Duccio di Buoninsegna was born in Siena, Tuscany in about 1256. He was one of the most influential artists of his time along with that other great master from Tuscany, Cimabue. He spent almost his entire working life in Siena. Despite not having a great deal of information about his personal life, we do know that he fathered at least seven children and that he died in 1318 or 1319.
Works definitely attributed to him number no more than nine or ten, but Duccio did bridge the artistic gap between the Byzantine age and the start of the Renaissance.
His painting of a Madonna from 1300 was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and has caused considerable controversy given it's price tag of 45 million dollars. Known as the Stoclet Madonna the authenticity of the painting is the subject of some dispute and some experts believe the work to be a nineteenth century forgery.
The Madonna is the most expensive purchase ever by the museum and it's clear to see why the argument continues.