Duccio di Buoninsegna

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Buoninsegna, Duccio di:

see Duccio di BuoninsegnaDuccio di Buoninsegna
, fl. 1278–1319, early Italian artist, first great painter of Siena. Infusing new life into the stylized Byzantine tradition, he initiated a style intrinsic to the development of the Sienese school—the expressive use of outline.
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Duccio di Buoninsegna

(do͞ot`chō dē bwōnēnsā`nyä), fl. 1278–1319, early Italian artist, first great painter of Siena. Infusing new life into the stylized Byzantine tradition, he initiated a style intrinsic to the development of the Sienese school—the expressive use of outline. The use of line varied from a vigorous quality in his rendering of narrative scenes to a lyrical and majestic tone in his portrayal of the Madonna and angels. In Siena he is recorded as having decorated some official chests in 1278 and as having painted a book cover in 1285. Also in 1285 he was commissioned to paint a Madonna for Santa Maria Novella, Florence, today identified with the Rucellai Madonna (Uffizi). His most celebrated and only authenticated work is a large altar called the Maestà in the Siena cathedral. It was finished in 1311 and was carried to its place by a rejoicing populace. While the main panel of the altar remains in the cathedral, the scattered predelle are now in the galleries of London and Berlin; the Frick Collection, New York City; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and several private collections. Several other works are attributed to Duccio on stylistic grounds, including the design of stained-glass windows in the cathedral at Siena.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Duccio Di Buoninsegna


Born circa 1255; died circa 1319. Italian painter. Founder of the 14th-century Sienese school of painting.

Duccio di Buoninsegna did not join the masters of the Roman and Florentine schools in their quest for the innovative. Although primarily influenced by Italo-Byzantine painting and French Gothic miniature painting, Duccio’s works do re-veal some characteristics of pre-Renaissance art. His altar-pieces, distinguished by gold ornamental backgrounds and vivid, refined color schemes, are lyrical and possess an emotionally expressive and refined linear rhythm (for example, the Madonna With Saints, National Pinocoteca, Siena, and the Rucellai Madonna, 1285, Ufizzi Gallery, Florence). In his main work, the Maestà altarpiece for the Cathedral of Siena (a double-sided polyptych, 1308-11, main part now in the Cathedral Museum, Siena), Duccio represented the Madonna enthroned with angels and saints on the obverse side and scenes of the passion of Christ on the reverse side. Without totally breaking away from medieval canons, Duccio sought to endow traditional compositional schemes with a more convincing lifelike quality and to convey a sense of volume and space. There are several reconstructions suggesting the original form of the polyptych.


Alpatov, M. V. Ital’ianskoe iskusstvo epokhi Dante i Dzhotto. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939. Pages 110-17.
Lazarev, V. N. Proiskhozhdenie ital’ianskogo Vozrozhdeniia, vol. 2. Moscow, 1959. Pages 157-65.
Brandi, C. Duccio. Florence, 1951.
Carli, E. Duccio. Milan, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Duccio di Buoninsegna

?1255--?1318, Italian painter; founder of the Sienese school
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Even for Christians, it is hard in the 21st century to imagine the jubilation with which Duccio di Buoninsegna's grand "Maesta" was carried from his workshop through the streets of Siena to the high altar of the city's cathedral on June 9, 1311.
Created--"painted" is for too prosaic a word--in the closing years of the thirteenth century, the diminutive panel has firmly maintained its place in the slim catalogue of Duccio di Buoninsegna's works since it first surfaced in a Roman collection at the turn of the last century.
Mulvaney, "Reading Gesture on Duccio di Buoninsegna's Maesta: Art, Drama, and Ritual in Late-Medieval Siena" (13-44); Barbara I.
A forma geometrica e saliente das muralhas de Lorenzetti e muito semelhante a forma das muralhas pintadas por Simone Martini (c.1284-11344) no mesmo Palacio comunal de Siena (Moretti, 1998: 70) e Duccio di Buoninsegna (c.1255-1319) (De Seta, 1991: 32).
After admiring the Maesta of Duccio di Buoninsegna, I descend the steep staircase to the baptistery, passing under the harmonious arch that would have been a side entrance to the grand cathedral, had it been completed.
I have read that Molloy's red stripes are of "the kind used in Maesta." Maesta, by Duccio di Buoninsegna, is the supreme masterpiece of Sienese painting.
Duccio undertakes "to paint the said panel and to adorn it with the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her omnipotent Son and other figures, in accordance with the wishes and pleasure of the said commissioners" (my italics and James Stubblebine's translation in Duccio di Buoninsegna and His School [Princeton 1979], 1: 192-94).