Giotto di Bondone:
Artist, Architect, Innovator
Giotto di Bondone is hailed as the first of the great artists of the Italian Renaissance. Di Bondone started as a young apprentice to the painter Cimabue and worked primarily in Florence with fresco style art while also dabbling in architecture. His accurate portrayal of human emotion, most notably in religious figures, is what made him famous. Giotto’s talent was recognized with being but on salary by the commune of Florence. The most popular of his early works, the frescoes of Assisi, showcase Giotto’s unique tight-stroked style which more realistically conveys human emotion. The Scrovegni or Arena Chapel in Padua, completed in 1305, depicts the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary and is Giotto’s most famous work. Giotto experimented with a multitude of style, including developing a painting technique where it appears the viewer is part of the painting. Giotto’s unique and vast artistic style influenced great artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael.
To properly analyze this collage, I encourage the viewer to pay close attention to the face of each painted figure. The emotion seen throughout is especially unique for this time period, making Giotto a pioneer in his field. The figures have halos surrounding their faces common to the Byzantine art of this time, but also have modifications that show the innovation and experimentation Giotto was known for.