MARTINI, SIMONE (c. 1284-1344), Sienese painter, prob ably a pupil of Duccio, from whom he inherited his love of har monious colour, to which he added a grace of line and delicacy of interpretation beyond anything to be found in his master's works. The beings he created move in a world of beauty, of grace and restfulness, and seem to embody the knightly ideals of the later middle ages.
The first known fresco of Simone is in the hall of the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena-the "Madonna Enthroned, with the Infant and a number of angels and saints" (1315). In S. Lorenzo Mag giore, of Naples, he painted a life-sized picture of King Robert crowned by his brother, St. Louis of Toulouse (1317). In 132o he painted for the high altar of the church of S. Caterina in Pisa the Virgin and Child between six saints; above are archangels, apostles and other figures. The compartmented portions of this work are now dispersed, some of them being in the Museum of Pisa, others in the seminary. Towards 1321 he executed for the church of S. Domenico in Orvieto a picture of the bishop of Savona kneeling before the Madonna, attended by saints, now in the museum of the cathedral. In 1328 he produced for the sala del consilio in Siena a striking equestrian portrait of the vic torious general, Guidoriccio Fogliani de' Ricci.
Simone had married in 1324 Giovanna, the daughter of Memmo (Guglielmo) di Filippuccio. Her brother, named Lippo Memmi, was also a painter and was frequently associated with Simone in his work; and this is the only reason why Simone has come down to us with the family name Memmi. They painted together, in 1333, the "Annunciation," which is now in the Uffizi gallery. From 1333 to 1339 Simone worked at Assisi, where he decorated the chapel of St. Martin in the Lower church with scenes illus trating the life of the saint. In the arch between this chapel and the nave he painted figures of eight saints. These frescoes are among his finest works. Four small panels, two at Antwerp, one
in Berlin, and one in the Louvre, are ascribed to this period. They represent scenes of the Passion, and the artist here displays a taste for tragic, realistic effects. In 1339 he settled at the papal court in Avignon, where he made the acquaintance of Petrarch, and he painted for the poet a portrait of Laura, which gave occa sion for two of Petrarch's sonnets in which Simone is eulogized. He is also said to have illuminated for the poet a copy of the commentary of Servius upon Virgil, now preserved in the Ambro sian library of Milan. One of his latest productions (1342) is the picture of "Christ Found by his Parents in the Temple," now in the Liverpool gallery. Simone died in Avignon in July 1344. He was the most important painter of the Sienese school in the 14th century, and his influence in Siena was great; while, outside his native city, important groups of adherents were formed at Naples, Pisa, Orvieto and to some extent in France ; and to them was due the propagation of the Sienese style.
BIBLIOGRAPHY.-Petrarca, Le Rime, Sonnets 49 and 50, in certain old editions called Nos. 58 and 59 ; G. Milanesi, Documenti per la storia dell' Arte Senese, 3 vol. (Siena, 1854-56) ; E. Miintz, Les pein tures de Simone Martini a Avignon (1884) ; G. Vasari, Le Vite de' put eccellenti pittori, scuttori e architettori (edit. G. Milanesi, 1885) ; B. Berenson, The Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance (1897; 2nd ed., 1909) ; R. L. Douglas, A History of Siena (1902) ; J. A. Crowe and G. B. Cavalcaselle, A History of Painting in Italy, Umbria, Florence, and Siena (edit. L. Douglas, etc., 1903-14) ; V. R. S. van Marie, Simone Martini et les peintures de son ecole (Strasbourg, 1920), and The DeVelopment of the Italian Schools of Painting (The Hague, 1923).