Pentecost (c. 1305) by Giotto

Pentecost - Giotto - c.1290 - c.1299

Artwork Information

Datec.1290 - c.1299
Dimensions500 x 400 cm
Art MovementProto Renaissance
Current LocationBasilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Assisi, Italy

About Pentecost

The artwork titled “Pentecost” was created by Giotto, an illustrious artist of the Proto Renaissance period, sometime around 1290 to 1299. This fresco, a medium involving the application of pigment onto freshly laid lime plaster, measures an imposing 500 x 400 cm and forms a part of the “Scenes from the New Testament” series. As a religious painting, it is located within the hallowed spaces of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Assisi, Italy.

“Pentecost” depicts a monumental event in Christian history, when the Holy Spirit is said to have descended upon the apostles, empowering them with the ability to speak in various languages and marking the birth of the church. The composition is structured with a celestial realm at the top, signified by an opening with the Holy Spirit represented as a dove, surrounded by a burst of divine light, and encircled by haloed figures. Below this, the apostles and the Virgin Mary are gathered, enveloped in a mysterious mist—a visual representation of the miraculous event taking place.

Giotto’s work is notable for its emotional depth and the use of space to convey narrative. Even in the architectural elements, one can observe the harmonious blend of color and form, common to Giotto’s style, which laid the foundation for the evolution of Italian Renaissance art. Each figure is rendered with individual care, displaying varied expressions and postures, which contributes to the dynamic feeling of the scene.

This fresco stands as a testament to Giotto’s mastery of fresco technique and his revolutionary contribution to the development of European painting, moving towards greater realism and the depiction of space and form that paved the way for later advancements in the field of art.

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