Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The 'Father of Western Painting' has his work viewed in a new light

Giotto's Florentine Masterpieces seen in a new light.
Yesterday Micheal Day wrote in The Independent "Restoration experts have used ultra violet rays to shine an astonishing new light on the work of one of the most important painters in the history of Western art.The paintings of Giotto di Bondone in the Peruzzi Chapel in Florence's Santa Croce church are considered among the most important by the medieval artist who introduced a revolutionary emotional depth and degree of perspective in his painting. The Peruzzi chapel, with its murals honouring John the Evangelist and John the Baptist, is thought to have inspired great painters in the Renaissance a century after Giotto's death in 1337. But neglected for hundreds of years, and encrusted with dust and crime, it is only now that some of the finest details have been seen again. The ambitious "non-invasive diagnostics" project designed to assess the condition of the 12-metre-high chapel, which Giotto painted in about 1320, began last year. By chance restorers working on the three-storey steel scaffolding noted that when ultra-violet light was directed on the frescoes a remarkable degree of extra detail became visible. The influence of Giotto, who is often referred to as the "Father of Western painting", is said to be visible in the work of the great figures of the high Renaissance such as Michelangelo. Ms Frosinini told Reuters of her surprise and delight when she saw the "images come back to life".  The use of ultra violet light has to be limited because it too, might damage the paintings, which are particularly fragile because they were painted on dry plaster, unlike traditional frescoes." Read the whole article HERE.