Europe 1300 - 1800
- Florence in the Late Gothic period, an introduction
- Dante’s Divine Comedy in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance art
- Cimabue, Santa Trinita Madonna
- Giotto, The Ognissanti Madonna
- Cimabue, Santa Trinita Madonna & Giotto's Ognissanti Madonna
- Giotto, Ognissanti Madonna (quiz)
- Giotto, St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata
- Giotto, Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel
- The Arena Chapel (and Giotto's frescos) in virtual reality
- Giotto, Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel (part 1)
- Giotto, Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel (part 2)
- Giotto, Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel (part 3)
- Giotto, Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel (part 4)
- Giotto, Arena Chapel
- Giotto, The Entombment of Mary
- A rare embroidery made for an altar at Santa Maria Novella
- Laudario of Sant’Agnese
- Andrea Pisano's reliefs on the Campanile in Florence
- The Ponte Vecchio (“Old Bridge”) in Florence
- Florence in the 1300s
Giotto, Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel (part 4)
Part 4: The Last Judgment from Giotto's Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel, Padua, c. 1305 Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris & Dr. Steven Zucker. Created by Beth Harris, Steven Zucker, and Smarthistory.
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- Was Giotto familiar with Dante's Divine Comedy when he painted this?(9 votes)
- From the author:Well, Dante knew of Giotto and and Giotto knew of Dante... Take a look here:
- Thinking of how many people now-a-days need glasses to actually see these (and most other) works of art, wouldn't the percentage that could actually see these works of art clearly, through the ages be rather small -- until glasses were actually invented and then made more affordable and available to the general public?
- this was a private chapel, so few would have been able to enter anyway(5 votes)
- Can it be said at5:30that since the door is right under Christ and exactly in the middle of the scene, between the blessed and the sinful, then the door is symbolically reminding not only of the fact that people will be judged as the walk out into the real world, but also that their destiny is uncertain, and there is this middle ground they are currently walking through, right under God (who being so incredibly tall and obvious) is always watching and in a way, judging?(9 votes)
- I think that is absolutely correct. The symbolism is in line with the book of Revelation where it states Jesus will sit in judgement. Those found in the Lambs book of life will go to the right and those not found in the book will be sent to the left and into eternal separation from G-d. Rev 20(2 votes)
- Would everyone painted in the elect have been a real person at one time or another? For example, would they all be real family and friends of the Scrovegni in the elect, or would we have some Scrovegni painted along with some painted humans that never existed just to fill up the area.(4 votes)
- Yo, Jon - another great question!
I think it likely that there are some "filler" humans in the mix. I'm basing this on the research I just did on your question - no other member of the Scrovegni family is mentioned in the literature that's published in English on the frescoes.
Enrico Scrovegni concern for the afterlife was apparently satisfied with the creation of the chapel. The chapel wasn't really available for the public - my research shows that it was attached to Enrico's palace, doubled as his tomb, and was only used by the community during the Feast of the Annunciation. Enrico joined an military religious order for defense of the faith known as the Cavalieri Gaudenti but it seems to be for show. So many member of the order neglected their vows that it became known as the "Frat Gaudenti." His family let part of the roof cave in before the city of Padua bought and restored it.
Check these out if you're interested-
- I'm not sure what it is, but something about Giatto's work really jumps out at me, compared to all the other artists's works I have looked at throughout the semester.(5 votes)
- Me too! After seeing so much heavily stylized and abstracted medieval art, Giotto's naturalism was like a splash of cold water, really shocking and jolting.(3 votes)
- 3:49Does the red paint on the bottom right represent blood? In any case, what does it symbolize?(2 votes)
- You are most likely referring to the four rivers of Hell and named by Dante as Styx, Phlegethon, Acheron, and Cocytus and which can be seen here as streaming flames.(7 votes)
- At4:50into the video, a hanging Judas is depicted showing his entrails spilling out of his body as though he has been eviscerated. Why is this?(3 votes)
- Great question. The answer can likely be found in Acts 1;18 "Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out." (KJV) combined with Matthew 27:5 "So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself."(4 votes)
- 4:09"...and he acquaits? the punishments of hell with..." What is the word?(2 votes)
- Equates = (of one thing) Be the same as or equivalent to (another).(3 votes)
- Is there any sense of how long it would have taken Giotto to paint this chapel? Would he have done it alone or would he have had helpers?(3 votes)
- According to the chapel's website it took Giotto two years to paint the fresco. It doesn't say anything about any helpers but it wasn't uncommon at the time for artists to have an apprentice to pass on their skills.
