Collection: Holy Family: Giotto

ARTIST: Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS


In keeping with the artist, Giotto, who said he wanted the Holy Family to look like a Mama, a Papa, and their baby going on a Sunday picnic. Now that's what makes a family holy!

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One of the early Old Masters, the Italian artist Giotto di Bondone was active during the Proto-Renaissance in Florence. Best known for his naturalistic fresco painting, Giotto, along with the Sienese painter Duccio di Buoninsegna (1255-1319) - was a key figure in 14th-century Pre-Renaissance Painting. Influenced by French Gothic sculpture, his unique contribution was to break away from the "flat" symbolism of Byzantine-style Christian art, and introduce instead a brand new realism, never previously seen. For the first time, saints and members of the Holy Family looked like real people with real emotions, and possessed a new three-dimensionality. Although much of his work has been destroyed, his most notable feat was the fresco cycle in the Cappella degli Scrovegni, in Padua. Painted during the period 1303-10, these Scrovegni Chapel Frescoes rank alongside the greatest examples of religious art. Other major works include his frescoes on the life of Saint Francis at Assisi, and in the Franciscan church of Santa Croce in Florence.