Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Giotto


Detail of Giotto's depiction of Hell in his Last Judgment, the fresco he made in the Arena Chapel in Padua.

I never liked Giotto in college and included him in a group that includes Cezanne, Reubens and others: artists I don't get or don't like. But this detail which I came across this morning is just beautiful, don't you think? I love the way the serpent is fastened onto her.

I studied medieval art for two years: the professor really understood how to use the dark room and bright slides to transport you and make you love the work as he did.

9 comments:

blog administrator said...

Is there a serpent fastened onto you these days?

stray said...

There was one art history teacher I loved. I took four classes from him. He would have three projectors going, noting similarities between works made by people in different places and at different times: fun! I seem to recall his using the word "monumentality" to describe Giotto's contribution.

Namowal said...

I bet hell paintings unleashed the creativity of medieval paintings. Leaders and religious figures had to be treated with stiff dignity...
...but anything can happen in hell!
The hairy demon guys look a bit like Santa's pal, Krampus.

Sally said...

Admin, I just think there's something so tactile about that serpent, and is it biting her ear or whispering into it?

Stray, do they still teach art history in darkened rooms or have video screens taken that away. It was really its own art form, the suspense of the next slide. Sounds silly but I think you know what I mean.

Namo, I noticed that Krampus resemblance too, and your observation seems so likely.

Jean Provost said...

I absolutely loved art history class. I'd take it now if I could, do they still allow people to monitor classes?

I took my 3rd & 4th classes as an adult returning to school in my mid 30's. I studied with a small group of women. We aced every test and all the young kids HATED us...plus they were always trying to study with us.

Sally said...

The reason this image came up is I've installed a google gadget I think called "Art of the Bible" which posts a different painting each day, all from the Middle Ages. Bosch and Breughel are frequently seen, and this morning there was a great engraving by Durer. When you click on the picture it doesn't provide much more info other than provenance and a Bible quote, but it's nice to see a new picture every day.

BERC said...
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stray said...

Gosh, I haven't taken art history in so many years (before personal computers!) I don't know how they teach now. I had a friend who actually went to Europe to take slides so she could use them to teach art history! Digital images would seem more likely now. Today's local paper lists art history on the potential chopping block at the state's major public university!!! Everything's on the table for higher ed in this state this spring. I made some of my closest friends in art history: we spent so many hours together at the library staring at images before exams!!

Sally said...

That's AWFUL about putting art history on the block.