The chapel built by Enrico Scrovegni in the noble and cultured city of Padua
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The chapel built by Enrico Scrovegni in the noble and cultured city of Padua is a milestone in Western civilization and marks a radical turning point in modern art and sensibility. At the dawn of the 14th century, while Dante was writing The Divine Comedy, Giotto created an extraordinary visual story – one of the rare instances in which we can rightly speak of a “revolution” in the history of painting. The human dimension melds with the sacred, reality prevails over mystical detachment, feelings burst onto the scene, figures and architecture break with rigid linearity and acquire volume and impact. A unitary concept brings together all the frescoed surfaces (sidewalls, triumphal arch, barrel vault ceiling, inside façade), and the remarkably varied narrative of the episodes and the characters is superbly orchestrated with stringent coherence and the sheer communicative power of the images. This volume follows Giotto’s frescoes scene by scene, illustrating the entire visual and narrative itinerary in the Scrovegni Chapel, explaining the allegorical content and revealing, in turn, the technical, stylistic and expressive aspects of one of the most important pictorial cycles in European art. Milanese art historian Stefano Zuffi has published more than sixty volumes popularizing culture. He also directs book series and radio programmes, and curates exhibitions.