Early Celebrity.
December 5, 2004 5:48 PM   Subscribe

Famous for Being Famous - is an article on the artist, Giotto, argued to be among the first "celebrities." Giotto studied with the painter Cimabue and is said to have been an early influence on Leonardo da Vinci. Although not currently as well-known as Michaelangelo, for instance, Giotto's fame in his day was great, as evidenced by writings by Dante and Boccaccio.
posted by grapefruitmoon (5 comments total)
Thanks for the introduction and welcome to MeFi. Heres more info and pictures at Wikipedia. He was of a generation (like Dante) not yet modern, but still no longer Medieval. "..Before him figures were treated as flat, decorative symbols.. he managed to adopt the visual language of the sculptors — by lending his figures volume and weight." .. what a change, like going from CGA graphics to VGA.
posted by stbalbach at 6:58 PM on December 5, 2004

I remember seeing a show about him back in art history class. He didn't know about perspective but he was close. If you followed the lines in his paintings they didn't end at a vanishing point but sort of crisscrossed near each other. He is very much a transitional figure in the world of art.
posted by euphorb at 1:00 AM on December 6, 2004

He's pretty well known for his bell tower in Florence, too.
posted by smackfu at 6:20 AM on December 6, 2004

Thanks for the post. I didn't truly appreciate Giotto until I went to Florence and saw his stuff in situ. Sad that he's virtually unknown these days, considering his work represents a major innovation in Western art.
posted by mkultra at 7:41 AM on December 6, 2004

>>Sad that he's virtually unknown these days.

I disagree. He is extremely very well known in art history, historian, and literary circles, but I can only conclude that his reputation wanes within the general public because his abundant work (only known through inventories and receipts) has hardly survived past the 19th century. You simply cannot mention Giotto without referencing his Scrovengi fresco cycle, which is the largest surviving body of his work. It is found in Padua, in the Scrovengi Cappella (Arena Chapel). The tiny chapel's interior is completely covered in fresco that depicts the life of Christ, split into stratified bands of events. Giotto's style of rendering the chapel is considered one of the major turning points in European painting, hastening the transition from Byzantine to Renaissance art.
posted by naxosaxur at 8:44 AM on December 6, 2004

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