Friday, March 14, 2008

Something About Giotto (Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi)

The work reminded me of early Marvel, particularly Steve Ditko. And maybe a little of Mark Alan Stamaty's old work for the Village Voice. Maybe a little Curt Swan... There is too much to say, time is flying by so I at least want to do a quick post that I can return to about his paintings.

I know he is widely regarded as one of the early Renaissance painters, but it is his role as a bridge from iconic pattern making to a western pictoral space that is so exciting to me. The figures convey some true quality, maybe it's their gestures... but at the same time the spaces they occupy are just crazy, filled with loopy architecture and layers of patterned flat planes.

Plus, yeah, the whole Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi is kind of a wraparound comic book. So, in material terms, any painter is gonna look at it and say, "man, when did you start this job?" I think he did the frescoes in chronological order, it just reminds me of early Ditko Spider-Man covers.

Oh, and yes, we don't know if Giotto did the job, or if it's school of Giotto, but whatever, these paintings are great, as is the whole building.

Next Up: Caravaggio, The Neal Adams of the 1600's or what...?