- If this chapel is connected to Scrovegni's palace, who would worship in it? Who would see these frescos? Drs Harris and Zucker speak about 'the public' and talk about how they would be affected by the images. Would the public be likely to ever enter this church? I do not think late medieval churches were as public as churches of today, and that palace churches would be restricted in use to those dwelling in the palace and its immediate lands. The idea of the public entering this church in 1305 strikes me as anachronistic. Can anyone clarify this for me?(2 votes)
- It was a private chapel but guests would be invited, the household would likely attend including servants and business associates and it is possible that the public was allowed to attend on occasion, for example during a saint's day.(3 votes)
(light piano music) - [Steven] Below the "Passion" scene is even more painting. There are these marvelous representations of virtues and vices. That is, expressions of good and evil. - [Beth] And we have virtues and vices here because these are the good and evil that we confront, all of us, in our lives. And these are the things that decide, at the Day of Judgment, we go to Heaven or Hell. - [Steven] And so, they are abstractions of the ideas that are told in the stories above. - [Beth] We're looking at the figure of Envy. - [Steven] It's one of my favorite figures. - [Beth] Here's a figure in profile, engulfed in flames, clutching a bag. - [Steven] But reaching with her other hand for something she does not have, something that she wants. - [Beth] Not content with what she has, she wants more. - [Steven] She's got huge ears. It's as if every sense is attuned to what she does not have. - [Beth] We see emerging from her mouth a snake who moves toward her eyes. - [Steven] That's right. It doubles back on itself, because it is what she sees that bites her, in a sense. The final virtue, as we move towards the exit of the chapel is Hope. She is reaching upward, floating, a classicized figure. - [Beth] And she's winged like an angel and is lifted up toward a figure on the upper right who's handing her a crown. - [Steven] And so Hope, because she's in the corner, is looking up towards "The Last Judgment" and is of the same scale, and her body is in the same diagonal position as the elect in the bottom left corner. The elect are the blessed. That is, these are people that are going to Heaven. And if you look carefully, you can see that their feet are not on the ground. They're actually levitating slightly, they're rising up. - [Beth] Many of them with their hands in positions of prayer, looking up toward the enormous figure of Christ, the largest figure in this chapel. - [Steven] And you'll see that they're actually accompanied by angels. It looks so caring and gentle. They're shepherding these people into Heaven. - [Beth] This benevolent, generous expressions on the face of those angels as they look at all of these individuals who've made the choices in their lives that have led them to this moment of being blessed. - [Steven] The choices that are laid out for us in the virtues and vices in the bottom panels. Just below the elect, you can see that there are what seem to be children, naked, coming out of coffins, out of tombs. And those nude figures are meant to represent the souls that are to be judged by Christ, who, as you said, sits in the middle. He sits here to judge those souls that are being awakened from the dead to determine whether or not they're blessed and get to go to Heaven or if they're gonna end up on the right side of this painting, in Hell. - [Beth] And so this follows very standard iconography or standard composition of the Last Judgment. Just to either side of Christ, though, that division of left and right doesn't happen. - [Steven] That's because this is Heaven. - [Beth] And there we see a Cord of Saints, and around that mandorla, that full-body halo around Christ, we see angels blowing trumpets. - [Steven] We have the angels announcing the end of time. We have angels above them rolling up the sky as if it were a scroll. And these are images that we generally see in Last Judgements because they are in the text of the Bible. - [Beth] The Book of Revelation. The scene of Hell on the lower right with a large blue figure that is meant to represent Satan. Surrounding him are souls being tortured in Hell. - [Steven] "The Divine Comedy," which was extremely popular, describes the landscape of Hell. - [Beth] And equates the punishments of Hell with the different kinds of sins that people committed. And so, in "The Last Judgment" that we're looking at, and because the patron here was concerned with the sin of usury, we see usurers featured, and they're being hung with the bags of money on the ropes that they're hanging from. - [Steven] Right. Usury is requiring interest for when you lend money. It's basically just the act of banking. Just think about it with the way a credit card works, for instance. And that was a mortal sin according to Christ. In fact, Dante speaks at great length about the usurers who have their money bags hanging from their necks and are in one of the lowest circles of Hell. Below the usurers, you can actually make out a specific individual, also hanged. This is Judas, the disciple that betrays Christ. - [Beth] So anyone leaving the chapel from this exit would look up at the scene of "Last Judgment," up at the cross carried by two angels. Perhaps they would notice that figure that I just noticed, a figure behind the cross sort of grasping it for dear life, and would also have looked up and have seen Enrico Scrovegni himself, the patron offering this chapel to the three Marys. - [Steven] As the public would have walked outside after a sermon, after mass perhaps, they would be reminded right before they walk back into the world, the world of desire, the world of sin, that the sacrifice that Christ had made, that story that had unfolded in this chapel comes down to decisions that they need to make in their own life. This is, in a sense, a last reminder before you walk out to take these stories seriously. - [Beth] And Giotto makes it very easy for us to do that by painting these figures in their humanity, by making the narrative so easy and clear to read and by making something so beautiful. Recognized for its beauty- - [Steven] Even in its own day. (light piano music)