Italian Byzantine Style Painter, 13th Century
He may have made significant advances in the techniques of painting, much as Cimabue much later accomplished. However, there is some debate about this. Guido is primarily known for a painting which is now split into several pieces. The church of S. Domenico in Siena contains a large painting of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with six angels above. The Benedictine convent of the same city has a triangular pinnacle representing the Saviour in benediction, with two angels. This was once a portion of the same composition, which was originally a triptych. The principal section of this picture has a rhymed Latin inscription, giving the painter's name as Guido de Senis, with the date 1221. However, this may not be genuine, and the date may really read as 1281. There is nothing particular to distinguish this painting from other work of the same period except that the heads of the Virgin and Child are much superior ?C in natural character and graceful dignity ?C to anything painted before Cimabue. As a result, there is some dispute as to whether these heads are really the work of a man who painted in 1221, long before Cimabue. Crowe and Cavalcaselle have proposed that the heads were repainted in the 14th century, perhaps by Ugolino da Siena. If Crowe and Cavalcaselle are right, Cimabue maintains his claim to the advancement of the art. Beyond this, little is known of Guido da Siena. A picture in the Academy of Siena is attributed to him (a half-figure of the Virgin and Child, with two angels), which dates (probably) between 1250 and 1300.