Art History 6B
Section Tues 3PM
Paper Assignment 1: Giotto & Rogier
Naturalism is a way that represents the world in accordance to nature by seeking to imitate nature. Lamentation is a fresco painting done in 1305 by the Italian painter Giotto. Deposition is an oil painting done on a wooden panel in 1435 by Early Flemish painter Rogier van der Weyden. Both Giotto and Rogier use naturalism to intensify the sorrow and mourning of Christ’s death.
The postures of the characters in Giotto’s painting show Giotto’s skill as an artist to create a connection between nature and people as well as a distinction between earth and the heavens. The foreground of the painting shows five figures surrounding the dead body of Christ. Three women with halos over their heads are crouching down as they hold up Christ’s body so that it is not touching the ground. Christ has just died for everyone’s sins, so his body is upraised, symbolizing protection from the sinful earth. There are 2 unrecognizable figures also crouching down on the floor that seem to be in great despair. The crouching positions of these figures show that they are connected to earth and that they have a relationship with earth, showing that they are still a part of earth and that they are in sin. There is a man with a halo, John, that throws out his arms behind him and bends his body slightly towards Christ. There is another group of mourners to the left. The sky is filled with angels, who are all wearing halos as well. The angels are not physically a part of the earth, as none of their bodies are touching the floor. Giotto clearly distinguishes that there is a boundary between heaven and earth.
Giotto places halos on the followers of Christ and the angels that are flying in the sky. The halos serve to highlight the faces of both the followers and the angels. The faces of the followers are very natural and humanistic, which was not something that was commonly portrayed at the time. The...