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Padua’s fourteenth-century fresco cycles

Padua, Italy

This property is composed of eight religious and secular building complexes, within the historic walled city of Padua, which house a selection of fresco cycles painted between 1302 and 1397 by different artists for different types of patron and within buildings of diverse functions. Nevertheless, the frescos maintain a unity of style and content. They include Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel fresco cycle, considered to have marked the beginning of a revolutionary development in the history of mural painting, as well as other fresco cycles of different artists, namely Guariento di Arpo, Giusto de’ Menabuoi, Altichiero da Zevio, Jacopo Avanzi and Jacopo da Verona. As a group, these fresco cycles illustrate how, over the course of a century, fresco art developed along a new creative impetus and understanding of spatial representation. The 14th century fresco cycles of Padua are some of the most important and impressive works of Italian painting. They are located in the Arena Chapel of the Scrovegni Palace in Padua and were completed by the famous painter Giotto di Bondone. The fresco cycles depict the life of the Virgin Mary and the events before and after the birth of her son, Jesus.

The fresco cycles are arranged in a total of 30 paintings, creating a unique combination of religious and biblical themes. Giotto used a unique technique to make the fresco cycles appear vivid and realistic. He used colours reminiscent of nature to convey a sense of naturalness. In this way, he created a world that related to the human experience.

The fresco cycles are a lifelike portrait of medieval Christianity. They show a detailed picture of biblical history and the religious experiences of the people of medieval Europe. The fresco cycles are an important testimony to art history and an enduring symbol of Italian painting. They are an impressive example of the artistic diversity and creativity of the 14th century.