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Giotto
Italian painter, sculptor & architect
born 1267- died 1337

Also known as:
Ambrogio di Bondone Giotto, Giotto di Bondone, Giotto, Giott

Nationality:
Italian

Student of:
Giovanni Cimabue (1240-1302)

Teacher of:
Bernado Daddi (1280-1348), Taddeo Gaddi (1300-1366)


Biographical Information

Florentine painter and architect. Outstanding as a painter, sculptor, and architect, Giotto was recognized as the first genius of art in the Italian Renaissance. Giotto lived and worked at a time when people's minds and talents were first being freed from the shackles of medieval restraint. He dealt largely in the traditional religious subjects, but he gave these subjects an earthly, full-blooded life and force.
The artist's full name was Giotto di Bondone. He was born about 1266 in the village of Vespignano, near Florence. His father was a small landed farmer. Giorgio Vasari, one of Giotto's first biographers, tells how Cimabue, a well-known Florentine painter, discovered Giotto's talents. Cimabue supposedly saw the 12-year-old boy sketching one of his father's sheep on a flat rock and was so impressed with his talent that he persuaded the father to let Giotto become his pupil. Another story is that Giotto, while apprenticed to a wool merchant in Florence, frequented Cimabue's studio so much that he was finally allowed to study painting.
The other major fresco cycle associated with Giotto's name is that on the Life of St Francis in the Upper Church of S. Francesco at Assisi. Whether Giotto painted this is not only the central problem facing scholars of his work, but also one of the most controversial issues in the history of art. The St Francis frescos are clearly the work of an artist of great stature (their intimate and humane portrayals have done much to determine posterity's mental image of the saint), but the stylistic differences between these works and the Arena Chapel frescos seem to many critics so pronounced that they cannot accept a common authorship. Attempts to attribute other frescos at Assisi to Giotto have met with no less controversy.
Among the panels attributed to him, the finest is the Crucifix in Sta Maria Novella, Florence. On account of his great fame as a painter, Giotto was appointed architect to Florence Cathedral in 1334; he began the celebrated campanile, but his design was altered after his death.
In the generation after his death he had an overwhelming influence on Florentine painting; it declined with the growth of International Gothic, but his work was later an inspiration to Masaccio, and even to Michelangelo. These two giants were his true spiritual heirs.

Ognissanti Madonna

c1310
Tempera on wood
204 x 325 cm
(80.31" x 127.95")
Private collection

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2001-09-03
Ognissanti Madonna
The Epiphany

c1320
Tempera on wood, gold ground
45.1 x 43.8 cm
(17.76" x 17.24")
Metropolitan Museum of Art (Manhattan, New York, United States)

Added: 2004-03-29
The Epiphany
Ognissanti Madonna [detail: 1]

c1310
Tempera on wood
325 x 204 cm
(127.95" x 80.31")
Galleria degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy)

Added: 2004-03-29
Ognissanti Madonna [detail: 1]
Ognissanti Madonna [detail: 2]

c1310
Tempera on wood
325 x 204 cm
(127.95" x 80.31")
Galleria degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy)

Added: 2004-03-29
The Stefaneschi Triptych

c1330
Tempera on panel
220 x 245 cm
(86.61" x 96.46")
Pinacoteca (Vatican, Holy See (Vatican City State))

Added: 2004-03-29
The Stefaneschi Triptych
The Stefaneschi Triptych ­ verso

c1330
Tempera on panel
220 x 245 cm
(86.61" x 96.46")
Pinacoteca (Vatican, Holy See (Vatican City State))

Added: 2004-03-29
The Stefaneschi Triptych ­ verso
Pentecost

1300-1310
Tempera on wood
45.5 x 44 cm
(17.91" x 17.32")
National Gallery (London, United Kingdom)

Added: 2004-03-29
Saint Stephen

1320-1325
Tempera on wood
84 x 54 cm
(33.07" x 21.26")
Museo Horne (Florence, Italy)

Added: 2004-03-29
Saint Stephen
Stigmatization of St Francis

1300
Tempera on wood
314 x 162 cm
(123.62" x 63.78")
Musee du Louvre (Paris, France)

Added: 2004-03-29
Stigmatization of St Francis