Simone Martini was a product of the Sienese school of painters and was a pupil of Siena's great master Duccio. The Italian towns of Siena and Florence were great rivals and the Sienese artists were influenced by the taste and fashions from the art of the north. The traditions of the Byzantine era had not been broken in the same abrupt manner as Giotto their Florentine contemporary.
Simone Martini was born in or around 1285 (the exact date is not known) and very little is known about his private life. He died in Avignon in 1344 while in the service of the exiled Papal court.
The first documented work is the Maesta now in the Palazzo Pubblico, the town hall in Siena, and completed in 1315.