Duccio's Arrest Of Christ

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The scene of the Arrest of the Christ, as described in the book of Matthew, has been depicted by numerous artists, two of which are Duccio di Buoninsegna and Giotto di Bondone. Giotto created his Arrest of Christ (1304-5) for the Arena Chapel in Padua. Duccio finished his Arrest of Christ (1308-11) from the Maestà six years later. Although they both painted the story of the Arrest of Christ, their methods have allowed them to differ. Duccio’s use of paint on a wooden panel has allowed the viewer to see a more naturalistic and humanized image of the scene, compared to Giotto’s fresco, which allows the viewer to feel the emotion of the scene rather than the humanization. Giotto used the fresco method by using paint mixed with wet plaster and…show more content…
While both artists place Jesus at the center of their painting, Giotto arranges the various figures very close together, which crowds the image. Duccio’s figures are more spread out which separates the three actions occurring in the scene. In Duccio’s image, the three events occurring from the left are Peter cutting off the guard’s ear, Judas kissing Jesus, and the apostles fleeing the scene. There are two main events occurring in Giotto’s image: Judas attempting to kiss Jesus and Peter cutting off the ear of one of the guards. Duccio represented the whole passage in Matthew by adding the fleeing of the disciples while Giotto did not add that event. The representation of the 3 events adds to the natural and realistic theme in Duccio’s image. The omission of the disciples fleeing in Giotto’s image has allowed the focus to be on the two main events, creating a greater dramatic effect. This establishes a greater emphasis on the moment occurring between Judas and Jesus: Judas is staring into the eyes of Jesus, creating a moment of anticipated confrontation. The expression on Jesus Christ’s face is calm and the expression on Judas’s face is anxious. In Duccio’s image, Judas is actually kissing Jesus, which is the most powerful moment in the passage and adds to the realness of the scene. The crowding used by both Giotto and Duccio occurs mostly among…show more content…
Beginning at the bottom edge of the painting, he carves out the foreground like the edge of a cliff, which adds to the dimensional aspect. Duccio adds to the depth of the piece through the use of a background of trees and a mountain, and the slanted line of the mountain brings you from the background to the scene of action. While Duccio’s figures in his painting are compact, he uses much more open space than Giotto. This allows the painting to be somewhat balanced and allows the viewer to see the separate events happening in the single scene. Giotto, on the contrary, created a more shallow space that is dense with the figures in the scene. The density of the figures in the scene, overlapped on top of each other, retracts from any sort of dimension and as a result, makes it look less life-like. The dimension is also recognizable in Duccio’s Arrest of Christ in the coloring and shading of the helmets of the guards. Duccio’s use of color and definition on the helmets of the guards make them more distinct and individualized. This lets the viewer really see how many figures there are in the scene, whereas in Giotto’s painting, the helmets are black, undefined, and fade into the background, but permit the viewer to focus on the emotion of the scene. Giotto’s use of light is somewhat contradicted with his dark blue night sky background, and highlights on the figures’ bodies and their faces with light from

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