Simone Martini: biography and creativity

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Simone Martini: biography and creativity
Simone Martini: biography and creativity

Video: Simone Martini: biography and creativity

Video: Simone Martini: biography and creativity
Video: Queen of Heaven: Simone Martini, Maestà 2023, October

Italy brought to the world great artists who created masterpieces in their era. One of these geniuses of painting remained in the "heart of Italy" Simone Martini. It was not easy to study his biography. All the information that remained about him had to be searched for in documents and references to people of that time.

Nevertheless, Simone Martini managed to restore the chronology and events from the life, although not everything is so smooth in this story. In some places there are questions, somewhere there are gaps. Nevertheless, thanks to the works of the painter, it is possible to display his main picture - life.


Unfortunately, Simone Martini's biography begins with death. This is the only exact date that the researchers managed to get. In one of the cathedrals of Siena - San Domenico, records were found, thanks to which it became known that the great artist died here on August 4, 1344. It is impossible to know the exact date of his birth. Only the year 1284 is tentatively known. It is determined according to the information indicated on the tomb of the painter: the information says that Martini died at the age of 60.


Even more questions arise regarding the appearance of the Italian. His best friend, the famous Petrarch, claimed that Simone was not handsome. The researchers decidedlook for the image of the painter in his canvases. Someone noticed him in the guise of Christ in front of Pilate, someone saw him in the image of a knight. The alleged portrait is possible on the fresco "The Miracle of the Resurrection of a Boy".

First 30 years

Unfortunately, nothing is known about this period of the creator's life. Nevertheless, there are suggestions that Simone was born in the city of Siena. His father was a local plasterer who prepared the canvas for frescoes. Most likely, this is what led the artist to his future profession.

There is a possibility that the boy studied art in the workshop of Duccio, but the popularity came to the creator after the creation of "Maesta". Now the year of publication of this canvas is known - 1315th. This data was found on the frame of the fresco. Although, if the city authorities ordered such work, then it is obvious that the painter already had a good reputation. "Maesta" settled in the Palazzo Pubblico. The decoration of this place could only be entrusted to outstanding craftsmen.

simone martini hermitage
simone martini hermitage

It is worth noting that the artist, working on his works, sought to show everything in the most natural and realistic way. This plausibility was reflected in his work. Therefore, having received another order from the city authorities to depict the fortress, he went there in order not only to see the object of art with his own eyes, but also to feel the atmosphere of battle and conquest. Then he gathered his servant and went on a journey on a horse. The fresco was later placed in the Mappomondo Hall as early as 1331. Now it is very difficult to get acquainted with the work, because it is considereddestroyed, although researchers hold out hope of finding it.


They, unfortunately, are few. Trying to reconstruct the life of Simone Martini, you can stumble upon verified data. For example, it is known that the painter traveled to Assisi. Moreover, this happened in the 1310s. There he did work, decorating the Church of San Francesco with stained-glass windows. Later, he also created frescoes here.

There is information that Martini was in Naples for some time, although there is no documentary evidence of this. His trip to this city is associated with the order of the Neapolitan altar in honor of the canonization of Louis of Toulouse.


In one decade, researchers were able to discover a large collection of paintings on wood, which allows us to trace the changes in Simone's work. The frescoes that were made in Assisi had peculiar proto-Giottist features, but the works made later are endowed with a Gothic style. The latter changed not only the volumes, but the backgrounds and lines in the works.

simone martini biography
simone martini biography

Two polyptychs from the church of Santa Catarina and the museum in Orvieto can be safely attributed to the work of this time. Although researchers have repeatedly carried out a stylistic analysis, which indicates that the last polyptych dates back to the 1320s. By the way, difficulties with studying this work also arise because several assistants in the creation of this work have been documented.

Active activity

The city documents also contained information about payments to the painter. And the salary was givenregularly, which means that the artist worked quite actively in Siena. The works for which Martini received money are also indicated, and which are difficult to identify, some are lost altogether.

There is evidence that Simone received funding for the amendment of his own creation "Maesta". The fact is that the fresco was damaged due to leaking moisture. The artist also received funding for the painting of the cross, which was destined to be completed by another creator. Regularly in 1322, Martini received money for the work he performed for the Palazzo Pubblico.

