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Duccio di Buoninsegna

Duccio di Buoninsegna (dōtˈchō dē bwōnēnsāˈnyä) [key], 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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