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Vasari famously wrote that Giotto "recovered the true method of painting, which had been lost for many years before him," and indeed, he is traditionally considered a founder of the Italian Renaissance. Producing a series of commissioned works for the church and upper classes in his native Tuscany and surrounding regions, Giotto changed the course of European art by breaking away from the rigid, stereotyped figures of the Byzantine and medieval traditions. His innovation was to give his characters natural movement and expression. His great fresco cycles, such as the lives of the Virgin and Christ in the Scrovegni (or Arena) Chapel, Padua, are populated with realistic depictions of three-dimensional figures; secondary characters, both comic and tragic, display the range of the painter's wit and invention. And Giotto's treatment of perspective was just as revolutionary as his approach to the human form: the dramatic power of his scenes is heightened by the convincing illusionistic spaces in which he places them.
In this authoritative survey of Giotto's life and work, Francesca Flores d'Arcais draws on an impressive range of sources, from fourteenth-century documents to the most 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; she explains not only the extent of the damage, but also the art-historical insights that emerged from the subsequent restoration effort. More than three hundred illustrations, most in full color and some on double gatefold pages, reproduce all of Giotto's important frescoes in exquisite detail, as well as his moving crucifixes and jewel-like polyptychs. These splendid images and d'Arcais's insightful text, now, for the first time, in an affordable paperback edition, make this the definitive monograph on the greatest of trecento masters.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 238 x 249 x 25.4mm | 1,746.33g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Second Edition
  • 0789212668
  • 9780789212665
  • 72,495

Table of contents

The Upper Basilica of San Francesco, Assisi: Key to the Frescoes The Scrovegni Chapel, Padua: Key to the Frescoes Preface to the First Edition Preface to the Second Italian Edition TRAINING AND EARLY WORKS Florentine Education First Visit to Rome The Early Works in the Upper Basilica in Assisi THE FRANCISCAN CYCLE IN ASSISI The Stories of St. Francis FROM ASSISI TO PADUA The Florentine Panels; Problems of Dating Rome, 1297 Return to Florence Rimini PADUA The Works in the Basilica of Sant'Antonio The Scrovegni Chapel Frescoes The Crucifix THE "SPACIOUS" GIOTTO After Padua The Probable Return to Assisi Giotto's Second Paduan Sojourn The Decoration of the Ognissanti in Florence Rome: The Navicella Mosaic WORK FOR THE FLORENTINE BANKERS The Work in Santa Croce The Peruzzi Chapel COLOR The Magdalen Chapel in Assisi Giotto's Pupils in Assisi: the Vele Further Works for Cardinal Stefaneschi The Crucifixion in Berlin and the Strasbourg-Wildenstein Diptych LATE FLORENTINE ACTIVITY The Horne-Washington-Chaalis Polyptych The Decoration of the Bardi Chapel The Baroncelli Polyptych GIOTTO AND THE NOBLE COURTS Giotto in Naples Giotto and the Viscontis The Bologna Polyptych GIOTTO THE ARCHITECT APPENDIXES Documentary Records Chronology Bibliography Index of Names Index of Works by Site
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Review quote

"A magnificent book." --Publishers Weekly "Giotto receives his due in what will be the standard book on his work for years to come." --Booklist
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About Francesca Flores D'Arcais

Francesca Flores d'Arcais is a professor of art history at the University of Verona, Italy. An expert in the field of northern Italian painting, she has made numerous contributions to the study of medieval and Renaissance art over the course of her distinguished teaching career.
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