Great Giotto in 14 Masterpieces

The Palazzo Reale in Milan has recently represented a large exhibition titled “Giotto, l’Italia. Da Assisi a Milano” that will conclude the semester of Expo 2015. It is truly a significant event held under the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic. Even the Vatican Museum has loaned for this exhibition one of its treasures, “Stefaneschi Triptych,” which has never left the boundaries of the Papal capital before. 14 carefully selected masterpieces step by step tell us the story of the famous Proto-Renaissance artist and acquaint us with his works from different periods of creativity. In addition to the Vatican Museum, this project is also attended by such important museums and galleries as the Uffizi Gallery, the Art Museums of Padua and Florence, and the San Diego Museum of Art.

The exhibition curators proudly say that today the name of Giotto is known throughout the world.  He is revered as one of the greatest artists in the history of art. Even in the 14th century, Dante Alighieri wrote in the famous “Divine Comedy” about his admiration for the talent of this Italian master. Giotto di Bondone (1266-1337) was the first traveling artist, whose masterpieces now can be found throughout Italy – from altarpieces for Santa Croce Chapel in Florence and Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to unique frescoes in the Franciscans churches at Padua, Assisi, and Rimini. The last years of his life Giotto spent in Milan, where he created a wonderful work known under the name “Gloria del Mondo” but, unfortunately, it was lost.

Giotto worked for the most influential circles. Among his clients were bankers and Cardinals, the Franciscan Order, the Duke of Milan, and the King of Naples who awarded the artist the title of the royal painter. Giotto’s famous “Stefaneschi Triptych” was created for the main altar of Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome circa 1320. This altarpiece was painted by the artist on both sides: one of them was turned to the congregation, and the other – to the canons of the church. Its central part represents St. Peter seating on a throne. The back central panel depicts enthroned Christ with kneeling Pope Celestine V and Cardinal Stefaneschi at his feet.

The latest Giotto’s works “Bologna Polyptych” and “Baroncelli Altar” are also presented at the “Giotto, l’Italia. Da Assisi a Milano” exhibition. By the way, “Bologna Polyptych” ordered by the King of Naples Robert of Anjou is the only work by this artist, which survived in Bologna. Moreover, the Madonna from San Giorgio alla Costa and the fragment of the Maestà of the Virgin from Borgo San Lorenzo are also on display. So use the chance to see all masterpieces by great Giotto gathered in one place! The exhibition intended to stress the revolutionary role of the genius Florentine painter is on view until 10 January 2016.