COPPO DI MARCOVALDO
(b. ca. 1225, Firenze, d. ca. 1274, Siena)
Italian painter, one of the earliest about whom there is a body of documented knowledge. He served in the army of Florence and settled in Siena after his capture at the Battle of Montaperti (1260). In 1261 he painted the signed and dated Madonna and Child Enthroned (called the Madonna del Bordone) for the Servite church at Siena, and in 1274 he and his son Salerno painted a Crucifix for Pistoia Cathedral; both paintings still remain in their original locations. On the basis of these documented works two other outstanding paintings are attributed to Coppo: a Madonna and Child Enthroned in Sta Maria dei Servi in Orvieto, and a Crucifix in the Pinacoteca at San Gimignano.
He introduced new solidity and humanity to the Byzantine tradition, in the way, for example, that he represents the Virgin with her head inclined towards the Child, and with Guido da Siena he ranks as the founder of the Sienese School.