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Madonna and ChildMadonna and ChildGiotto di BondoneItalian - Proto-Renaissancec. 1320/3085.5 x 62 cm (33 11/16 x 24 7/16 in.)Tempera and gold on panelNational Gallery of ArtWashington D.C.http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb.html<p>Giotto (Giotto di Bondone), Colle di Vespignano, 1267/76 (?)- Florence, 1337</p><p>It is not certain where and when Giotto started his apprenticeship as a master painter, but it has been suggested that he trained in Rome. Vasari’s argument that Giotto studied under Cimabue’s tutelage has not been proven to date. However, Giotto was a renowned artist in his lifetime, and that he received commissions from royal and religious authorities, as well as bankers and merchants of various regions of Italy. Fourteenth-century scholars, such as Dante and Boccaccio, praise Giotto’s ability to portray naturalism and liveliness. It is generally accepted that western art owes to Giotto the introduction of tri-dimensionality and volume in the art of painting as well as breaking with Byzantine conventions. </p><p>Most difficulties in Giotto’s scholarship are related to the attribution and chronology of his works, as many of them are products of collaboration between the master and his workshop. Close study of many of his paintings demonstrates that Giotto was interested in exploring different technical solutions for his panel and mural paintings.  His gilding technique included the use of gold, tin, and silver leaves, as well as green earth-containing bole (in addition to the commonly used red bole). Moreover, Giotto generally used egg tempera for painting, but may have also mixed oil into the egg medium when applying highlights and finishing touches in lead white.</p><p>​This painting was part of a larger work, probably an altarpiece for the church of Santa Croce in Florence. The other known panels belonging to this altarpiece are <em>St Stephen</em> (Horne Foundation, Florence), <em>St John the Evangelist</em> and<em>St Lawrence</em> (Abbaye Royale de Chaalis). This painting is a good example of the artist’s interest in rendering volume, as the figure of the Virgin seems to project towards the viewer’s space in contrast with the flat, gold background. In addition, Giotto chose to stress the human qualities of the Christ child such as depicting him playing with the Madonna’s finger.</p><p><a href="http://www.heritagesciencejournal.com/content/4/1/1">Unusual pigments found in a painting by Giotto (c. 1266-1337) reveal diversity of materials used by medieval artists</a> - Scientific analysis performed well after the creation of the reconstruction revealed the use of some curious pigments: lead-tin yellow type II and a green-blue form of azurite known as mixite.</p><p><a href="http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/billinge_gordon2008">The Use of Gilded Tin in Giotto's<em> Pentecost</em></a></p><p>This article describes the different gilding techniques used by Giotto in the execution of the <em>Pentecost</em> panel, located at the National Gallery in London. It includes comparisons with some of the other panels of the series.</p><p><a href="http://ceroart.revues.org/2227#tocfrom1n1">L'Entreprise de Giotto</a> (French)</p><p>This article discusses the practices of Giotto's workshop and argues that the similarities of materials and execution of several wooden crosses are the product of fixed parameters established by the master.</p><p>Bacci, Mauro. “Fibre Optics Applications to Works of Art.” In <em>Sensors and Actuators B</em> 29 (1995): 190-96.</p><p>Basile, Giuseppe (ed.). <em>Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel: Materials Used in the Painting Technique. Studies and Research by Istituto Centrale per il Restauro, Bollettino d’Arte</em>, Volume Speciale 2005.</p><p>Billinge, Rachel and Dillian Gordon. “The Use of Gilded Tin in Giotto’s <em>Pentecost.</em>” In <em>National Gallery Technical Bulletin</em>, 29 (2008): 76-80.</p><p>Cesareo, Roberto et al. “Pigment layers and precious metal sheets by energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence analysis.” In <em>X-Ray Spectrometry</em> 37 (2008): 309-16.</p><p>Cesareo, Roberto et al. “Portable equipment for energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis of Giotto’s frescoes in the Chapel of the Scrovegni.” In <em>Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B</em>, 213 (2004): 703–6.</p><p>De Luca, Daphné. “L’Entreprise de Giotto” in <em>CeroArt, Conservation,  Exposition, Restauration d’Objets d’Art</em>, 7 (2011). </p><p>Dunkerton, Jill, Susan Foister, Dillian Gordon and Nicholas Penny. <em>Giotto to Durer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery</em>. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.</p><p>Flores D’Arcais, Francesca. <em>Giotto</em>, translated by Raymond Rosenthal. New York and London: Abbeville Press Publishers, 2012.</p><p>Gordon, Dillian. <em>The Italian Paintings Before 1400. </em>London: National Gallery Company, 2011.</p><p>Maginnis, Hayden B. J. <em>Painting in the Age of Giotto. </em>University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997. </p><p>Marabelli, Maurizio, Paola Santopadre, Marcella Ioele, Vasco Fassina, Roberto Cesareo, Alfredo Castellano, Giovanni Buccolieri, Stefano Quarta. "La Cappella degli Scrovegni: sintesi delle ricerche affettuate dagli anni Settanta sino all'ultimo restauro." In <em>Far East Asian Mural Paintings: Diagnosis, Conservation and Restoration</em>, edited by Rocco Mazzeo, 51-63. Ravenna: Longo Editore, 2004.</p>A step-by-step description of Giotto di Bondone’s working method based on a technical study of the Madonna and Child (now located at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC) done prior the 2012 restoration. The techniques and materials outlined include the preparation of a panel support, sizing, gesso grosso, gesso sottile, underdrawing, pouncing, gilding, punchwork, egg tempera painting, and mordant gilding. New analysis has revealed the use of an unusual copper blue pigment that was not discovered until after the creation of the reconstruction and the restoration of the original painting.

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