The Lamentation by Giotto, c. 1305, Scrovegni ...

The Lamentation by Giotto

It is said that Giotto di Bondone‘s talent as an artist was first discovered around the tender age of 10. During his life time, a social revolution was taking place. Villages, where agriculture was the prevalent lifestyle, expanded into cities bustling with merchants, traders and craftsmen selling their wares. Religion was nudged aside by philosophers while monasteries were replaced by universities as centers of learning and culture. The first sparks that would later ignite into the age of enlightened began a movement which stressed the importance of humans and the secular world vs. the unseen, otherworldliness of heaven as depicted by religious sects.

Giotto was known for his influence in changing the Western art movement from the rigid Byzantine tradition of using stylized, flat characters with angelic continence to ones that depicted human emotions such as fear, hope, rage, and love. He used shading and light to create three-dimensional figures with shape and weight under naturally flowing clothing so that his paintings seemed populated by real people who told stories through their gestures and expressions. He was also among the first to place his figures in settings that depicted nature.

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