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Florentine painter

Florentine painter and architect Giotto di Bondone is widely considered the first master of the Italian Renaissance. The historical account of the details of his life are still being disputed, however his work paved the way to the Renaissance with its focus on the natural form of earthly elements while still paying homage to the medieval, gothic religious works of art. Giotto, as he came to be known, demonstrated from an early age the unique ability to see the world in all of its nuances and reality.

He caught the attention of Cimabue, the leading artistic figure of Florence when he noticed the young Giotto’s rendering of his father’s sheep on a rock surface. The figure portrayed was so lifelike and detailed that Cimabue decided he wanted to take Giotto under his wings as an apprentice. This relationship would last through the Renaissance with Cimabue being one of the major influences on Giotto’s life. Cimabue and Giotto’s early work was through the medium of fresco, a still-wet paint and plaster style. Giotto’s figures at the Arena Chapel in Padua furthered his reputation as a leading force in the transition to the Renaissance period.

His figures were lifelike and realistic as opposed to the medieval figurative and mythical renderings of the past. He captured the spirit of the time with expressive facial features and gestural accuracy. In Rome and Naples, Giotto would receive commissions to paint for the Pope, high churchmen and royalty and he continued to impress his audience and patrons with his superb talent. Giotto influence on the Renaissance can not be underestimated. His lifelike renderings and detailed focus on the reality of his subjects changed the way art was understood after the gothic period.

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