Simone Martini

(redirected from Simone Memmi)

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:

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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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