Essay on Cimabue vs. Giotto Di Bondone

Words: 1676
Pages: 7



Giotto di Bondone, Madonna and Child Enthroned (ca. 1310), 10’ 6”
Cimabue, Madonna and Child with Angels and Prophets (ca. 1280-1290), 12’ 7” X 7’ 4”.

Madonna and Child with Angels and Prophets, an alter piece standing some 12 feet and 7 inches tall, was created around 1280-1290 A.D. for the Church of Santa Trinità in Florence, Italy and is now in the Galleria delgi Uffizi Florence. This iconographical piece was constructed through tempera and gold leaf on wood by Cimabue, an Italian painter who brought classical tradition back into art during the 13th century, when Italo-Byzantine style was dominant, paving the way for art in the Renaissance period.
Madonna Enthroned,
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The angels are forming a connection with Madonna and her child by touching her throne, even though the majority is looking away from them. The prophets are holding their hands up in supplication and adoration, and are also holding scriptures, giving their relationship to Madonna and her child and their status, being prophets that told the fore coming of Christ. The emotion between Madonna and Christ in Giotto’s is much more vividly recognizable, looking more like a protective mother then a woman simply showcasing Christ as in Cimabue’s, relayed through Madonna’s gesture to Christ.
Hierarchical scale is present in both of the pieces, showing Madonna as the largest, and thus most powerful figure in this piece of art. Christ is also very large in comparison to the figures surrounding the throne in both depictions. The depictions of Christ, however, are very different in both pieces and relate to the styles of their time. Cimabue’s Christ looks more like a small man rather than the baby he is described as being. This is a stylistic trait, meant to show the wisdom of Christ, even in his infant years. Giotto simply depicts baby Christ as a just that. Even though Christ is still recognized in this time period as very wise, he is depicted in a realistic way. In both depictions, however, Christ is holding what seem to be either scriptures or prophecies while raising his right hand in benediction.
The clothing in the pictures also