Simone Martini

Simone Martini's Training Pictorial Production Maestà The Iconography of the Maestà The Maestà and the Dolce Stil Novo

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Pictorial Production

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The very organized workshop of Simone Martini reflects the hierarchic order typical from the artistic workshops of 4th Century Toscana and relied on several people among them collaborators, workers, helpers and pupils. There have been many prestigious commissions and many works were often carried out by more than one artist. Sometimes they bore only the master’s name, other times the name’s of the collaborators, like Lippo Memmi, or both, i.e. the name of Simone and Tederico Memmi, etc.

Among the works of Simone Martini, the first one to be documented is the magnificent Maestà, a fresco in Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall) and dated 1315. It is an important commission that obviously came from a previous production that must have brought him certain fame.

In the same period (between 1314 and 1318 more or less) Simone Martini was busy with the frescoes that told the Story of San Martin in the Lower Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi. Some years later he added the busts of Saints to it.

In 1317, he carried out San Ludovico di Tolosa alterpiece, now in the Museum of Capidimonte, in Napoli.
Meanwhile in his workshop several altarpieces and polyptychs were being produced and his intervention in Orvieto was documented, proved by the beautiful Angelo, a recently found fresco in the Duomo
He made also the Polyptych of Pisa, for the city’s church of Santa Caterina, while for Sant’Agostino’s church in Siena, he made the panel Beato Agostino Novello, now housed in the Sienese pinacotheca.

In 1324 Simone Martini married Giovanna, the sister of his collaborators and artists Lippo and Tederico Memmi.

In 1333, together with Lippo Memmi, he signed the Annunciation of the Uffizi, made for Siena’s Duomo.

In 1336 Simone Martini moved to Avignone, with the Pope’s court and carried out the frescoes for the Notre Dame Cathedral. Today they are mostly lost and only the sinopia remains.

Before 1342 he also produced an altar for Napoleone Orsini, now lost, but of vital importance for the development of the International Gothic.
Besides, Simone Martini made some panels related to Marian iconography, as the Madonna and Child from Cologne and the Madonna and Child from Siena’s Pinacotheca, which belonged to his first years as a painter.
He carried out several polyptychs, among them Orvieto’ Polyptych, San Gimignano’s Polyptych, now in Cambridge and the Passion Polyptych, now in the Louvre.
He dedicated himself also to the miniature, confirmed by the title page of a codex with the works of Virgilio, kept in Milan’s Ambrosian Library.

A. Cocchi


P. Torriti. Simone Martini. Dossier Art  n. 56, Giunti, Firenze, 1991
La Nuova Enciclopedia dell'Arte, Garzanti, 1986
E. Bernini. R. Rota. Figura 1. Profili di storia dell'Arte. Editori Laterza. Roma-Bari 2002
G. Cricco, F. Di Teodoro, Itinerario nell’arte, vol. 1, Zanichelli Bologna 2004
G. Contini, M.C. Gozzoli. L'opera completa di Simone Martini. Classici dell'Arte Rizzoli, Milano, 1966
E. Castelnuovo. Pittori girovaghi nell'Avignone dei papi. in: Il romanzo della pittura. Giotto e i maestri del Trecento. Supplemento a La Repubblica, Arnoldo Mondadori, Verona, 1988
P.L.L. de Castris. La Napoli cortese del saggio Il romanzo della pittura. Giotto e i maestri del Trecento. Supplemento a La Repubblica, Arnoldo Mondadori, Verona, 1988
G. Bonsanti. Simone Martini. Associazione per le Casse di Risparmio italiane, Roma 1994


Tags:Simone Martini, painting, Alessandra Cocchi, A. Sturmer, .



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