Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Art of Giotto

In my last blog entry, I used a fresco of the "final judgment" which I thought to be inspiring for its iconographic and comprehensive portrayal of the Gospel scene.

In conversations with several people today, we discussed the work of artist, Giotto de Bondone. He lived in Italy from 1267-1337. The panel we see of the "last judgment" is from the rear wall of the Arena Chapel (Cappella Scrovegni)in Padua. It was commissioned by Enrico Scrovengni and according to historical accounts, Dante Alighieri, author of, among other works, The Divine Comedy visited the artist while working on the chapel's extensive system of frescos

What strikes me most, is the continued influence of iconography in this period of Italian painting. Not yet the "realistic" and "westernized" art of later centuries, these frescos maintain an order and style still followed by the stricter rules of Orthodox art.

The entire chapel is a wonderful piece of art, arranged much in the same way as would be an Orthodox church. The walls are filled with paintings from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary, interspersed with other biblical and theological themes.

For more information on the artist and a vast selection of his frescos in the Padua chapel and elsewhere, visit The Art of Giotto.

A virtual, interactive tour of the chapel, can be taken facing front or looking from the altar toward the entrance . Enjoy these inspiring and rather interesting religious works of art.

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