Duccio di Buoninsegna is Siena’s greatest painter. His first masterpiece, the Rucellai Madonna follows the style of Cimabue’s (1240–1302) Maestà (Madonna and Child) and the two can be seen together in the Uffizi in Florence. The Cimabue is still in the hieratic Italo-Byzantine tradition but breaks free of it in the more lifelike proportions and shading. The Duccio is more intimate and lyrical, more elegant in line, and with richer decorative patterning, like English and French gothic painting of the time. These characteristics were to remain fundamental to Sienese painting until the end of the gothic period.
No fully attributed paintings by Duccio has been offered in public auction in the last thirty years. Works by the artist have been sold through private channels exclusively.
Books on Duccio
Keith Christiansen, Duccio and the Origins of Western Painting, New York, 2008.
Luciano Bellosi and Giovanni Ragioneri, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Florence, 2003.
Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artist, 1550, trans. Julia Conway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella, New York, 2009.