Wednesday, July 17, 2013

                                                                  Madonna Enthroned

Madonna Enthroned, also known as the Ognissanti Madonna, is a painting by the Italian late medieval artist Giotto di Bondone, housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, Italy. The painting is traditional, in the fact that the Virgin Mary is seated on what appears to be a thrown with angels surrounded by her with the Christ child seated on her lap. In fact its similar yet different to Cimabue's Madonna Enthroned, who was Giotto's trainer. In this period of time artists were considered manual laborers. Many artists wanted to be more like liberal artists such as musicians and poets, so they began to change their style. This is shown when you compare Cimabue's Virgin and Child. This painting is considered one of the first paintings of the renaissance because of its  new found naturalism and escape from the constraints of Gothic art.

The Madonna Enthroned show the numerous styles of art that influenced Giotto. In both the gold coloring used throughout the artwork and the flattened gold background, Giotto's art continued the traditional Italo-Byzantine style so popular in the proto-Renaissance time period. The altarpiece represents a formalized representation of an icon, still retaining the stiffness of Byzantine art, and Giotto retained the hierarchy of scale, making the centralized Madonna and the Christ Child much larger in size than the surrounding saints and religious figures.

Giotto's figures however escape the bounds of Byzantine art. His figures are weighty and are reminiscent of three-dimensional sculptures, such as that in classical Roman sculpture. The Madonna's intricately decorated throne, which itself is an Italian Gothic design, has a very specific use of colored marble as a surface decoration. This use of marble was a style that ended in the early Christian time period, and thus gives a clue that Giotto was knowledgeable of art of that time period.


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