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Giotto is traditionally considered a founder of the Italian Renaissance, praised for his understanding of space and the human body. Producing a series of commissioned works for the church and upper classes in his native Tuscany and surrounding regions, Giotto (c. 1267–1337) changed the course of European art by breaking away from the stiff, predictable figures of the Byzantine and medieval traditions. His great fresco cycles, most notably the lives of the Virgin and Christ in the Scrovegni (or Arena) Chapel, Padua, are filled with realistic depictions of three-dimensional figures set in dramatic, even revolutionary, perspectival spaces.
In this authoritative survey of Giotto`s life and work, Francesca Flores d`Arcais draws on a broad range of sources, from fourteenth-century documents to recent art-historical investigations. Her research leads her to important reattributions of Giottesque paintings and to new conclusions regarding the execution and dating of both famous and lesser-known works. In this second edition of her study, d`Arcais also discusses the earthquake of September 26, 1997, that damaged the frescoes of the Upper Basilica of San Francisco in Assisi, some of which are attributed to the young Giotto. Now available in a paperback edition at an irresistible price, Giotto combines splendid images and d`Arcais`s insightful text in the definitive monograph on the greatest of trecento masters.
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