Coppo di Marcovaldo


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(documented 1260–76).

Italian painter, one of the earliest about whom there is a body of documented knowledge. He served in the army of Florence and evidently settled in Siena after his capture at the Battle of Montaperti (1260). In 1261 he painted the signed and dated Madonna and Child Enthroned (called the Madonna del Bordone) for S. Maria dei Servi, Siena (still in situ), and between 1265 and 1276 he is documented several times working at Pistoia Cathedral, which has a Crucifix that is assumed to be one of two he was commissioned to produce (although the workmanship is thought by some critics to be largely by his son, Salerno). On the basis of these two works, other paintings have been attributed to Coppo, notably a Madonna and Child Enthroned in the Cathedral Museum in Orvieto, and a Crucifix in the Pinacoteca at San Gimignano. He introduced new solidity and humanity to the Byzantine tradition, in the way, for example, that he represents the Virgin with her head inclined towards the Child, and with Guido da Siena he ranks as one of the founders of the Sienese School.

Subjects: Art.

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