Wednesday 11 November
10 AM PST
1 PM EST
6 PM GMT
7 PM CET
With Dr. Eireann Marshall
Taking advantage of the fact that Giotto was in Padova working on the Basilica of Sant’Antonio, Enrico degli Scrovegni, a wealthy Paduan banker, commissioned the Florentine painter to decorate a private chapel adjacent to the Palazzo Scrovegni. The result was Giotto’s masterpiece, a fresco cycle which is a high point of the proto-Renaissance.
Moving away from the stylised art of Cimabue and Duccio, Giotto presents figures which are alive, three dimensional and filled with emotion, rather than elongated and stiff. Vasari, in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, describes Giotto paving the way to the Renaissance by drawing from nature. Giotto’s frescoes revived Classical ideas, focusing on humans and depicting them as they are, filled with emotions and dressed in clothing which falls naturalistically.
In the well preserved frescoes in the Cappella degli Scrovegni, we witness Giotto’s ability to convey dramatic narratives with great economy and great depth. It is a jewel of a site which is at the heart of the Tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Padova Urbs Picta.