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History of art

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History of Art 19TH September 2005 With Reference to Giotto's "Kiss of Judas" discuss Giotto's humanisation of religious figures, his use of space and light, his approach to narrative painting, his choice of setting and his use of colour. Giotto (1267-1337) was the most important painter of the14th centaury. He was a revolutionary painter breaking decisively from the Italo-Byzantine tradition, which consisted of Elongated two-dimensional figures that lacked weight. Giotto's most important and famous works were the frescos at the Arena chapel 1305-1310. He was commissioned to paint the frescos by Enrico Scrovegni, who built the chapel in order to get his father into heaven, due to his father being a non-Jewish money lender (a usurer), which was a great sin at the time. ...read more.


However the thing he did that was most important was the human emotion he had in his paintings. Unlike the Italo-Byzantine style which made religious figures look divine with no expression on their faces, Giotto uses emotion to not only make the figures look human but also for the narrative of the paintings. It is clear from the expressions on the onlooker's faces as Judas kisses Jesus that they are shocked and angry about it, also Jesus' stare into Judas' eyes show great power and disgust. This helped the viewer symapthathize with the figures, which gave them a better understanding of the stories. This is another reason why Giotto was so important. ...read more.


The figures are also not only anchored to the ground but there is suggested measurable distance between them. Giotto's use of colour was less jewel like than the Byzantine style as he used far less gold leaf. However he did use a vast amount of lapislazuliy which was a very deep blue colour that was made from a very precious expensive stone that came from Afghanistan, This was even more grand than gold leaf especially as he used it in such vast quantities. He also uses colours for symbolic purposes. For example in 'Kiss of Judas' Judas' cloak, which is draped around Jesus, is yellow. This was the symbol for treachery and deceit and this would have also added to peoples understanding of the paintings. ...read more.

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