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Cimabue's Sta. Trinità Madonna (c. 1280) and Giotto's Ognissanti Madonna (c. 1310)

Any study of the art of the Italian Renaissance needs to focus on the dramatic revolution in the conception of art evident in the comparison of these two paintings:



 Cimabue, Sta. Trinità Madonna (c. 1280)   Giotto, Ognissanti Madonna (c. 1310)

Most apparently these images present a dramatic change in the relationship of the image to the observer. This can be seen in the different conceptions of space and form in the two works.

Articulate for yourself what you see as the dramatic differences between the two works. Be as specific as possible.


Details of the Ognissanti Madonna:




Details of the Sta. Trinità Madonna:




Both artists also painted Crucifixes:



 Cimabue, Sta. Croce Crucifix  Giotto, Sta. Maria Novella Crucifix.

Compare and contrast these images.

Also contrast these to the 13th century Crucifix in the Badia:

The Badia Crucifix represents the Christus Triumphans type.

The Ognissanti Crucifix

A recent restoration of a Crucifix in the Church of Ognissanti has convincingly demonstrated that it is a work of Giotto, probably painted between 1310 and 1320. It was undoubtedly intended as a pair to the famous Madonna. These images together give visual form to central tenets of Christian theology with the Madonna focusing on the Incarnation and the Crucifix visualizing his death and sacrifice. Both as altarpieces should be seen as also connected to the doctrine of the Eucharist which commemorates Christ's sacrifice but also his eternal incarnation in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. The Ognissanti Crucifix is an extraordinary combination of sumptousness with its decorative gold work and vibrant lapis lazuli cross and pathos with the Christus patiens type.






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