Scrovegni Chapel – Padua, Veneto, Italy

Giotto’s Legacy in Brilliant Technicolor

Giotto’s frescoes were instrumental in transforming late medieval and Renaissance painting because of the breadth of the Biblical storytelling, the realism and emotion depicted in the many characters, and the power of the colors.

Covering every centimeter of the 13th-century Scrovegni Chapel, these fres­coes are some of the most important not only in Italy but in the entire world. Giotto and his students labored from 1303 to 1306 to create thirty-eight scenes.

Easily read in typical medieval storybook form, they illustrate the lives of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Together with the remaining frescoes depict­ing the life of St. Francis in the Basilica of Assisi, this fresco cycle constitutes the greatest body of work of the Tuscan-born artist (1267-1337).

After the 1997 earthquake in Assisi that permanently damaged some of Giotto’s frescoes, the Paduan frescoes were laboriously restored to their original bril­liance, dominated by the famous cobalt blue.

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