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

Christ Returning to his Parents

Tempera on wood, 49,5 x 35 cm
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

This small panel shows Joseph and Mary remonstrating with Christ for lingering in the Temple and represents an unusual iconographic subject, painted at the end of Simone's life. In some respects, it resembles the Annunciation in the Uffizi, for the folds and edges of drapery are used in a similar way in both. The Liverpool panel, however, represents an involved human situation, and what is obviously a difficult family problem apparently as yet unresolved. The subject is handled by the artist with consummate skill and restraint, and the balance between narrative and decoration is virtually perfect.

This small panel is Simone's latest authentic work. It is signed on the lower part of the frame as: SYMON DE SENIS ME PINXIT SUB A. D. MCCCXLII.