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Part of European Paintings
Simone Martini (Italian, Siena, active by 1315–died 1344 Avignon)
Date: ca. 1326Accession Number: 41.100.23
Duccio di Buoninsegna (Italian, active by 1278–died 1318 Siena)
Date: ca. 1290–1300Accession Number: 2004.442
Sassetta (Stefano di Giovanni) (Italian, Siena or Cortona ca. 1400–1450 Siena)
Date: ca. 1433–35Accession Number: 43.98.1
Giovanni di Paolo (Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia) (Italian, Siena 1398–1482 Siena)
Accession Number: 1997.117.3
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Together with Giotto in Florence, Duccio in Siena was one of the founders of European painting. But his art was concerned less with constructing a rigorously rational space and solid, three-dimensional figures than with exploring a realm of tender emotion and refined color. He was Matisse to Giotto's Picasso. His pupil Simone Martini—whose work combines naturalistic observation with exquisitely elaborated details—followed the papal court to Avignon, where he died in 1344, and thereby extended Duccio's influence throughout Europe. In Sienese art, there is a persistent tension between the rational and irrational; the hyperbeautiful and the grotesque; tenderness and violence. Not surprisingly, the appreciation for Sienese painting is closely allied with the advent of modernism: Giovanni di Paolo has been seen as a precursor of the twentieth-century Surrealists.
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