One of my very favorite artists, Duccio was a superb master of color and composition. The reproductions in this book are printed on good quality, glossy paper, with intense and rich hues. There are over 100 color reproductions, many of them in detail.
Because Duccio was rebellious, hot-headed, and mismanaged his money, more is known about him than other artists of his era, thanks to the many fines he was given that were recorded...but the town authorities who gave him the fines, were sometimes the same ones to give him commissions. It's presumed that he was born between 1255 and 1260, and died in late 1318 or in the early part of 1319.
His tender and majestic Madonna and Child panels are inspiring and of incredible beauty. The large "Madonna and Child Enthroned with Angels and Saints", which is the main panel from his "Maesta", is extraordinary in its symmetry, and its perfection, from the exquisite feet of the Christ Child, to each fold of embroidered cloth.
It's interesting to compare the "Annunciation" (pg. 26), with the "Announcement of Death" (pg. 74). Both with a strong angel, and a serene, all-knowing Mary.
Another glorious piece is "Entry into Jerusalem", from the "Stories of the Passion" panels. The composition, with its flowing lines, is Duccio at his most sublime.
Well written and extensively researched by Cecilia Jannella, this 1991 book is a treasure for anyone who loves the work of this Sienese master.