Giorgio Vasari

For centuries, the late-medieval artist Giotto di Bondone (died 1337) has been celebrated for “painting from nature” in a way that virtually no one had before.  What made Giotto such an innovative artist?  Why is he so frequently described as “painting from nature”?  Using specific visual evidence, describe Giotto’s radical approach to naturalism. 

Giotto’s Arena Chapel (also called the Scrovegni Chapel) was commissioned by the wealthy patron Enrico Scrovegni for a very important reason: what are the circumstances behind the construction and decoration of the Arena Chapel?  Select one other work from Chapter 18: how do Giotto’s works compare and contrast with another artistic creations from the 14th century?   You must also address the issue of PATRONAGE context in your answer.   Giorgio Vasari Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects 1568   NOW IN THE YEAR 1267, in the country of Florence, about fourteen miles from the city, in the village of Vespignano, there was born to a simple peasant named Bondone a son, to whom he gave the name of Giotto, and whom he brought up according to his station.

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And when he had reached the age of ten years, showing in all his ways though still childish an extraordinary vivacity and quickness of mind, which made him beloved not only by his father but by all who knew him, Bondone gave him the care of some sheep. And he leading them for pasture, now to one spot and now to another, was constantly driven by his natural inclination to draw on the stones or the ground some object in nature, or something that came into his mind. One day Cimabue, going on business from Florence to Vespignano, found Giotto, while his sheep were feeding, drawing a sheep from nature upon a smooth and solid rock with a pointed stone, having never learnt from any one but nature. Cimabue, marveling at him, stopped and asked him if he would go and be with him. And the boy answered that if his father were content he would gladly go. Then Cimabue asked Bondone for him, and he gave him up to him, and was content that he should take him to Florence. There in a little time, by the aid of nature and the teaching of Cimabue, the boy not only equaled his master, but freed himself from the rude manner of the Greeks, and brought back to life the true art of painting, introducing the drawing from nature of living persons, which had not been practiced for two hundred years; or at least if some had tried it, they had not succeeded very happily. This is the book website: https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780134485195/cfi/3!/4/4@0.00:0.00

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