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In the Lamentation Giotto has enriched the dialogue between life and death. Instead of burst of grief he has staged a tragedy. The figures grieve in the manner possible to their individual personalities. Giotto added to the scene mourners who turn their backs to the spectators; one upholds Christ's head, the other – his right hand. Mary with one arm around Christ's shoulder searches his countenance. Only the angels can cry in pure grief, each half-hidden in clouds to show that they are supernatural. In this scene Giotto's brushwork is as calm as in the other. He achieved this effect not only by the arrangement of figures but also by the diagonal line of the rock, descending toward the faces of Mary and Christ. At the upper right, as if to typify the desolation of the scene a bare tree stands against the blue. Giotto expected his observers to remember that in accordance with the medieval legend, the Tree of Knowledge was withered after the sin of Adam and Eve and made fruitful again after the sacrifice of Christ.

Giotto; Jesus Christ; Mary; Madonna; Virgin; Martha; fresco ['freskou]; Adam; Eve; Arena Chapel;

Byzantine; Padua; Florentine; Lazarus; Redemption; recognise; layer; contemporaries; shepherd;

masterpiece; perspective; accomplish; medieval; wilderness; sacrifice; expulsion; angels; surface.


Joachim among the Shepherds – «Встреча Иоакима с пастухами»

Raising of Lazarus – «Воскрешение Лазаря»

Lamentation – «Оплакивание»

Madonna and Child Enthroned – «Величание» («Маеста» из Оньиссанти)

Redemption – Искупление Грехов

The Vices and the Virtues – Грехи и Добродетели

protagonist – главный герой

Joachim – Иоаким


I. Read the text. Mark the following statements true or false.

1. Giotto's greatness is recognized only today.

2. Giotto produced cubic forms on a flat surface.

3. Jesus and Mary are the protagonists of Giotto's frescoes.

4. In Giotto's frescoes the figures float through the heavens.

5. The composition is centred around Lazarus.

6. In the Lamentation to typify the desolation of the scene Giotto depicted a bare tree against the blue background.

II. How well have you read? Can you answer the following questions?

1. How was Giotto characterized by his contemporaries?

2. What did Giotto represent in the frescoes that line the interior of the Arena Chapel in Padua? What is the subject of these frecoes?

3. What did Giotto introduce in his works of art?

4. What is depicted in one of Giotto's earliest frescoes? What device did Giotto use to emphasize the three-dimensionality of Joackim's figure? What scale did he recognize for the figures and for the surroundings?

5. How did Giotto represent the figures in the Madonna and Child Enthroned? How did Giotto depict the throne? How is the background painted? What models the form in the Madonna and Child Enthroned? What do Giotto's figures resemble?

6. What is represented in the Raising of Lazarus? What groups are distinguished in the fresco? How are they arranged? How did Giotto show the perspective in this fresco?

7. What does the Lamentation depict? How did Giotto group the grieving figures? What medieval legend is connected with the Tree of Knowledge?

III. I Give Russian equivalents of the following phrases:

to be recognized by the contemporaries; protagonist; ceremonial representation; to revive the art of painting; a cycle of frescoes; to line the interior; in the wilderness; to arrange frescoes in three layers; to cover walls with frescoes; to fresco the walls; to form a definite stage in space; frescoes on panels; cubic rocks; three-dimensional forms; a limited space; wrapped in graveclothes; according to the medieval legend; against the blue background; an ideal heavenly colour; Queen of Heaven; to take shelter; firmly stand; to recognize one scale for the figures and another for the surroundings; master's masterpiece; the miracle lies in; light without indication of source; to produce for the first time; to design a halo; to introduce light and inward extension; to group the figures; to resemble sculptural masses; foreshortened in perspective; visual unity; to rule out the distant space; to add mourners; in the foreground; in the background; facial types; to receive an outcast; brushwork; Redemption; Tree of Knowledge; a withered tree; the sin of Adam and Eve; shepherds and sheepfold; on a flat surface.

II. Give English equivalents of the following phrases:

Искупление грехов; расписывать стены фресками; тип лица; впервые изобразить; Грехи и Добродетели; на фоне голубого неба; мазки остаются спокойными; признанный современниками; напоминать готические скульптуры; шедевр великого художника; на плоской поверхности; ввести свет и внутреннее пространство; образовать определенную ступень в пространстве; ограниченное пространство; главный герой; роспись на доске; парадное изображение; на одной из первых сцен; подчеркнуть объемность форм; небесно голубой цвет; исключить глубинное пространство; на переднем плане; цикл фресок; принять изгоя; засохшее дерево; пастухи; овчарня; дописать плакальщиц; передать пространство; грех Адама и Евы; зрительное единство; изобразить нимб; сгруппировать фигуры; расположить фрески в три ряда; жертвоприношение; укороченный в перспективе; свет без указания источника.

III. Make up sentences of your own with the given phrases.

IV. Translate the following groups of words into Russian:

accomplish – accomplished; paint – painter – painting; revive -revival – revived; illustrate – illustrator – illustration; arrange – arrangement; face – facial – faceless; space – spatial – spaceless; surround – surroundings; three-dimension – three-dimensional – three-dimensionality; ceremony – ceremonial – ceremonialism.

V. Arrange the following in the pairs of synonyms:

a) to accomplish; flat; extension; to represent; observer; heaven; to design; three-dimensional; perspective; to produce; to line;

b) spectator; to show, to picture, to present, to portray, to depict; panorama; to create; to finish; to cover; sky, paradise; to draw; cubic, solid; prostrate; prolongation.

VI. Arrange the following in the pairs of antonyms:

a) to accept; to accomplish; to rule out; three-dimensional; to produce; to recall; to decline;

b) flat; to revive; to forget; to include; to reject; to start; to break.

IV. Here are descriptions of some of Giotto's works of art. Match them up to the given titles.

1. The angels and saints firmly stand on either side of the throne.

2. The man wrapped in graveclothes is read together with the rock.