Giotto's The Lamentation of Christ

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Water-based pigment applied to fresh moist plaster


Stylistic Characteristics

Fresco mural painting: Original painting size 7ft. 7’’ by 7ft.9’’



Giotto's style revolutionized the development in the art of the late Middle Ages, changing paintings from the usual flat surfaces into animated three dimensional figures (Madeleine).

Giotto, through the use of Byzantine influenced the way paintings could reveal emotions as the faces on the paintings show how the angels and disciples were emotional following the death of Christ

This realistic depiction of emotion on human faces set him apart from other artists of his day, turning Christ and his followers into real human beings with real emotion.


Historical Context

According to the Church, charging interest for a loan (usury) was a sinful act, and so perhaps one of Enrico's motivations for building the chapel and having Giotto decorate it was to atone for the sin of usury since he was a banker and charged interest on loans.

Historically, people believed that offering expensive gifts to the church and God would lead to forgiveness of sins.

As such, Enrico Scrovegni commissioned the paintings on Arena, the Scrovegni Chapel to atone for the sins of his father as a banker.


Religious Context

St. Francis brought a richer perception and a new focus on the great mystery of the Incarnation of God becoming flesh into the spiritual treasure house of the Church. Such revelations impacted on Giotto’s artistic expression and vision regarding the emotions when mourning the death of Christ.

Such depict the profound love for the Beloved, coming from the hearts of people and angels, and their desire to share in His suffering.


Philosophical Context

Giotto’s revolutionary technique of painting marked the beginning of change in ways artists presented their artwork, changing the way people thought about the world, and laid the groundwork for the scientific revolution. Technological advancement due to freedom of though and expression. Aristotle ideas.


Journal Entry

My thinking is that this is one of the important artifacts during the 14th

Century. It spans across centuries and different cultures while maintain its originality, creativity and universal nature. The art displays the strong emotions when one thinks and mourns over the death of Christ.  It is also interesting to learn that Giotto drew his inspiration from St. Francis of Assisi, The art has had its influence of contemporary artists like Bela Čikoš Sesija

who did a modern Lamentation, in Symbolist

style based on Giotto’s original artwork


September 04, 2023


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Art History Artwork

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