Comparing the Ognissanti Madonna by Giotto Di Bondone with Cimabue's Madonna Enthroned with Angels and Prophets Essay
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Art 131 W80
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The shift from medieval ideals, known as the Renaissance, was paved largely by talented Italian artists. The first piece is a famous work by one such artist, Cimabue, entitled Madonna Enthroned with Angels and Prophets. The second piece is The Ognissanti Madonna. These paintings are similar, and in comparing them we can see how these new ideas of the Renaissance were manifested through the arts.
Madonna Enthroned is an altarpiece depicting the Virgin and Child. It was done by Cimabue in the late 13th century. The focal point is that of the Virgin holding her baby on the throne, and she is surrounded by angels. On the original frame there are twenty-six medallions which depict Christ and the four angels. The piece was done on wood with tempera. The painting is landmark because it is a prime example of one of the very first efforts to migrate from rigid Byzantine characteristics.
The Ognissanti Madonna was painted by Giotto Di Bondone and is a very similar painting. It was painted the same way as Madonna Enthroned and is a different rendition of the same scene. A student of Cimabue, Giotto was a pioneer in the naturalistic approach to art. The ideals of Humanism are starting to have an influence of artists and scholars.
Both of these works are religious scenes, which were quite popular in this time. Madonna Enthroned and The Ognissanti Madonna were painted with hierarchy in mind. This is evident because Madonna is much bigger than the other objects. Both works show a tie with reality through the figures being portrayed. For instance, Madonna and the angels have folds in their drapery that outline their true form, which is more human-like. Madonna Enthroned does have many Byzantine traits as seen by the abundance of gold color in the work. This is also a characteristic of The Ognissanti