Simone Martini

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Simone Martini:

see Martini, SimoneMartini, Simone
, or Simone di Martino
, c.1283–1344, major Sienese painter. His art is admired for its Gothic spirituality combined with a vibrancy and a great elegance of line.
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Martini, Simone

(sēmô`nā märtē`nē), or

Simone di Martino

(dē märtē`nō), c.1283–1344, major Sienese painter. His art is admired for its Gothic spirituality combined with a vibrancy and a great elegance of line. A follower of Duccio di Buoninsegna, his earliest known work (1315) was a fresco depicting the Maestà (Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints and Angels) in the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. In 1317, King Robert of Anjou invited him to Naples to paint St. Louis Enthroned (Naples Mus.). He created altarpieces for the Dominicans of Pisa and Orvieto. One of these is now in the Gardner Museum, Boston. In 1328 he painted one of the first commemorative portraits, an impressive, almost heraldic, image of the soldier Guidoriccio da Fogliano, with a starkly landscaped background (Palazzo Pubblico, Siena). His painting of the Annunciation (1333; Uffizi) is famous for its exquisitely refined use of outline. In this work, as in others, he was assisted by his brother-in-law Lippo Memmi. At the invitation of Pope Benedict XII, he went to Avignon in 1339 and decorated the portal of Notre Dame des Dons (almost obliterated). He became friends with Petrarch and designed a frontispiece for him for a Vergil codex (Ambrosian Library, Milan). His frescoes (of uncertain date) at Assisi include lively scenes from the life of St. Martin. Other works by Simone are in Siena, Berlin, Liverpool, and in the Louvre.

Simone Martini


Born circa 1284 in Siena; died July 1344 in Avignon, France. Italian painter.

Simone Martini followed in the tradition of Duccio di Buoninsegna, under whom he probably trained. He was also influenced by French Late Gothic art. In addition to working in Tuscany, Simone worked in Naples (1317), Orvieto (1320), Assisi (1320’s), and Avignon (from 1340). His works include several frescoes, including Maestd (Palazzo Pubblico, Siena, 1315), scenes from the life of St. Martin of Tours (lower church of San Francesco, Assisi, c. 1326), and a portrait of the condottiere Guidoriccio dei Fogliani (Palazzo Pubblico, Siena, 1328). He also did a number of altarpieces, for example, St. Louis of Toulouse Crowning His Brother, King Robert ofAnjou (c. 1317, National Museum and Gallery of Capodimonte, Naples), Annunciation (1333, Uffizi Gallery, Florence), and The Lord’s Passion (1340’s, Berlin-Dahlem Picture Gallery and other museums).

Chivalric ideals of the past, with an intrinsic refined spiritualism, gradually became dominant in Simone’s works. An emotionally expressive palette and refinement of line and silhouette characterize the artist’s paintings. While Simone worked in Avignon, he became close friends with Petrarch, for whom he did a portrait of Laura (now lost) and the frontispiece of a manuscript of Vergil (Ambrosiana Library, Milan).


Paccagnini, G. Simone Martini. Milan, 1955.
Carli, E. Simone Martini. Milan, 1959.
Mariani, V. Simone Martini e il suo tempo. Naples [1968].
References in periodicals archive ?
He is the actor-poet who performs the many monologues in this dramatic poem--many of them in the voice of his alterego, Simone Martini.
Simone Martini lives at any given moment both levels of consciousness: the earthbound physical, and the ethereal celestial.
As Luzi defines the character of Simone Martini, he employs the metaphor of the curtain ("sipario") to point to the artifice of life--the life we live each day--as opposed to the universe or heavens beyond that life: "che c'e oltre il sipario / che gli s'apre, cielo / impercettibilmente, / penombra di caverne--o niente" (Tutte le poesie 996).
Bonaffini's choice of this collection, instead of more recent writings, is particularly pertinent because Earthly and Heavenly Journey of Simone Martini has a very strong autobiographical connotation, brought out by the fact that the journey is to be understood as a journey into the self and not just as a geographical one.
It is an aspect of Sienese art that has been interpreted as indicating a paucity of original ideas by artists of the generation that followed Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti, yet it may also be interpreted, as it is here, as the way in which the Sienese reinforced their civic identity and independence, particularly from Florentine trends, even though they were aware of, and responded to, the developments of other artistic centres.
Simone Martini, believed to have been born around 1284, is the leading figure in early 14th century painting in Sienna, and one of the great Italian painters of the late middle ages.
The back of the panel looked like tooled leather so when it was totally folded it would be carried like a book by the bishop or cardinal who owned it - we know it must have been someone wealthy to commission Simone Martini.
The Simone Martini exhibition, which brings together a number of contemporary or later Italian paintings on related subjects from the two Birmingham collections, is the first temporary exhibition ever held at the Barber Institute, since showing borrowed works was originally forbidden in the terms of Lady Barber's will.
I shall here concentrate on these differences--which have not, as yet, been sufficiently addressed--and consider them in relation to the composition of the Guidoriccio, for it is my contention that careful analysis of the fresco's design reveals certain modes of thought and visual expression habitual to Lippo Memmi but quite foreign to Simone Martini.
It has been claimed in the past that this type of stamped decoration, and even the particular variety of punching tool used, can only be found in the works of Simone Martini.
34) Furthermore, Cathleen Hoeniger is of the opinion that 'the skill and imagination with which the relief work on the fresco is carried out, supports an attribution of at least these portions of the painting to Simone Martini or a skilled associate'.
9 The Petrarch sonnets on a portrait of Laura by Simone Martini are Rime sparse 77 ("Per mirar Policleto a provar fiso") and 78 ("Quando giunse a Simon l'alto concetto").