Bodies of self-transcendence: The spirit of affect in giotto and piero

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3 Scopus citations


The new affectivity is brilliantly exemplified in Giotto di Bondones late medieval painting of the Lamentation in the Arena Chapel, Padua. Giottos composition takes up and reworks Byzantine scenes of the Lamentation that had recently entered the repertoire of Italian painting. Compared to Giottos late-medieval Lamentation, there is in Piero della Francescas Pala Montefeltro a more spiritually unified, corporate response to the Body of Christ, a greater individuation of figural types. In Giottos Lamentation, action focuses on the dead Christ, prone and foreshortened, a volumetric body-in-depth. Figures surround him on all sides, some touching the corpse. In Giotto, the Christian image-world has shifted its axis towards the this-worldly, with this picture-world withdrawing from the space of the chapel, the virtual/actual divide articulated through the banded framework that crops figures at left and right. The painting offers a model for the worshippers experience of Mass, a spiritual-affective attunement to and participation within the Mystical Body of Christ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRepresenting Emotions
Subtitle of host publicationNew Connections in the Histories of Art, Music and Medicine
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781351904162
ISBN (Print)9780754630586
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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