Giotto de Bondone, Pentecost, 1304–1306. Fresco, Scrovegni (Arena) Chapel, Padua, Italy.

Giotto de Bondone (circa 1267–1337) was a painter and architect active at the close of the late Middle Ages and the dawn of the Italian Renaissance. Giotto’s most influential masterpiece is the fresco cycle executed for the Scrovegni (Arena) Chapel in Padua. The frescos lining the walls of the chapel interpret the subject matter suggested by their titles: The Life of Christ and The Life of the Virgin. Together, the Giotto frescos are considered a masterstroke of Western art. This scene from The Life of Christ shows us the day of the Pentecost. The disciples, surrounded by golden halos indicating their close association with the Jesus, gather together under medieval arches. The Holy Spirit is depicted as rays of sun descending from the heavens, empowering Jesus’ disciples with the ability to speak in other languages.


Giotto di Bondone, Pentecost, 1304–1306. Fresco, Scrovegni (Arena) Chapel, Padua, Italy.

Associated with a deity; exhibiting religious importance; set apart from ordinary (i.e. "profane") things.

Of or relating to the Middle Ages, generally from the fifth century to the fifteenth century C.E. and overlapping somewhat with late antiquity.

The historical period generally spanning from the fifth century to the fifteenth century C.E. in Europe and characterized by decreases in populations and the degeneration of urban life.

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