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Word Count: 840
THE LAMENTATION Giotto was one of the earliest artists to portray the illusions of real life in terms of emotion and space on a flat surface With Cimabue Giotto is often regarded as the founder on modern painting as he broke away from the rigid formula that had been the foundation of religious paintings His painting turned from the flatter Byzantine style to a more naturalistic approach full of life even a century before the Renaissance The Lamentation is an excellent example of the emotion displayed in Giottos work The Lamentation is painted on a wall of the Arena Chapel in Italy It required the artist to paint directly on the chapel walls hence Giotto used a medium that would adhere to a wall like fresco The lamentation was another traditional subject that showed figures mourning the death of Christ Lamentation is asymmetrical compared to Byzantine compositions with symmetry Giotto concentrates on the dramatic scene in the lower left area where the face of Mary who is grief-stricken over the loss of her son and the lifeless face of the dead Christ are painted The focus is on Mary and Jesus who are surrounded by saints people and angels Both earthly and heavenly mourners show individual illustrations of grief through facial expressions as well as body language For instance the figure of a saint who bends over with his arms outspread or the saint on the far right who stands with his arms at his sides his hands clasped The painting is three dimensional in form This is created using foreshortening in the angels and in the saints arms which are flung backwards This is probably why the angels appear to be moving about like birds The scenery a bare rocky landscape with a dead tree intensifies the feeling of pain and suffering which dominates the painting The figures with the sad eyes the partly opened mouths the tilted or clasped
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