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Simone Martini


Italian Painter of the Sienese School

Stylistically influenced by the following painters and art styles ; Manuscript Illumination, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Coppo di Marcovaldo, and  Duccio di Buoninsegna

Mediums - panel painting, frescoes and manuscript illumination

Cause of Death - plague

Simon Martini's style was greatly influenced by the frescos of Sienese legend, Ambrogio Lorenzetti. His use of form had a enormously influential effect on the young painters who surrounded him. The prevailing characteristic of Martini's work being rich colour and spatial inventiveness. His figures express raw, unfettered passion--tender emotions that do not feel contrived or abstracted. Both Peasants and Church hierarchy, immediately connected with his lyrical and spiritually rich style.  Martini's work is bold, exploratory and intense. He explored in his  art a new world of emotion and passion, but with a lyricism and deep sensitivity to color. His subjects, like his predecessors, are all religious – the Virgin Mary, Saints, the Life of Christ, the Apostles, and Angeles. many of his greatest masterpieces (La Maesta and Guidoriccio da Fogliano) are housed in the famous Civic Museum inside the Palazzo Pubblico overlooking the Piazza del Campo. The Palazzo Pubblico was built in the early 1300s by the Government of Nove. It is a masterpiece of  medieval urban architecture. In the Great Council Hall there are extraordinary frescoes by Martini depicting a beautiful Maestà and next door, in the Hall of Nine there is the amazing fresco cycle by Ambrogio Lorenzetti showing the Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government.

Sienese Painting

While Byzantine art is strict and aloof, Sienese painting possesses a mystic sincerity.  It seems as if the stone vaults of the churches had suddenly become transparent, and the eyes gazed upwards towards heaven, where tender ethereal beings, singing and praising the Highest, lived in eternal youth and lovingly gazed down upon mankind. Origen Adamantius, an early Christian theologian stated "If all things were made through Him, clearly so must the splendid revelations have been which were made to the fathers and prophets, and became to them the symbols of the sacred mysteries of religion." Simone Martini discovered in his own art a new world of emotion and passion, but with a new expressiveness and understanding of color.

Key Descriptive Words  and Phrases associated with the Renaissance Movementrebirth, rediscovery of the classical world,  publication of Della Pittura, a book about the laws of mathematical perspective for artists,  sfumato, symbolism, chiaroscuro, Savonarola, spiritually significant illuminated manuscript,  idealized biblical themes, scriptorium, illuminator, plague, Age of Discovery, curiosity about the natural world,  fresco cycle, realistic use of colors and  light,  Bonfire of the Vanities, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, Gospel parables, romanticized landscapes,  Christian symbolism.





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