Martini, Simone [key], c.1283–1344, major Sienese painter. His art is admired for its Gothic spirituality combined with a vibrancy and a great elegance of line. A follower of Duccio di Buoninsegna, his earliest known work (1315) was a fresco depicting the Maestà (Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints and Angels) in the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. In 1317, King Robert of Anjou invited him to Naples to paint St. Louis Enthroned (Naples Mus.). He created altarpieces for the Dominicans of Pisa and Orvieto. One of these is now in the Gardner Museum, Boston. In 1328 he painted one of the first commemorative portraits, an impressive, almost heraldic, image of the soldier Guidoriccio da Fogliano, with a starkly landscaped background (Palazzo Pubblico, Siena). His painting of the Annunciation (1333; Uffizi) is famous for its exquisitely refined use of outline. In this work, as in others, he was assisted by his brother-in-law Lippo Memmi. At the invitation of Pope Benedict XII, he went to Avignon in 1339 and decorated the portal of Notre Dame des Dons (almost obliterated). He became friends with Petrarch and designed a frontispiece for him for a Vergil codex (Ambrosian Library, Milan). His frescoes (of uncertain date) at Assisi include lively scenes from the life of St. Martin. Other works by Simone are in Siena, Berlin, Liverpool, and in the Louvre.
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