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Giotto: Frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel [Hardcover]

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Item description for Giotto: Frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel by Giuseppe Basile...

At the end of a program of restoration that lasted an incredibly short time, but for which preparations had been made down to the smallest detail over twenty years of scientific investigation, historical research, laboratory experimentation, essays, trials and monitoring, one of the most fundamental cornerstones and certainly the most dazzling incunbala of modern European painting has been reopened to the public.

Preceded by long and complex preparatory work on the building and the surroundings, the intervention of conservation on the mural decoration has made it possible to arrest the acceleration of the process of decay. This decay was chiefly the result of the combined action of damp and pollution, but had been further aggravated by the use of unsuitable restoration materials during the intervention carried out in the early sixties.

Once the problem that had prompted the decision to intervene on Giotto's cycle had been resolved, it was thought only proper to respond to the need to restore the paintings as much as possible to their original state.

The result has been to render the revolutionary spatial layout of the work more legible, along with the formal values through which Giotto expressed himself, in particular the quality of his coloring, something that is usually (and inexplicably) undervalued.

But several genuine discoveries have also emerged, such as his use of the technique required to make mock marble ("marmorino" or "Roman stucco") and of oil to "bind" the white lead, which as a consequence has not undergone any process of alteration. This has revealed, at an unparalleled level (at least as far as our current knowledge is concerned), effects of sunlight or luminosity that it would be hard to regard as produced by chance.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Skira
Pages   456
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 10" Height: 11.25"
Weight:   6.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 5, 2003
Publisher   Skira
ISBN  8884912520  
ISBN13  9788884912527  

Availability  0 units.

More About Giuseppe Basile

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Giuseppe Basile. Born at Castelvetrano in Sicily (1942), he took a degree in art history at the University of Palermo under Cesare Brandi (1964), and then went on to study at the Graduate School of Art History of Rome University under Giulio Carlo Argan (1965-67). Since 1976 he has worked as an official art historian for the Ministry for the Cultural and Environmental Heritage (now Cultural Heritage and Activities), first at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea and then at the Istituto Centrale per gli, where since 1987 he has directed the Servizio per glib Interventi sui Beni Artistici e Storici.
Since the academic year 1991-92 he has taught the Theory and History of the Restoration of Works of Art at the Graduate School of Art History of Rome University "La Sapienza."
Since 1995 he has been ordinary member of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church and of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology.
Francesca Flores d'Arcais. Born in Padua in 1935, graduated from the University of Padua, where she studied under Professors Sergio Bettini and Rodolfo Pallucchini. Since 1981she has been professor of history of medieval and modern art. She currently teaches the history of medieval art at the Catholic University of Milan. Specializing in fourteenth-century painting from the Veneto region, she has worked on Guariento (1965 and 1974), Altichiero and Avanzo (1984 and 2001), Giusto dei Menaboi (1988), Giotto (1995 and 2000) and Paolo Veneziano (2002).

Giuseppe Basile was born in 1942.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Giotto: Frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel?

Let the pictures tell the story  Mar 17, 2008
You'll find here a complete presentation of all of the pictorial cycles at the Scrovegni Chapel: The stories of Joachim and Anne, the stories of the Virgin, the stories of the Life of Christ, the Passion of Christ, Vices and Virtues, and the Last Judgment. Even more important Skira provides in full color, full page detail after full page detail of each story. Usually its six pages of details for a particular story, but for The Crucifixion and The Lamentation we are treated with ten pages of details. Unfortunately there are not any details of the flock of suffering angels in The Lamentation. Another quibble, details would be welcome in the presentation of the exquisite Vices and Virtues---I'm sure Charles Swann would agree. But those specks of dust aside, this is what an art book should be, about 400 out of its 450 pages are color plates.

The frescoes themselves are masterworks of organization, composition, color, detail and invention. Some examples of Giotto's genius are his making the Star of Bethlehem a comet, and the special use of real sunlight in the Last Judgment. You have to love his 3-D nimbuses, cant tell a saint without a nimbus. Some of the images are terrible to see: the pile of children slaughtered by Herod; Giotto's Hell where sexual organs are exposed and mutilated by hairy winged demons, and in one case, eaten by a green marsupial. As I wrote above, the book isnt all pictures, there are 50 pages of scholarly essays about the restoration of the frescoes and the pictorial cycle. It's regrettable that portions of Giotto's brilliant artistic achievement were in such bad shape and were in danger of being lost; just one more reason to shake our fist and cuss out Time (and water vapor).
This is an absolutely wonderful book!  Sep 4, 2004
This book is lacking in comprehensive text (although it does go into some detail with the individual paintings), but it does have the best and biggest possible reproductions of his frescos (with many close-ups of each individual panel). With hundreds of huge pages completely filled with Giotto's Padua paintings, this book is a must for any art lover and will inspire those unfamiliar with art to become art lovers. NOTE: the reproductions are Post-restoration and all the more beautiful because of this.

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