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Italian Renaissance Painter, Giotto di Bondone

Nativity by Giotto di Bondone, Italian Renaissance Art

The Nativity (detail)
1303-05, fresco by Giotto di Bondone,
Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel, Padua

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Italian Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone was born in 1267 in Florence. Giotto di Bondone is lauded as the Trecento artist responsible for the renewal of Western figurative arts with the ideals of ancient Greece. It is undocumented when Giotto di Bondone first began work. It is known, however, that Giotto di Bondone worked for prominent patrons like the Florentine banking families of the Bardi's and the Peruzzi's. Giotto di Bondone also painted frescoes for the important Christian Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi and the Basilica of San Pietro in Rome. The most well-known of Giotto di Bondone's works though were for the rich Scrovegni family of Padua.

Part of Giotto di Bondone's contribution to Italian Renaissance Art was in his depiction of the concept of space, something well known to the ancient Greeks and Roman. Giotto di Bondone is credited with the re-discovery of that knowledge that was lost in the Middle Ages. In 1303-05, Giotto di Bondone decorated the Arena Chapel (Scrovegni) in Padua with frescoes which are particularly noteworthy for his masterful reconstruction of the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. Giotto di Bondone died in 1337.

Giotto di Bondone's groundbreaking work strongly influenced Early Italian Renaissance painter, Masaccio, who influenced the works of Michelangelo. Also influenced by Giotto were Renaissance artists like Taddeo and Agnolo Gaddi, Bernardo Daddi, Maso di Banco, Giottino and Nardo di Cione, as well as Andrea Orcagna, Andrea da Firenze, and Spinello Aretino

Brenda Harness, Art Historian

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