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3DVisA Index of 3D Projects: Art History - Paintings

St Francis Expelling Devils at Arezzo by Giotto

This project by T. G. Wyeld is concerned with visualisation of one of Giotto’s frescoes in the Church of San Francesco in Assisi. The fresco, depicting St Francis expelling devils at Arezzo is part of the decoration of the Upper Church probably painted in 1297-1300. It marks the artist's departure from flat representation of space towards a greater consideration of depth and foreshadows geometrical perspective introduced by Renaissance masters in the fifteenth century. Through the examination of proportions between individual elements of the pictorial composition, and architectural structures in particular, an attempt was made to compute the third dimension of what in reality is an illusionary painterly space.

T. G. Wyeld has created an interactive 3D model which can be navigated in real-time. He describes what was revealed: 'Together, the details derived from the analysis of Giotto's fresco, the spatial characteristics of its subsequent three-dimensionalisation, and the addition of bell ringing provide another level of experience and understanding of Giotto's work that he could not have anticipated. More than this, it exposes Giotto's spatial reasoning to be more developed than many had thought previously. The fact that such an accurate reconstruction of his fresco can be produced suggests greater insights into spatial relationships between the objects in his fresco were present than previously reported.'

'However, as much of the original city of Arezzo was dismantled in the fifteenth century to build the Medici fortress it is almost impossible to determine if the arrangement of buildings in Giotto's city of Arezzo are a natural recording. Nevertheless, we do know that he was one of the new breed of naturalists actively seeking greater clarity in illustrating the world around him, therefore it is reasonable to assume that his pictorial depiction of the city is much more than a simple, stylised, ritualistic, scenography.'

For full text and images see the link to T. G. Wyeld's article below.

Project dates: 2006

Resource status: ?

Contributor: Theodor G. Wyeld, School of Information technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Queensland, Australia.

Sources and further details:

Wyeld, T. G., (2006), 'The Three-Dimensionalisation of Giotto's 13th-century Assisi Fresco: Exorcism of the Demons at Arezzo', PDF, Proceedings of ALLC’06, 4-9 July, Paris, Sorbonne.

Record compiled by Anna Bentkowska-Kafel. Last updated: 11 September 2006.

3DVisA gratefully acknowledges the help of ...... with preparation of this record.

© T. G. Wyeld and 3DVisA, 2006.

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