“Giotto – The Movie! – Cinematic aspects of the frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel”
Presented by Dr. Rocky Ruggiero
Giotto’s 14th-century fresco cycle in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy, is perhaps the seminal motion picture in Western Art. The artist transformed the iconic, sacred subjects of his contemporary painting world into a very human story- or what I like to call the “visual vernacular”. This lecture will examine a surprisingly modern aspect of Giotto’s work, that is the cinematic quality. To put it simply, the paintings in the chapel read like a motion picture or a film, in which humanity is the star. Giotto’s mise en scène is full of expressive character types, landscapes, colour and visual arrangements. The sequential arrangement and juxtaposition of scenes, instead, produce a visual narrative of which most modern film directors would be envious. In a purely visual medium, Giotto is able to evoke sounds and smells, emotions and expectations, humor and terror.