DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
(b. ca. 1255, Siena, d. 1319, Siena)

Parting from St John (panel 2)

Tempera on wood, 42 x 54 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

The picture shows one of the front crowning panels of the Maest.

In the simple architectural frame enclosing the scene space is articulated with effortless accuracy. The beamed ceiling, the linearity of the horizontal pattern on the back wall, the slender arches opening onto the room where Mary is sitting, lend calm elegance to the surroundings. The gesture of affection and intimacy between Mary and John, the favourite apostle to whom Christ on the point of death entrusted his mother, gives an atmosphere of tenderness to the next scene. Outside the room the disciples are present at a more restrained embrace between Peter and Paul (included in the stories of the Virgin according to a tradition handed down by a few of the literary sources).