FA 30b Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Scrovegni Chapel, Ground Plane, Usury

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Emphasis on consistent ground
Highly volumetric bodies, ample drapery creates 3D effect, if not necessarily
correct body anatomy
Giotto, Pact of Judas and Visitation, Fresco, Padua, Italy, 1305
Contrast of Judas being talked to by the devil, and the pregnant Mary and
Juxtapostion between the idea of miracoulosu fertility leading to salvation, versus
the sinful power of money, that leads to corruption
The Sin of Usury
Lending with interest
Counterpoint of “Barren Metal” and “Fruitful Womb”
A money lender who built his fortune in this way
He was trying to apologize for his sin, and rehabilitate his image through this
artistic chapel
The patron of the chapel full of Giotto’s paintings
Another Scene
Simple geometric matrix, ground plane, and his style has its limits, however he
can still be extremely expressive
The rocky ledge leads the eye to the dead christ on the on Mary’s lap
The crowd is rectangular
Mary Magdalene is anointing his feet
Archetypal Sinful Convert
She is suspended in grief as she looks at Jesus’s feet
The extraordinary grief is rendered there
One of the guys who is grieving the most has his arms thrown back, and that
contradicts the diagonal direction downward of the rest of the work, expressing
further the man’s grief
Last Judgement, from the Arena Chapel, Fresco, Padua, Italy, 1305
Often found on the entrance of churches, or the wall on the inside of the church
facing the entrance
Right has positive associations, Left hand has negative associations
Damned are consigned to hell with the Left hand of Jesus
Damned side, the awful individuals are being tortured graphically
Some guys hanging by their dicks
Being eaten and shat by a demon
Judas hangs himself and his bowels explode, contrasting to Mary’s miraculous
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