MaestàDuccio di Buoninsegna, c. 1308–1311
Duccio di Buoninsegna was an Italian painter in the late 13th and early 14th century. His Medieval paintings act as a bridge to Renaissance sensibilities. As is common in Medieval works, his figures lack naturalistic proportions and figures in order to establish their otherworldliness. He was one of the first Italian painters, however, to place his figures in realistic architectural settings, effectively placing biblical figures in the real world. This innovation and experimentation gained Duccio many followers and students and has solidified his position as a key figure in Western art history.