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Did you know . . .?
. . . Paul Cezanne painted more than 200 still-life compositions in his lifetime?

. . . the first pigments used in painting were ground from earth, minerals and organic matter?

Considered one of the greatest early Italian painters, Florentine painter and architect Giotto can also be considered the founder of the main tradition of Western painting because of the way he broke away from Byzantine tradition and introduced the concern with an illusionistic pictorial space. His subjects attained a sense of solidity, reality and mass since which has never been entirely lost to painting.

During his lifetime Giotto was recognised for the momentous quality of his work and praised lavishly by the likes of Dante and Boceaccio and Cennino Cennini. In 1400, Cennini summed up Giotto's stylistic revolution in the words "Giotto translated the art of painting from Greek to Latin."

There is considerable scholarly debate over which works can be attributed to Giotto. The main panel for St Francis Receiving the Stigmata from the church of San Francesco in Pisa (1290s?) is generally considered to be Giotto's work while the designs of the three small scenes were borrowed from Assisi and painted by the St Francis Master's assistants.

In 1334 Giotto's architectural skills were employed when he was put in charge of the building operations of Florence Cathedral for which he painted several panel pieces. The most celebrated piece being "Ognisanti Madonna" (1305 - 10).

The Giotto's influence on Florentine painting stemmed from his ability to bring a sense of three-dimensionality to his works. The generation of painters which came after was overwelmingly influenced by this approach to painting.

REFERENCES
Gowing, L. (1987) Paintings in the Louvre. New York, U.S.A.: Stewart, Tabor & Chang.
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Laclotte, M. and Cuzin, J-P. (1993) The Louvre: European Paintings. London: Scala Publications Ltd.

Piper, D. (1981). The Dictionary of Painting & Sculpture, Art & Artists, Painters & Sculptors, Terms & Techniques. London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers.

Roettgen, S (1996) Italian Frescoes: The Early Renaissance (1400 - 1470). New York, U.S.A.: Abbeyville Press.
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