Antonio Bortone, Giotto

Antonio Bortone
Museo dell'Ottocento
Height: 129 cm; Width: 129 cm; Thickness: 45 cm ca.;

Plaster model made in 1882-1887 by Antonio Bortone, depicting Giotto di Bondone in half-length. This is the preparatory work for the marble relief seen in the portrait gallery of artists on the cymatium of the Cathedral facade. The famous 14th century painter and architect is seen in medieval clothing: a shirt and cloak with an ample hood, with a long tip turned over one shoulder. His face differs from the traditional accounts of Giotto, and also from classical figurative portraiture. We see a man in his fifties, with marked features and a mild and confident expression, as he looks down and raises a brush with his right hand.

The gallery with the portraits of great artists is part of the iconographic program of the facade, developed by Emilio de Fabris, the architect responsible for the creation of the new architectural front, together with the philosopher Augusto Conti. The program is centered on the theme of Christ and Mary and aims to communicate "the greatness of Christianity in itself, and its harmonies with civilization, especially for the gentle inspirations that derive from Christian worship to the Mother of the Redeemer" and among these "Useful Arts, Sciences, Fine Arts". 

The celebration of the glories of the past was part of the Risorgimento (literally “rise again”) culture of the 19th century, in the times of liberation and reunification of the different states as the new Kingdom of Italy.

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Museo dell'Ottocento