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Meet Giotto, a brief introduction

Simply one of the greatest painters in history, Giotto was able to literally bring art to a whole new dimension. A unique representative of Italian Renaissance.

In fact, Giotto introduced the concept of perspective in art.

The life of Giotto

He was born sometime in the mid-thirteenth century. His talent was evident from the beginning. So much so that Italian painter Cimabue decided to take Giotto under his wing. He rapidly gained popularity. Giotto even opened his own workshop, receiving orders from all over Italy.

His masterpieces

Without a doubt, one of Giotto’s masterpieces is the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. The painting represents the Annunciation and Judgment day. The characters look alive, like three-dimensional drawings. His figures are realistic and natural.

Another masterpiece of this artist is the Bell Tower of Florence. It’s still the most prominent element in the city’s skyline. It’s modern, yet it features classical simplicity, a sober style. However, Giotto never saw it completed.

It’s time now to remember the amazing frescoes in Assisi which decorate one of the most beautiful churches ever built, located in one of the most enchanting cities in the world.

Many historians actually claim Giotto was not the mind behind them, and this follows a long series of controversies that surrounds Giotto’s life.

The mystery of Giotto

You see, there are very few records and proof of actual facts related to his existence, nor have we a clear understanding of where he was born. After his 1337 death no one could prove where he was buried. Another element of mystery is his actual physical appearance. He is described as ugly and very short but no images exist to prove or disprove this.

Furthermore, even his relations with Cimabue are challenged as not being as strong as reported and in fact they likely were at odds as Giotto was credited with many works that were probably done by Cimabue himself.

Despite the controversy, we should think of the purpose of art itself: we should appreciate what we have and benefit from it as we view these treasures of humanity, regardless of the identity of their authors. What we know for sure is that Giotto revolutionized art, just like Dante revolutionized literature and Mozart music a few centuries later.

The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. Image via.

Curious about Italian artists? Then read our “Intro To” series:

And more!

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