Guidoriccio Da Fogliano

7:00 AM

Simone Martini, Guidoriccio Da Fogliano, 1330

In Guidoriccio Da Fogliano, Simone Martini illustrates the capture of Montemassi, a village in Tuscany, by the condottiero Guidoriccio Da Fogliano in 1328 when he was fighting for Siena. This piece is a famous fresco from the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena.

When I look at this painting, the first thing that draws me in is Guidoriccio Da Fogliano himself and his horse. When looking at Guidoriccio Da Fogliano in closer detail, it amazes me that Martini painted with this amount of detail in the 1300s. Both the horse and Guidoriccio Da Fogliano wear an  argyle ensemble with a pattern in earth tones, complimenting the rich orange that acts as the base. The orange does not overwhelm you like a neon orange, but still demands your attention.

The orange balances well off of the deep blue background. While we just started studying Renaissance art, I have noticed that painters from this time period often use bright and rich colors. Rather than look completely realistic, painters attract viewers through their detailed works with bright and rich colors. I like that the blue looks like water colors, and the blue changes from a faded indigo on the right side of the fresco, to a vivid navy. When thinking about the story of the fresco, I am interested why the color gets darker when Guidoriccio Da Fogliano travels to Montemassi, which he conquered. I think that the deep navy over looming over Montemassi adds a dramatic effect to his capturing of the village.

The rest of the scene is not very attractive. It shows barren lands between two villages, all created with a variety of earth tones. While these colors do not attract my eyes, I appreciate that because of the presence of the orange and blue. The earth tones create a stage for Guidoriccio Da Fogliano and his horse. The sand colored lands also contrast nicely with the blue background. The extreme contrast between the orange, earth tones, and blue creates depth in the painting.

At first, I picked this painting because it did not depict a bible story or feature Jesus. I was naive after taking Modern Art History,  and I did not anticipate the mass amount of crucifixion paintings we would look at in Renaissance Art History. I am not as familiar with the bible, so I found this fresco,  which is not based off a bible story, to be refreshing. While, at first I picked it for what it was not, I now appreciate it for what it is. 

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