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(b ?Siena, ?1284; d Avignon, July/Aug. 1344). Next to Duccio, the most distinguished painter of the Sienese School. Nothing certain is known of him before 1315. Vasari says that he was a pupil of Giotto, but the prevailing opinion is that he probably trained in Duccio's circle; certainly he learnt much from the decorative use of outline, colour, and patterning characteristic of Duccio's work. The main features of his style are present in his earliest surviving work, the large fresco of the Maestà (1315; reworked 1321) in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena: the sumptuous materials and the aloofness of the Madonna derive from the Byzantine style of the older generation; the decorative line, gesture, and expression are informed by the gracious Gothic fashion that was now current in Siena; and the use of foreshortening to create depth shows the awakening desire for more lifelike effects.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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