Giotto’s Crucifixion is a cycle of frescoes that illustrates the life of Christ. Created in the Byzantine tradition, the artwork is 200 cm tall and 185 cm wide, including the brown and green frames. The painting depicts three Crucifixes on shaped panels that are considered prototypes for contemporary art.
What sets Giotto’s Crucifixion apart from its predecessors is the artist’s introduction of naturalism, spatial construction, and emotionality into his paintings. These attributes can be seen in many of his works but are particularly noticeable here due to the strong emotional impact this portrayal has on viewers.
The Santa Maria Novella Crucifix became a prototype for later artists, inspiring them to take a new approach to religious painting. In Padua, Enrico Scrovegni even commissioned Giotto to devise a decorative scheme for the whole interior of a private chapel. This masterpiece introduced an innovative approach to spatiality in painting making it one of Giotto’s most significant contributions to art history. Today it remains relevant as one can see an original painting by Giotto titled “Crucifixion” showcased at The Louvre in Paris.