Madonna and Child

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Martini Madonna and Child, 1326

Martini contrasts Florentine art with his magnificent and well-trained French Gothic art skills. He, like Duccio, was a leader in the Sienese School through the 14th and 15th centuries, and molded work with brilliant colors and delicate features. He focused mainly on miraculous events. Unlike the rigidness of byzantine art work, the Sienese school trained its students to create dramatic events and to literally bring light to their significance. The softness of such paintings is well demonstrated here by Martini. The school lived in Seina for most of his lifetime and temporarily in Florence, but at the turn of the 16th century, Siena fell to Florence and ceased the majority of Seniese painting. 

Most believe that Martini learned his trade from Duccio, but Renaissance art biographer, Giorgio Vasari, claims acquired his skill from Giotto. Duccio seems to make more sense to others because of their bond at the Sienese School where Giotto did not attend. Although, Giotto and Martini worked together at Old St. Peter's Basilica where the Nevicella mosaic is dedicated to Giotto. Whether Diccio or Giotto taught Martini, Martini infiltrated a growing Gothic art form in the 13th century and created wonderful pieces in his time. This particular Madonna and Child, assigned to Martini by the Siena government, and was created as a portable altarpiece that eventually joined his other works in a larger altarpiece in Seina's town hall, Palazzo Pubblico. 

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