 1300–1305.
Madonna with Child, c. 1300–1305.

References

  1. ^ "Duccio". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  2. ^ Eimerl, Sarel (1967). The World of Giotto: c. 1267–1337. et al. Time-Life Books. p. 62. ISBN 0-900658-15-0.
  3. ^ Gordon, Dillian (28 July 2014). "Duccio (di Buoninsegna)". Oxford Art Online. Archived from the original on 2016-12-30. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b Smart 1978, p. 39.
  5. ^ White, John (1993). Art and Architecture in Italy 1250–1400. ISBN 0300055854.
  6. ^ smarthistory.khanacademy.org/duccio-madonna.html
  7. ^ a b "Madonna and Child Duccio di Buoninsegna (Italian, active by 1278–died 1318 Siena)". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  8. ^ Smart 1978, p. 40.
  9. ^ Polzer, Joseph (2005). "A Question of Method: Quantitative Aspects of Art Historical Analysis in the Classification of Early Trecento Italian Painting Based on Ornamental Practice". Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorisches Institutes in Florenz. 49 (1/2): 33–100. JSTOR 27655375.
  10. ^ "Triptych: Crucifixion and other Scenes c. 1302–08". royalcollection.org.uk. 2018. Archived from the original on Apr 11, 2015. Retrieved Jul 27, 2018.
  11. ^ Christiansen, Keith. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2004–2005." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 63 (Fall 2005), pp. 14–15, ill. on cover (color, cropped) and p. 14 (color).
  12. ^ "The Crucifixion; the Redeemer with Angels; Saint Nicholas; Saint Gregory, 1311–18, Duccio di Buoninsegna (Italian (Sienese), active in 1278, died by 1319)". Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Retrieved 24 December 2016.

Sources

  • Beck, James (2006). Duccio to Raphael. European Press Academic Publishing. ISBN 8883980433.
  • Smart, Alastair (1978). The Dawn of Italian Painting 1250–1400. Oxford: Phaidon. ISBN 0714817694.

Further reading

  • Bellosi, Luciano (1999). Duccio: The Maestà. New York: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 978-0500237717.
  • Bellosi, Luciano; Ragionieri, Giovanna (2003). Duccio di Buoninsegna. Giunti Editore. ISBN 978-8809032088.
  • Jannella, Cecilia (1991). Duccio di Buoninsegna. Scala/Riverside. ISBN 978-1878351180.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 November 2019, at 23:16
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