Thursday, July 6, 2017

Giotto di Bondone (Italian painter and architect)

Giotto di Bondone was born in 1266 in the village of Vespigano, Italy. At a young age, Giotto has always shown a passion for art and was the apprentice of a known Florentine painter and designer, Cimabue. Rumor has it, after seeing Giotto‘s astonishing rock drawings of sheep, Cimabue asked Giotto‘s father for permission to educate his son. During most of his apprenticeship, Giotto explored Italy with Cimabue which helped Giotto gain a reputation. A notable Italian poet of the late medieval period, Dante Alighieri, congratulated Giotto in poems and even mentioned that he surpassed his mentor, Cimabue. 

Giotto di Bondone was self-taught, and his style was considered both new and unique. He was a major contributor to the rise of the naturalism art movement and was one of the first known artists to contributed to the Renaissance. Giotto worked and lived in Italy, the birthplace of Western civilization and an important part of the history of the Catholic Church. Subjects of his work were based on religious figures such as saints, popes, and angels. Giotto‘s The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a marvelous religious art piece. It’s a tempera painting which is known for being endurable because it consists of utilizing colored pigments mixed with a water-soluble binder. 

Along with The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary painting, Giotto di Bondone also painted a series of frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel. “Giotto's masterwork is the decoration of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, commonly called the Arena Chapel, completed around 1305. This fresco cycle depicts the life of the Virgin and the life of Christ. It is regarded as one of the supreme masterpieces of the Early Renaissance.” Giotto was able to distinguish himself from other Italian artists during his time because he was one of the first to break away from medieval painting. Additionally, he created new methods of works which consisted of realistic settings, painting with different colors, and creating the illusion of a three-dimensional space. Instead of the traditional golden background commonly seen in Byzantine work, Giotto replaced the color with blue, which gives the impression of a sky. This art piece also shows various shapes and roundness especially with the women in the scene. 

In 2001, the Scrovegni Chapel underwent consolidation and restoration which included: smoothing of painted surfaces and technological advances. In 2002, the Scrovegni Chapel was then reopened to the public. In addition to visiting the Scrovegni Chapel, visitors can admire Giotto’s work at the Eremitani Museum located in Italy as well. “Since 26 March 2003, a room in the Eremitani Museum has been equipped with 7 workstations, some of which are multimedia, in order to allow visitors to study the frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel and obtain information about the historical and artistic period in which Giotto lived and worked.” Giotto is one of the most important artist of early Italian art because he was able to inspire and capture important moments of history through his work.


"Giotto Di Bondone Style and Technique." Artble. N.p., 07 May 2015. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.

"Giotto Di Bondone - The Complete Works." Giotto Di Bondone - The Complete Works. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.

"Great Painting of the Day: Birth of the Virgin by Giotto." Art and Liturgy. N.p., 08 Sept. 2016. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.


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