Cimabue was considered the last of the great Italio-Byzantine style artists. The elongated hands, gold halo, blue background and drapery folds are elements common to the Iconographic style. St Francis' tender gaze and a bit of suffering are captured perfectly in the fresco above.
Cimabue discovered a shepherd boy, Giotto, sketching in a field and took him to be his apprentice. Giotto surpassed Cimabue in fame and Giotto is said to have ushered in the era of Renaissance Art.
The Basilica of St Francis
Two years after the death of Francis in 1228, work began on a appropriate basilica in his honor.. The basilica was decorated with frescoes and paintings from Italy's greatest masters including Cimabue, Lorenzetti and Martini.
Although disputed, many believe Giotto painted the cycle of 28 frescoes depicting the life of St Francis. Whether he did or not will remain a mystery since the commissioning paperwork was likely destroyed during Napoleon's invasion and there are no known records linking him to this work elsewhere.
Below you can view the two styles (from Assisi). The images are grainy due to natural light and window challenges, but you should be able to see the difference.
Frescoes of the Italio-Byzantine style with the darker blue background have a long tradition (refer to the Chora Church for earlier examples).
A more humanistic/realistic freedom of movement and expression, all new innovations in that time, were showcased in the Giotto frescoes.
Notes, Art, Photography CMJENTZ ©2013-2018
My website template has been updated. NOTES pages might have font and pictorial placement discrepancies.
All content ©LumenChristiArt.com,
Christine M. (CM) Jentz.
For comments or inquiries please
contact me. Commissions accepted.
“It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely beautiful pictures.” (St. André Bessette)