Giotto's Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel, Part 3
The Lamentation

Giotto, Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel, Padua, c. 1305 - Part 3 of 4 (The Lamentation)

Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris, Dr. Steven Zucker

Arena Chapel Video Series:
Part 1 Overview
Part 2 Narrative Cycle
Part 3 Lamentation
Part 4 Last Judgment

Your Comments (6)

Previous Comments

Caleb Young wrote on Monday, February 01, 2010

I think it is really amazing to see emotion in paintings. I think it is such a unique way for artists to show their feeling on a subject through their interpretation of an event, and also shows the ambiance of the time period. Very cool.

obb wrote on Saturday, January 08, 2011

this is truly different from the way in which people were shown in the paintings before. through different ways of expressing grief, these sacred figures look like no others than those of the ordinary people. very inspiring..

Cefalu wrote on Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The anguish that the Virgin Mary feels is very tangible. Her desperate last embrace really expresses a mother's love for her only son. Likewise the women raising his limp arms serves to accentuate the reality of his death. Giotto's observation of body language and human nature makes the Christian story real and accessible.

Jonathan wrote on Thursday, May 03, 2012

Giotto does a wonderful job of evoking the feelings of despair, sadness, and death in this painting. He brings these feelings out of us by almost perfectly depicting these emotions on the faces of all the figures in this painting. At first glance, Giotto directs one's view towards the center of this sadness, the dead body of Jesus, using the direction that the mountains slope and in the directions that the people are looking. Then, as one's eyes begin to explore the painting further one is able to see more pain and suffering when we look skywards towards the descending angels. In their faces we see their pain and then one can see more of them expressing this same deep pain, but it is no longer just in their facial expressions one can also see it in their physical actions as well. In this marvelous painting Giotto does a phenomenal job of bringing out emotions. ~JM

Montes B wrote on Friday, May 04, 2012

Giotto's The Lamentation, is taking a step forward toward the early Renaissance, and away from the Medieval period. This painting really shows a lot of emotion. You can tell by the way that the people are expressing their grief. Some of the people are just quiet and shocked and do not know what to do. Others are crying are throwing their arms out. The way that Mary holds Jesus in her arms, reminds me of her carrying him as a little baby. There is also a sense of peacefulness from the divine light that is present, which symbolizes God. I personally really like this masterpiece by Giotto. I really enjoy the colors and scene. I also really like the angels that are flying in the air. They look very cute.

Lexie wrote on Monday, December 17, 2012

The dead tree in the background reveals how compassioniate and faithful Christ was and is, because even nature has to respond to this moment with despair. His life-giving, restorative and healing powers have been quenched and the tree really disbosoms that reality.

Add Comments

We think Smarthistory works best when it prompts discussion. Please post (on-topic) comments.*

*All comments are moderated

To post a comment, you need the Adobe Flash Plugin. Download it from here.
This work is an open educational resource and This work is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.