Giotto di Bondone

Renaissance Artist


Giotto di Bondone was born in 1266 in Vespignano, Italy about three miles north of Florence. Giotto had a major impact on how art evolved after the Middle Ages from the two dimension pieces to developing depth and perspective. He brought back styles from ancient Greece and Rome and drifted away from Byzantine ways.

Giotto, the son of a shepherd, was drawing a sheep on a piece of slate one day, when Cimabue, a well-known italian painter, saw much potential in him. Cimabue took Giotto to his studio in Rome where he learned everything

He moved throughout Italy his whole life working on different projects such as the Arena Chapel in Padua, and in Naples at the Santa Chiara church. Giotto's patrons include King Robert of Anjou, Enrico Scrovegni, the Pope Benedict XI, and many others. His magnificent work continued to influence painters like Michelangelo in the future.

Not much is known about Giotto's life, but he married twice and had six kids throughout his lifetime. He was not afraid to be himself and do what he thought was right. When the Pope was trying to find the best artist in the land, Giotto simply drew a perfect circle in red paint, and the Pope thought it was brilliant. Later in his lifetime, Giotto was named the prestigious head architect of the Florence Cathedral, but died during the building of it in 1337.

Giotto had a very successful life in which he completed mostly paintings. FOr example there is The Crucifix at the Church of Santa Maria, St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata in the Louvre, and Life of Christ in the Marina Chapel.

Renaissance Work

The Marriage of The Virgin by Giotto di Bondone, was created in 1305. It is located in the Capella degli Scrovegni 'nell Arena Chapel in Padua, Italy. This piece shows Giotto's new style of using perspective to allow objects to be smaller or larger, and create contrasts in light. He creates an effect where people seem to be standing further back in the painting and that the chapel is behind some, but not everyone. It also seems as if he used the geometric figures technique because the people are carefully grouped.

Different colors are used to display emotions of the married couple, and those that surround them. The intricate drapery of the dresses and robes is displayed. Sfumaro is executed well due to the soft lines of people's faces in contrast to the harsh lines of the building. Chiaroscuro is also represented because the outside of the building is a light color, while dark colors lurk in the depths of the arches.

This piece exemplifies individualism because of the simple background and the different expressions on peoples faces, but it genuinely represents scientific naturalism. The depth and perspective linked to this painting really shine through and making it different from the prior paintings in the byzantine time. The people have realistic expressions and features with correct body proportions. A three-d scene has been created from a two-d canvas.

I find this painting intriguing because of the conditions of the people. I cannot tell whether they are happy about the marriage or not although I can tell each person has their own opinion about it. It also is amusing to think of how marriages were interpreted eight hundred years ago.


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"G"Giotto Di Bondone." World Eras. Ed. Jeremiah Hackett. Vol. 4: Medieval Europe, 814-1350. Detroit: Gale Group, 2002. Biography in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

De Wald, E. T. "Giotto." New Catholic Encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Biography in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

"Giotto Di Bondone." Artble: The Home of Passionate Art Lovers. N.p., 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.

Chapel of Mary Magdalene: The Voyage of the Magdalene to Marseilles. 1300-1325. Photograph. San Francesco, Assisi, Italy.

Marriage of the Virgin. 1305. Photograph. Capella Degli Scrovegni Nell'Arena, Padua, Italy.

Annunciation of St. Anne. 1305. Photograph. Capella Degli Scrovegni Nell'Arena, Padua, Italy.