Private life

The marriage of the Italian creator happened in 1324. His lover was Giovanna, daughter of Philippuccio. It can be assumed that the wedding was magnificent, since Martini received a lot of money for his works. The proof is that before the wedding, he bought a house for his future wife. Moreover, such a gift cost him a pretty penny, he paid 220 gold florins (and this was three times more than the money he received for his magnificent work with the image of the fortress).

Such a gift should probably be interpreted as gratitude for the nobility. Indeed, at that time the painter was already 40 years old, and his chosen one was very young. Simone believed that he was obliged to thank the girl for agreeing to marry an unprepossessing man of age.

simone martini portrait of laura
simone martini portrait of laura

Thanks to his marriage, the artist was able to establish close ties with the Lippo family, who were able to hold out until the end of Martini's entire work. The most striking manifestation of such a close-knit relationshipwith his wife's family was the work "The Annunciation from the Uffizi", where the features of the Lippo family are pronounced.

Family Creativity

After his marriage, the artist continued to be active in the direction of creativity. In 1326, he created a magnificent canvas, which was later called "very good", and the payment for it was worthy. The following year, he created a painting of two standards, which, unfortunately, have not survived to our time. They were dedicated to the son of King Robert.

In the late 1320s, he creates two works that are also considered lost. The first work is dedicated to two angels and was created for the Palazzo Pubblico, while the second work depicts the rebel Marco Regoli and was placed in the Consistory Hall.


Avignon, a small town in Provence, temporarily became the cultural and artistic center of the world. Painters from all over Europe came here, brought their works and entire workshops. Simone also arrived here in 1336. Here, a significant role was played by the stratification of society, in which Martini tried to be closer to the "tall people". He did this at the expense of his art, fulfilling orders from the highest authorities.

Unfortunately, there is very little information about the work of Martini in France. There are official documents that indicate the active life position of the creator. He was a witness in a rental case and was also a participant in a legal dispute.

simone martini art
simone martini art

Regarding the works, it should be noted that their fragments were found in Notre-Dame-de-Dome, it is also possible that the artist had a hand inthe frontispiece of the Virgil manuscript, which until then had been in the hands of Petrarch. Also known is the painting "The Holy Family", located in Liverpool.


As you know, the painter died in 1344. He was crippled by an unknown "serious illness". The Italian realized that his end was near, and therefore, a few days before his death, he made a will, in which he divided all his property between his wife's relatives. The document was certified by a notary from Florence - Galgani.


The Annunciation by Simone Martini was created in 1333. The artist created it for the Ansania altar, which is located in Siena. The background of the fresco is gold, which symbolizes the sky, and the silhouette of Mary is restrained and smooth. Archangel Gabriel is depicted on the canvas as an active figure, his clothes are developing, and his wings have taken on a flying shape. Description (Simone Martini "The Annunciation") has no mystery and no mysteries. The picture conveys something very soft, but at the same time bright and divine.

simone martini
simone martini

The images that can be distinguished on the fresco are mystical. Each figure in itself is like crystal, very fragile and incorporeal. Saints Ansanias and Julitta, on the contrary, turned out to be quite voluminous and realistic.


Deserves attention and the work "Madonna". Simone Martini created an extraordinary canvas, which many attribute to the last period of creativity, more mature. Typical for the painting of this creator is a golden background with red and blue hues, soft lines, graceful lines of the figure of Mary. The fresco has been preserved inhimself the features of the Gothic style, which was inherent in the painter in the late period of his work.

Madonna Simone Martini
Madonna Simone Martini

This work was loved by many fans and the author himself - Simone Martini. The Hermitage has become the treasury that has kept the work within its walls since 1911.

Other creations

The most popular painting by Simone Martini is Maesta. She was probably the first major work of the creator. Researchers are sure that it was under the influence of Duccio that this masterpiece was created. The picture has some very precise features that you will not find in Duccio. Among them are changing colors, shapes and lines.

simone martini maesta
simone martini maesta

It is worth noting the presence in the world collection of the painting by Simone Martini "Portrait of Laura". This work was dedicated to the artist's friend Petrarch, who ordered the image of his beloved.

You can talk a lot about this artist. The work of Simone Martini, although not fully known, perhaps thought out in places, still remains unusually bright and interesting for connoisseurs of Italian art. The artist made a huge "gift" to world culture, and his works retained the features that make it easy to identify Martini's masterpieces.