This is the sixteenth of the twenty-eight scenes (twenty-five of which
were painted by Giotto) of Legend of Saint Francis.
The four scenes in the first bay of the left wall deal with the last
events in the saint's life, and are among the most fascinating in the
It is worthy to point out the table in the Death of the Knight of
Celano, which is covered with a lovely embroidered table-cloth, and laid
with food, crockery and cutlery.
Outstanding as a painter, sculptor, and
architect, Giotto was recognised as the first genius of art in the Italian
Renaissance. Giotto lived and worked at a time when people's minds and
talents were first being freed from the shackles of medieval restraint. He
dealt largely in the traditional religious subjects, but he gave these
subjects an earthly, full-blooded life and force.
The artist's full name was Giotto di
Bondone. He was born about 1266 in the village of Vespignano, near
Florence. His father was a small landed farmer. Giorgio Vasari, one of
Giotto's first biographers, tells how Cimabue, a well-known Florentine
painter, discovered Giotto's talents. Cimabue supposedly saw the
12-year-old boy sketching one of his father's sheep on a flat rock and was
so impressed with his ability that he persuaded the father to let Giotto
become his pupil. Another story is that Giotto, while apprenticed to a
wool merchant in Florence, frequented Cimabue's studio so much that he was
finally allowed to study painting.