From: Florence, Italy
This painting of Mary holding Christ was done by Giotto, a revolutionary artist that contributed much to the art style of the Proto-Renaissance. Giotto, in particular, painted many artworks, all in a naturalistic style, compared to his teacher who painted in a more Byzantine-esque style. Giotto displaced the Byzantine style in Italian painting, and like many renaissance painters, attempted to revive the naturalistic elements of the classical style. In this particular painting, there are many dimensions, floors, and levels. People overlap, providing a sense of depth in the painting, and shadows are cast in a particular way to make certain portions seem closer to the viewer than others, such as the cloth draping over the various figures who are shown. Giotto was revolutionary for his time because of his emphasis on viewing something, He recognized that the world must be observed before it can be analyzed and understood, something he did often for his paintings, to ensure a naturalistic painting.
Why This Artwork?
This artwork was chosen to show the naturalistic change to emulate the classical style, a major break from normal medieval art, and marks a period in which the artists observed to paint. Something common in later paintings, and marks the change to renaissance styles.