Duccio (Library of Great Masters)

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9780094712805: Duccio (Library of Great Masters)

A large "Madonna" for the Florentine church of Sta Maria Novella was ordered from him in 1285 and in 1308 the consummation of his career was the contract for the huge "Maesta" for the High Altar of the Cathedral in Siena. Most of it is now in the Cathedral Museum and there is a small panel in the National Gallery, London. In its original form the Maesta proper - the enthroned Madonna and Child surrounded by saints and angels - occupied the whole of the main panel facing the congregation. The craftsmanship, the use of gold as a decoration and a compositional feature, the use of varied and elegant outlines as a surface pattern as well as a description of form; all these elements characterize the Sienese School for nearly two centuries.

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