Duccio And Giotto Analysis

2037 Words 9 Pages
Duccio and Giotto paint, arguably, their most influential pieces during the first decade of the twelfth century . Giotto is commissioned by Enrico Scrovegni in Padua to fresco the Arena Chapel to reconcile himself with God over the sins of his father’s usury. In contrast, Duccio is commissioned by the Church fathers of Sienna to paint a panel altarpiece for the Duomo . Giotto utilizes his private patronage to develop new principles of dramatic narrative while Duccio sticks to the Bible stories and develops a variation of Gothic style. Despite differences in technique, location and function of the work, and patronage, these two artists were united in creating a new form of visual language helping to launch the period art historians now call …show more content…
Duccio refuses to abandon Byzantine prototypes while still presenting the novel idea of spatial continuity without obsessing over absolute realism. Giotto, on the other hand, abandons medieval style and detail and focuses on absolute realism . This distinct difference is expressed in the comparison between their respective portrayals of the Entry into Jerusalem. In Duccio’s rendering, Christ and other’s dispositions still reflect Byzantine heritage in the ornate detail and lack of real body weight. Duccio shows Christ climbing up a hill to enter the city. In doing this, Duccio is experimenting with ideas of naturalism, however when looking specifically at the wall in the foreground and the mass of bodies which seem piled on top of each other, its obvious that the scene does not depict absolute reality. However, despite an inaccuracy in realism, the depiction of ascending a hill in this way shows how Duccio moves far beyond Byzantine and gothic art . In Giotto’s rendering of this scene in the Arena Chapel, the body weight and perspective of Christ and others are accurate. Showing the entrance on flat surface rather than a hill allows Giotto not to compromise on true naturalism. White describes this difference in technique when he states, “…for Giotto what could not be done with …show more content…
The Bible scene that is emphasized in the Arena Chapel is individual judgment day, not the Crucifixcion, as this is the main elaborated scene against the back wall of the chapel. The Crucifixcion is located along a side wall, and given no particular visual emphasis such as a bigger size in comparison to the other fresco scenes. In the Crucifixcion, Giotto portrays Jesus alone on the cross, without the two sinners beside him. He gives absolute focus to Jesus and as Marle reiterates, “the beautiful figure of the dead Christ on the cross hangs heavily by the arms, His head falling forward on His chest, the whole of great anatomical exactitude” (page number). Enrico Scrovegni’s patronage allows Giotto the ability to focus this fresco on the detail of Jesus, ignoring the other crucifixions, which the Bible iterates. This focus allows exactitude in Giotto’s realism. The crowds of this fresco are much smaller than the crowds seen in Duccio’s Crucifixion on the Maestá. Mary faints in a realistic way into the hands of St. John and a holy woman . Dividing the fate of Christ’s cloak again suggests the sin of obsession over worldly goods and wealth, relating to the patronage and function of this chapel. Giotto’s realistic technique is seen in the folds of the cloak, heavy as it hangs down. The intensity of Mary Magdalene as she tries adamantly to wash away the blood from

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