Milestones
(documented facts of Duccio's life)

1229
It appears that a Buoninsegna, usually identified as the artist's father, was actually living in Camporegio.
c. 1255
This is probably the year of Duccio's birth, deduced from a document in 1278.
1278
Duccio is first mentioned in 1278: a document of the Comune of Siena records the payment of forty soldi to Duccio pictori for painting some of the wooden tablets which covered the account books of the Biccherna - the revenue office of the Comune. Duccio's probable date of birth has been calculated from this document. To receive payment in his own name the painter must have already reached the age of majority and therefore have been born about twenty years earlier, between 1255 and 1260.
1279
A payment of ten soldi is registered for "picturae librorum" which were to represent the badge of the administrator in office in the Biccherna.
1280
The first of the frequent fines inflicted on him by the Comune of Siena was in 1280: the nature of the offence is not recorded but the hefty sum of one hundred lire suggests that it must have been serious.
1282
A payment is registered for "picturae librorum" made for the Biccherna.
1285
On 15 April 1285 the Confraternity of the Laudesi of the Church of Santa Maria Novella commissioned Duccio "quondam Boninsegne pictori de Senis to paint a tabulam magnam... ad honorem beate et gloriose Virginis Marie". Although the employment contract was published at the end of the eighteenth century, it was a long time before the document was correctly associated with the Rucellai Madonna, which was then assigned to Duccio.
1286
A payment of ten soldi is registered to "Duccio pictori pro libris IIIJ causa picture" from the Comune di Siena.
1289
In 1289 he refused to swear allegiance to the commander of the local militia
1291
Another payment of ten soldi is registered for painting a tablet for the Biccherna.
1292
In 1292 He owned a house in Camporegio near the Church of Sant'Antonio in Fonte Branda, which may have been the one in which he grew up.
1294
A payment of ten soldi from the Comune di Siena for a small tablet.
1295
In 1295 Duccio is mentioned as the only painter called upon to be a member of a special committee, formed by the masters of the Opera del Duomo, amongst whom was Giovanni Pisano, set up to decide where the new fountain, the Fonte d'Ovile, should be placed.
1295
A payment of ten soldi from the Biccherna for a small tablet.
1302
He declined to take part in the war in Maremma, for which he was fined eighteen lire and ten soldi.
1302
On 4 December 1302 forty-eight soldi were paid to "maestro Duccio the painter as his salary" for a "maesta which he painted and a predella", executed for the Cappella dei Nove in the Palazzo Pubblico. (It is unfortunately lost.)
1302
On 22 December he was again fined, for an incident apparently connected with the practice of sorcery, since he was taken "before the magistrate for witchcraft in the district of Chamomillia". This accusation cannot have been very serious since he was fined the modest amount of five soldi.
1308
The employment contract concerning the Maestą, drawn up on 4 October 1308 between the Cathedral workman Jacopo, son of the late Giliberto Mariscotti, and Duccio di Buoninsegna, is preserved in the State Archives of Siena. The "carta di pacti fatti col maestro Duccio per cagione della tavola Sancte Marie" contains a set of clauses which lay down certain rules of conduct: the painting should be entirely by the artist's own hand ("laborabit suis manibus"), he must undertake the task with all the skill and ingenuity that God has granted him ("pingere et facere dictam tabulam quam melius poterit et sciverit et Dominus sibi largietur"), and must work uninterruptedly accepting no other jobs until the great picture should be completed. As further security he swore on the Gospel to abide by the agreement "bona fide, sine fraude".
1311
An unknown contemporary writer gives an account of what happened in Siena on 9 June 1311, which for the occasion was declared a public holiday: "and on the day that (it) was carried to the Cathedral, the shops were closed and the Bishop ordered a great and devout company of priests and brothers with a solemn procession, accompanied by the Signori of the Nine and all the officials of the Comune, and all the people, and in order all the most distinguished were close behind the picture with lighted candles in their hands; and the women and children were following with great devotion: and they all accompanied the picture as far as the Cathedral, going round the Campo in procession, and according to custom, the bells rang in glory and in veneration of such a noble picture as this, . . . and all that day was spent in worship and alms-giving to the poor, praying to the Mother of God, our protectress, to defend us by her infinite mercy from all adversity, and to guard us against the hand of traitors and enemies of Siena".
1313
He owned fields and vineyards in the country and in 1313 was joint owner of a house in the Stalloreggi quarter where he lived and had his workshop.
1319
3 August 1319 represents the terminus ante quem in determining when he died. On this date ser Raniero di Bernardo drew up the official deed in which the painter's seven children - Ambrogio, Andrea, Galgano, Tommé, Giorgio, Margherita and Francesco who with his wife Taviana, outlived him, renounced their paternal inheritance. The document was legally registered on 16 October of the same year.

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