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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Faldoni, parts 2396 - 2399

 2396. Cimabue’s paintings have the flat patterns, decorative borders, and geometric patterned elaboration of the middle ages, but also the first signs of the observation of nature and portraits from life characteristic of the renaissance. The images of his paintings begin every chapter of any book that tells us about the renaissance, but to the modern eye his works look almost childish and naive.

 2397. Cimabue was the most famous painter of his age, and his student was Giotto, that same Giotto who made the perfect circle with pen and red ink. But when Cimabue was old Giotto became more famous and renowned the Cimabue and this fact is mentioned by Dante who was their contemporary. Of the two Dante says in the Purgatorio...

 2398. O vanity of human powers, how briefly lasts the crowning green of glory, unless an age of darkness follows! In painting Cimabue thought he held the field but now it’s Giotto has the cry, so that the other’s fame is dimmed. That was Dante in 1290, but our Warhol said almost the same thing with his, “Each person will have 15 minutes of fame.”

2399. “Yes yes,” said the Duck, interrupting Buboni in his turn, “but this is not an introduction to art history, and it is not necessary to know all about Giotto and Cimabue. The story is of Faldoni, and the library mural, and although it happened in 1290 the same story could be happening today because it is a story of a simpleminded person trying hopelessly to accomplish the impossible, and succeeding.”

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