Giotto’s Arena Chapel

Giotto;s Arena Chapel

Among the early renaissance artist many left long lasting impressions on the artist to come, but none stood out more than the Florentine painter and architect, Giotto. An outstanding painter, sculptor, and architect he was recognized as thefirst geniuses of art in the Italian Renaissance.Giotto lived and worked at a time when people were beginning to be freed from the medieval restraints and he dealt in traditional religious subjects, which the people could relate with.
Giotto;s most famous works is the Arena Chapel in Padua. In the year 1300, Enrico Scrovegni, a wealthy, merchant acquired the ruins of an old Roman arena with an adjoining chapel. Scrovegni wanted to use the chapel as a family place of worship. Five years after he obtained the Arena Chapel, Enrico Scrovegni charged Giotto with the job of painting the interior walls of the chapel. Giotto accepted the job and began work on the chapel immediately.
The walls of the chapel were both restricted and asymmetrical due to the six windows on the right wall. Giotto measured and decided to divide the walls into panels of the same size. In the panels Giotto painted a series of thirty-eight frescoes depicting the life of Christ on one wall and the Life of the Virgin Mary on the opposing wall.
Above the archways are pictures of the Last Judgment and the Annunciation. Giotto showed his genius again by leaving no empty wall space. A significant innovation is the dado painted to imitate a veined marble wall. Also between the panels of the fake marble are small frescoes imitating sculptors of the seven virtues and seven vices. This was typical of the 15th and 16th centuries and Giotto used this style previously on Campanile in Florence.
Giotto;s style is showed in all of the paintings of the chapel except the Annunciation. He concentrated on the grasp of human emotion and of what was significant in human life. In conce…