appetizer, n. (’æpItaIzə(r)) […] ⊳ fig. Something intended to arouse interest in what follows; a sample of what may be expected in the future.
Without question, the undisputed king of cocktails is the Martini.
At the beginning of the fourteenth century, Giotto di Bondone was sowing in Florence the seed of the Italian Renaissance in painting. His works attempted to abandon the stiffness of the Byzantine style and replace it with a more naturalistic approach with a marked emphasis on the representation of space and volume. In the nearby city of Siena, the intent was different. “Their greatest master of Giotto's generation, Duccio, had tried – and tried successfully – to breathe new life into the old Byzantine forms instead of discarding them altogether” (Gombrich, 1989: 160). So did Duccio's most renowned pupil, Simone Martini.
Little is known with certainty about Martini's early years. He was born in the first half of the 1280s, probably in the town of San Gimignano, where he had an early contact with the craft of painting as his father specialized in the preparation of the first coat (arriccio in Italian) applied to wall surfaces on which a fresco was going to be painted. He subsequently became a pupil of Duccio, and by the early 1310s he was producing his first works.
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