The Annunciation and the Two Saints (detail, 1333). Simone Martini (1280/85-1344). Tempera on wood. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
From the Chapel of Sant’Ansano in the Cathedral of Siena. A late work in which the precious enamel of the colour and the vibrant undulation of the line are carried to the very highest degree. The two lateral saints, St Ansanus and St Margaret, as well as the detail shown, were painted on Simone’s design by his pupil and brother-in-law Lippo Memmi.
Martini was Sienese painter, the pupil of Duccio, who developed the use of outline for the sake of linear rhythm as well as the sophisticated colour harmonies implicit in Duccio. He was also deeply influenced by the sculpture of Giovanni Pisano, and even more by French Gothic art.