(b. 1280/85, Siena, d. 1344, Avignon)

St Martin is Knighted (detail)

Cappella di San Martino, Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Nothing could be more secular than the figure of the Roman Emperor fastening the sword, the symbol of his newly acquired dignity, around the knight's waist. The Emperor's immobile profile, with his half-open mouth and fixed gaze, is reminiscent of the portraits carved on ancient Roman coins, which Simone probably used as a model: even though it must be Julian the Apostate (and historically it could not be any other emperor), it has been suggested that the features are actually those of Constantine the Great.