Giotto di Bondone was a painter of an Italian origin. He was born in 1266 near Florence in present-day Italy. Yet till date he is considered in the legion of the most talented artists ever produced.
There is a huge debate over where Giotto was born. Some claim his birthplace Romignano and that his father was a farmer. Other state he was actually born in Florence and that his father was in fact a blacksmith.
Surviving records indicate that Giotto’s father’s name was Bondone. Also that Giotto had an intelligent mind from a very young age. He was adored by everyone around him and was seen sketching pictures of his sheep on various rocks. Many other skills of Giotto have also been recorded. Once he drew such a realistic fly on a rock that many people made several attempts to brush it off thinking it was an actual fly. Similarly he drew circles so perfect that it appeared to have been drawn using the help of some round object.
No one is sure of the amount of formal training received by Giotto. He is however speculated to have been a student of a notable artist, Cimabue who too was a miraculous painter of his time. Cimabue had experimented with realistic and imaginative styles in his work. However he did not achieve much. Giotto was the one successful in developing his teacher’s style into a proper shape. It was however Cimabue who had inspired Giotto enough to gain the confidence he needed to pursue his artistic journey.
Giotto’s art is similar to that of the Romans in the 13th century. He had introduced realism to his audience in way that at the time was unprecedented. Human beings happened to be his main subject matter. In his work, they exuded passion of the highest degree. Relatively his predecessors and followers both produced work consisting of dull and mundane scenarios that refused to share any personal relationship with its viewer. Hence it is safe to conclude that Giotto began a trend that many attempted to replicate, only failing to do so. For, none of them could master the technique of throwing the emotions on the canvas the way Giotto did.
In the late 13th century, Giotto is noted have experienced a transition in his artistic style. He drew closer to the fashion of drawing the realistic elements of life as accurately as possible. The technique was built upon by the many artists to follow.
The biggest contribution by Giotto was the styling of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua in 1305. He was picked by the Commune of Florence in 1334 to also decorate the bell tower of the Florence Cathedral .
In 1337 Giotto is suspected to have been in Milan. However evidence of his work has yet to be found. The decoration of Podestà Chapel in the Bargello is known to have been one of his final works. In his last years Giotto became very close with with Boccaccio and Sacchetti, both of whom mentioned him in their writing.
It is often very difficult to provide a bibliographical account of Giotto’s work because of the big uncertainties to the factual data pertaining to him. His birthplace, birth date and the sequence of his work are all open to ambiguity. He is said to have died on January 1337. Some say he was buried in Santa Maria del Fiore, the Cathedral of Florence while others claim that he was buried in the Church of Santa Reparata.