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Part of European Paintings
Giotto di Bondone (Italian, Florentine, 1266/76–1337)
Date: possibly ca. 1320Accession Number: 11.126.1
Giovanni da Milano (Italian, born Lombardy, active Florence 1346–69)
Date: ca. 1365Accession Number: 07.200
Berlinghiero (Italian, Lucca, active by 1228–died by 1236)
Accession Number: 60.173
Lorenzo Monaco (Piero di Giovanni) (Italian, Florence (?) ca. 1370–1425 Florence (?))
Date: ca. 1408–10Accession Number: 65.14.4
Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro) (Italian, Vicchio di Mugello ca. 1395–1455 Rome)
Date: ca. 1420–23Accession Number: 43.98.5
Maso di Banco (Italian, Florence, active 1320–46)
Accession Number: 43.98.13
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The mercantile republic of Florence transformed European culture in the fourteenth century with the poetry of Dante and Petrarch and with the Decameron of Boccaccio. Giotto dominated the period with his solidly constructed figures and mastery of pictorial space. As one early writer noted, "Giotto translated the art of painting from Greek into Latin and made it modern." The transformation can be appreciated in this gallery by comparing Berlinghiero's Byzantine-styled Madonna and Child of the 1230s with Giotto's Epiphany of a century later. Tender Madonnas, rugged saints, and dramatic narrative paintings possess a new humanity relative to their counterparts in medieval art. The gold backgrounds, carried over from the previous era, would have come alive when seen by candlelight. Lorenzo Monaco took his cue from northern European courtly art in depicting four Old Testament prophets seated on benches with a grave yet graceful intensity.
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