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

Madonna and Child

Tempera on wood, 68 x 47 cm
Chiesa dei Santi Lorenzo e Ippolito, Castelfiorentino

The painting was executed together with Duccio's master, Cimabue. The master-pupil relationship was established very early on, when the first scaffolding for the frescoes had already been erected in the Upper Church of San Francesco, and it ended during the time of closest collaboration, around 1283-84 when work had got as far as the vault of the Doctors. These are the most likely stages of their association: the Angel on the splay of the big window of the north transept in the Upper Church at Assisi, the Madonna in the Church of the Servites in Bologna, the Madonna Gualino in the Galleria Sabauda in Turin, the Madonna of Castelfiorentino, the Crucifix in the Odescalchi Collection, the Madonna in the Museo d'Arte Sacra of the Val d'Arbia in Buonconvento, the Crevole Madonna in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Siena, the Expulsion of the Forefathers and the Crucifixion in the third bay of the south wall of the Franciscan Basilica, two of the Winged Genii which occupy the four corners of the vault of the Doctors in Assisi.

Executed in a time-span of little more than five years, the paintings show strong stylistic affinities. In some cases (the Madonna in Bologna and the Madonna in Castelfiorentino) the painters seem to have achieved a real joint effort: the earlier style of the conception of these paintings suggests that the plan was Cimabue's, while the luminous treatment of colour implies that Duccio executed the work.