Giotto di Bondone was one of the first greatest personalities in architect and Florentine painting of his time. According to Pioch (1), during the Italian renaissance Giotto became renowned as the first genus of art. His greatness in the field of art is attributed to two factors.
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Firstly, he brilliantly got to the heart of every sacred history event he was representing by breaking down the episode to its fundamental, dramatic core, as well as his ability to design compositional means through which he could express the deepest spiritual meaning of the sacred history episode and its emotional effects in terms of uncomplicated area of paint.
The second factor is that Giotto’s art is outstanding for its simple, grave, and clear solution to the central tribulations of an attempt to represent the human figure, volume and the space, solitary and structure of three dimensional forms. The solutions that he came up with helped in solving fundamental dramatic narrative problems, as such, these solutions have never been surpassed and in many ways, they have consequently been elaborated (Wolf 29).
Giotto’s deep understands of other sculptors’ achievements such as Giovanni Pisano, Nicola Pisano, and Arnolf di Cambio is seen as the greatest inspiration of his success in his representation of the basics of human psychological and spiritual reaction to events as well as human form.
The aforementioned sculptors were very keen in tackling the fundamental problems of representation particularly in a physically three dimensional medium. Giotto’s paintings do not only appeal to the tactile imagination which the objects of the art possess and represented by the human figures, his paintings also depicts a keener sense of reality, with a more likeness of life than the objects.
His paintings are therefore intensely real in that they deeply evoke the tactile imagination of the audience thus compelling them to everything that stimulates their sense of touch while observing the objects (Williamson 15).
Movement and action
Another peculiar aspect of Giotto’s painting is his treatment of movement and action. In all his paintings, the gestures and the grouping never fail to convey the intended meaning. Giotto used the significant shade and light, significant line, the significant gesture, and the significant look up or down, to convey an absolute sense of motion in his work such as Paduan frescoes of the Ascension of our Lord, of the Resurrection of the Blessed, of the angel in Zacharias Dream.
Or of the God the rather in the Baptism. Giotto’s ability to convey action and movement in his work is indeed a claim to perpetual appreciation as an artist (Gillet 6). This genius appreciation enabled him to represent objects in a representation that is more complete and quick, subsequently giving the audience the opportunity to confirm their senses of capacity that in turn bring into being a great source of satisfaction.
It is argued that in every piece of Giotto’s work the audience feels its real connotation and he conveys as much of his art work as the general confines of his own skills and art permit regardless of the painting theme (Williamson 47). In instances where the theme of his painting is sacred story, Giotto’s paintings are endowed with careful sacramental intentness, processional gravity, as well as hieratic dignity.
He used several symbols to depict an individual dominated by a given vice. This is evidence in his work such as Arena at Padua, at the Injustice, the Avarice, and the Inconstancy, while painting Inconstancy Giotto paints a woman who has a blank face, with aimlessly held out arms, with her feet placed on a wheel side, and her chest falling backwards (King 37). Consequently the painting makes the audience giddy to look at the woman.
In the painting injustice he uses a man who is powerfully built in his prime years, the man is clad in a judge costume while grasping a lance that is double hooked in his clawed right hand and clenching his sword hilt with his left hand. The eyes of the man are firmly on the watch, with an attitude that suggests his readiness to devour on his victim.
He is seated on a rock that is higher that the trees. It therefore goes without saying that in the aforementioned paintings, there is a clear caption of each of the vices as Giotto has perfectly presented and extracted their visible significance.
Giotto was greatly concerned with the human figures presentational problems as well as their actions pragmatically on a flat surface which was to embody 3 dimensional spaces. In the earlier times artists used the Byzantine tradition flat forms. They also disregarded what was around them and often imitated each other.
Unlike the earlier artist Giotto carefully considered human body and nature and he realized that the two aspects were endowed with deep emotions, humanity, and great dignity (King 58). He therefore placed his human figures in albeit shallow, free space. This led to his acceptance and recognition as one of the greatest artist of his time.
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Gillet, Louis. “Giotto di Bondone.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. Print.
King, Margaret. The Renaissance in Europe. NY: Laurence King Publishing, 2003. Print.
Pioch, Nicolas . Giotto di Bondone. Web Museum, Paris 2002. Web. <http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/giotto/>
Williamson, Beth. Approaches to Giotto. A journal on Art History, Vol 34, (2011): 1061 – 1065.
Wolf, Norbert. Giotto di Bondone, 1267-1337: the renewal of painting. NJ: Taschen, 2006. Print.