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

Isaiah (prophet 1)

Tempera on wood, 44 x 16 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

The statues carved on the Cathedral façade have been identified as the most likely models for the figures of the prophets. In spite of their small size they preserve a solemn aspect, and the linearity of contour is enhanced by the gleaming gold ground. The words written on the angel's scroll are unfortunately illegible, but the prophet Isaiah's can be read: "Ecce virgo concepiet et pariet filium et vocabitur nomen eius Emmanuel (Isaiah 7, 14: And a virgin will conceive and bear a son and his name will be Emmanuel).