On the year of 1266, Giotto di Bondone was was born in Florence, Italy. Giotto was a very talented painter as a young child, and the great Florentine painter, Cimabue took him under as an apprentice after seeing his life-like drawing of a sheep on a rock.
He spent his apprenticeship by exploring Italy, and his reputation as an artist spread quickly. One day, Dante, a poet in Italy cryptically wrote in one of his poems that Giotto surpassed his master.
At the age of 2o, he married Ricevuta di Lapo del Pela, or “Ciuta”, and he had 6 children with her. Later, another legend tells that when the Pope’s messenger arrived at his house to see if he was actually a genius, he drew a perfect, red circle and sent the messenger back.
His first known works were his frescoes on the life of St. Francis at the church of Assisi. Sometime between 1303 and 1310, Giotto completed one of his most influential pieces of art: the decoration of the interior of the Scrovegni Chapel. He used many naturalistic elements and the painting was arranged in such a way that it would make someone feel as if they had a place in the painting.
His fame continued to grow and he attracted the attention and eventually friendship from both the Pope and King Robert of Naples. As he grew older, he continued to draw for religious purposes. For examples, he was commissioned to paint the Santa Croce Chapels in Florence and the Peruzzi Chapel. The Peruzzi Chapel became extremely famous because of Giotto’s use and manipulation of perspective.
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He died in January of 1337, and he was buried in Santa Maria del Fiore, the Cathedral of Florence. Giotto was such an important figure in the Renaissance because he reflected the idea of Humanism in his art. He used naturalism, perspective, and emotion to express his art.