Giotto di Bondone

by Lauren Beaudin


Giotto di Bondone was born in 1266 in Vespignano, Italy.

Life Travels

He was born around Florence, lived most of his life there, then died in Florence. Throughout his life he traveled mostly within Italy and possibly Avignon. He spent his time in cities such as Assisi, Padua, Rome, and Naples.

Education and Training

Giotto started off drawing of flat stones with chalk but then he was discovered by the artist, Cimbue. Cimbue trained Giotto in the artist's craft in Florence.


There is not a lot of information recorded about Giotto's early life, but he worked for the Pope at one point and was a member of the Florentine Painters Guild. He was married twice in his lifetime and had four sons and four daughters. In the late Middle Ages, he was considered the "best painter in the world".

Type of Art

Giotto was a painter, architect, and sculptor. A few names of his work were Coronation of the Virgin, Madonna and Saints, and St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata.


Giotto had many patrons. A few examples are Pope Boniface VIII, Azzone Visconti, and King Robert of Anjou.

The Epiphany

Created in ca. 1320

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Bondone, Giotto Di. The Epiphany. Ca. 1320. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY.

Current Location

This painting is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, NY.

Significance and Techniques

The significance of The Epiphany is that it is one of the seven panels showing the life of Christ created by Giotto which was painted for a church. The new techniques the painting shows are the articulation of space, the humanistic movements of the King, and the detail depicted in the stable.

What I Find Interesting

What I find interesting about this piece are the halos around the holy family's heads which are used to identify them as key people in the painting. The use of blended gold color tones, the angels rejoicing in the air, and everyone's adoration for the baby Jesus is also interesting to me.


The artist uses humanism and naturalism the most out of all the isms. In this painting, he mostly uses naturalism which you can see because the painting appears 3D and it is captured "in the moment" of the birth of Jesus. Also, you can see it through the subtle use of light and gold tones. Naturalism can also be seen in the textures of the clothing and the stable's roof. Humanism is another example of an ism that is shown in this painting. It is shown through the human emotion of adoration and the rejoicing angels.

Additional Description

This piece is very emotional because you can see the intense feelings towards the baby Jesus on everyone's faces. I think the use of gold hues in the painting makes it feel very spiritual and heavenly. Also, there are golden halos around Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, drawing your attention to the holy family. Overall, I think it is a very beautiful painting.


"Giotto (di Bondone)." International Dictionary of Art and Artists. Gale, 1990. Biography in Context. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.

"Giotto Di Bondone | The Adoration of the Magi." Giotto Di Bondone. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-2015. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.

"The Epiphany ." Artstor. Artstor, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.