Ciao Giotto!


The NCMA’s Giotto altarpiece is now hanging in the greatest single gallery of early Italian paintings anywhere in the world: Room #2 of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The room features altarpieces by Giotto, his master Cimabue, and his slightly older contemporary, the great Sienese master Duccio. These three paintings are the “Holy Trinity” of early Renaissance painting. It’s fantastic to see our painting hanging among such distinguished company and enjoyed by thousands of visitors from across the globe. (Photo illustration: Our Peruzzi altarpiece, flanked by Duccio’s Rucellai Madonna on the left and Giotto’s monumental Ognissanti Madonna on the right. Snapshots courtesy of our friend Livia–Grazie!)

This is the first time since it joined our collection that the Giotto has been allowed to travel. (It’s one of the most important early Renaissance paintings in the U.S., so its no wonder that we don’t like to let it out of our sight.) Last summer, though, the altarpiece flew across the pond to take part in “The Legacy of Giotto: Art in Florence between 1340 and 1375“, a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition at the Uffizi Gallery. (It was a bit of a homecoming, as the altarpiece was most likely painted for the Peruzzi chapel in Santa Croce, just a short walk from the Uffizi.) In March it will travel to Rome to be included in the exhibition “Giotto and the Trecento,” (translation) at the Complesso Monumentale del Vittoriano (in the ground floor of the Victor Emmanuel Monument–a.k.a. “The Typewriter” or “The Wedding Cake”). Another of the Museum’s early Italian treasures, the Crucifixion by Giotto’s follower Puccio Capanna, will also be lent to that exhibition.

If you are planning to visit Florence in the next week, or Rome between March 6 and June 28, stop by and say “Ciao Giotto!” And, if you get a chance, snap a photo in the gallery and send it to us (or upload it to Flickr and add it to our new NCMA Flickr group.) The altarpiece will be on view in our new building when it opens it April, 2010.


  1. Posted February 20, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    There’s a roundup of our Giotto-related links on Delicious, as well.

  2. Posted February 26, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting. I was wondering where this piece had gone.

  3. Nancy Springer
    Posted March 6, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    What a privilege to sit in my study and
    look at these works of art. We lived in Pisa, Italy and had many opportunities to visit “Firenze” with it’s Duomos and museums. Rome, Venice, and the many hill towns were also part of our cultural experiences.

    Posted November 7, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Has anyone ever noticed that the Giotto paintings are full of hidden characters and objects. I have not seen any comments on this… but it is a trademark in all of his paintings… some are full of them. My hunch is that he added more and more as time passed. It is amazing how he blended of of these pictures into a portrait… one cannot see the tress because of the forest.

One Trackback

  1. [...] Two weeks ago I brought our wandering Giotto back home to North Carolina. Giotto di Bondone’s Peruzzi Altarpiece (c. 1315) was the star of TWO once-in-a-lifetime exhibitions in Italy: Giotto’s Legacy, Art in Florence between 1340 and 1375, at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (from June thru November 2008), and Giotto & the Fourteenth Century at the Vittoriano Complex in Rome (March thru July 29, 2009). Both of the exhibitions were wildly popular. The exhibition at the Vittoriano was extended for an extra month by popular demand and was even visited by President Obama and the First Lady (while in Rome for the G-8 Summit). To top it off, between those exhibitions, our Giotto was on display in “the greatest single gallery of early Italian paintings anywhere in the world.” [...]

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