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

Madonna and Child (from Castiglione d'Orcia)

Tempera on wood
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena

The two Madonnas in the Siena Pinacoteca, one from Castiglione d'Orcia and the other from Lucignano d'Arbia, are clearly related and must date from more or less the same period. But we have no dates, no signatures and no documents containing any information at all regarding the dating of these works: stylistic analysis is the only element that critics have been able to use. This justifies the widely varying opinions that have been expressed on the subject: some scholars believe that they are totally autograph, while others think that Simone is responsible only for the drawings or for certain sections of the painting, while others still consider them entirely the work of the workshop assistants.

Nonetheless, there are many analogies between the various paintings from this period, such as for example, the features of the Madonna in the San Domenico Polyptych, with her gentle and slightly dreaming eyes, repeated almost exactly in the Madonna in the Orvieto Polyptych; or the lively pose of the Child in the panel from Castiglione d'Orcia which is exactly the same as that of the Child in the Boston painting.