Giotto di Bondone was known for:
Being the earliest artist to paint more realistic figures rather than the stylized artwork of the medieval and Byzantine eras. His focus on emotion and natural representations of human figures would be emulated and expanded upon by successive artists, leading Giotto to be called the "Father of the Renaissance."
Places of Residence and Influence:
About Giotto di Bondone:
Though many stories and legends have circulated about Giotto and his life, very little can be confirmed as fact. He was born in Colle di Vespignano, near Florence, in 1266 or 1267 -- or, if Vasari is to be believed, 1276. His family were probably farmers. Legend has it that while he was tending goats he drew a picture on a rock, and that the artist Cimabue, who happened to be passing by, saw him at work and was so impressed with the boy's talent that he took him into his studio as an apprentice. Whatever the actual events, Giotto appears to have been trained by an artist of great skill, and his work is clearly influenced by Cimabue.
The Works of Giotto:
There exists no documentation to confirm any artwork as having been painted by Giotto di Bondone. However, most scholars agree on several of his paintings. As an assistant to Cimabue, Giotto is believed to have worked on projects in Florence and other places in Tuscany, and in Rome. Later, he also traveled to Naples and Milan. He almost undoubtedly painted the Ognissanti Madonna (currently in the Uffizi in Florence) and the fresco cycle in the Arena Chapel at Padua.
Perhaps his best known work is that done in Assisi, in the Upper Church of San Francesco: a cycle of 28 frescoes depicting the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. This monumental work depicts the entire life of the saint, instead of isolated events, as had been the tradition in earlier medieval artwork. The authorship of this cycle, like most of the works attributed to Giotto, has been called into question; but it is very likely that he not only worked in the church, but designed the cycle and painted most of the frescoes.
Other important works by Giotto include the Sta Maria Novella Crucifix, completed sometime in the 1290s, and the Life of St. John the Baptist fresco cycle, completed c. 1320.
Giotto was also known as a sculptor and architect. Though there is no concrete evidence for these assertions, he was appointed chief architect of the workshop of Florence cathedral in 1334.
The Fame of Giotto:
Giotto was a much-sought-after artist during his lifetime. He appears in works by Boccaccio and Dante, who were both contemporaries, and was included in Vasari's biographies of great artists. Vasari said of him, "Giotto restored the link between art and nature."
Giotto di Bondone died in Florence, Italy, in 1337.
More Giotto di Bondone Resources:
Giotto di Bondone in PrintThe "compare prices" link will take you to a site where you can compare prices at booksellers across the web. More in-depth info about the book may be found by clicking on to the book's page at one of the online merchants. The "visit merchant" link leads directly to an online bookstore. Neither About.com nor Melissa Snell is responsible for any purchases you may make through these links.
Giotto: The Frescoes of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua
by Giuseppe Basile
Giotto di Bondone on the Web
Renaissance Art and Architecture
Extensive examination of Giotto's life and work by Nicolas Pioch.
Who's Who Directories:
The text of this document is copyright ©2000-2014 Melissa Snell. You may download or print this document for personal or school use, as long as the URL below is included. Permission is not granted to reproduce this document on another website. For publication permission, please visit About's Reprint Permissions page.
The URL for this document is: