Friday, October 22, 2010

Duccio di Buoninsegna

When I was growing up in Lima, Peru, to says that someone was a master at something, we used the expression, “Tue res un ducho.” Children and grownups would repeat this expression without knowing where this came from.

One day, when I was visiting the Boston Museum of Art, I saw a painting by Duccio and I was mesmerized by it. “Wow!” I kept repeating to myself, “This isn’t just any common painter—I’m the presence of a master.”
Indeed, I was in awe of the great master Duccio di Buoninsegna (active 1278-1318), who was the principal painter in Siena, Florence's major rival at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

Duccio’s masterpiece is the Rucellai Madonna (1285). In contrast to other painters, Duccio’s style is distinctive not because of his skillful drawing, line, and color choices, but because he found a way to imbue his painting with tenderness; a feat that is unmatched in the history of art.

Now I understand where the expression “You are a ‘ducho – master’” came from.
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