Sunday, February 22, 2009

Giotto - Madonna Enthroned

Artist's Name: Giotto di Bondone
Piece Name: Madonna Enthroned
Date: ca. 1300
Period: Early Renaissance
Material: Tempera on wood

Considered one of the forebears of High Renaissance painting, Giotto's depiction of the Virgin and Child stands as an excellent example of the changes occurring in art at the time. While Giotto still uses many of the obvious symbols of Medieval painting (the main figures are overly large and central, the opaque plate-like halos, the two fingered gesture of the Christ Child), there is a human quality and depth not found in works of the middle ages. The Virgin is draped in thin, delicate material and there is definite assertion to the shape of her body. Greater attention is paid to the detail of her face and the shading around her chin and throat. There are even faint blue lines visible on the back of her hand. Part of the movement of Naturalism was attempting depth through use of linear perspective. While the perspective of the throne is not correct, the intention is clear.

(Click for larger view)

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