Duccio di Buoninsegna - Madonna and Child, c.1300. Tempera and gold on wood
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC:
Perhaps painted about 1300, this exquisite painting inaugurates the grand tradition in Italian painting of envisioning the sacred figures of the Madonna and Child in terms appropriated from real life. The parapet—among the earliest of its kind—connects the fictive world of the painting with that of the viewer. As with his younger Florentine contemporary, Giotto, Duccio has redefined the way in which we relate to the picture: not as an ideogram or abstract idea, but as an analogue to human experience.
Duccio was the founder of Sienese painting, and his influence extended as far north as Paris.
There is no record of the painting prior to its acquisition by Count Gregori Stroganoff in the late nineteenth century. The damages along the bottom of the original frame are from candles lit before the painting.