Artist: Duccio di Buoninsegna (Italian, active by 1278–died 1318 Siena)
Date: ca. 1290–1300
Medium: Tempera and gold on wood
Dimensions: Overall, with engaged frame, 11 x 8 1/4 in. (27.9 x 21 cm); painted surface 9 3/8 x 6 1/2 in. (23.8 x 16.5 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, Rogers Fund, Walter and Leonore Annenberg and The Annenberg Foundation Gift, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, Annette de la Renta Gift, Harris Brisbane Dick, Fletcher, Louis V. Bell, and Dodge Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, several members of The Chairman's Council Gifts, Elaine L. Rosenberg and Stephenson Family Foundation Gifts, 2003 Benefit Fund, and other gifts and funds from various donors, 2004
Accession Number: 2004.442
Duccio is the founder of Sienese painting and one of the great figures of Western art. This lyrical work inaugurates the grand tradition in Italian art of envisioning the sacred figures of the Madonna and Child in terms appropriated from real life. The Christ Child gently pushes away the veil of his mother, whose sorrowful expression reflects her foreknowledge of his crucifixion. The beautifully modeled drapery enhances their three-dimensional, physical presence and the parapet connects the fictive, sacred world of the painting with the temporal one of the viewer.
The bottom edge of the original frame is marked by candle burns.