Frescoes in the Chapel

Giotto could not have painted the Arena Chapel alone. The number of frescoes and the complexity of the medium made this impossible. He must have employed assistants, probably young apprentices from his own workshop. Giotto conceived every fresco and drew all the sinopia drawings on the wall. His helpers must have helped in the painting on the intonaco. Young artists of the Renaissance were taught to imitate their master's style faithfully, so large scale collaborative works such as the Arena Chapel are remarkably uniform in style.

When planning the frescoes Giotto had a lot to keep in mind. He had to think about the exacting technical aspects of the medium about the overall decorative and narrative demands of the cycle; and about the actual design and interpretation of each story. Every fresco in the chapel is, in its own way a masterful solution to these problems.

All the frescoes are unified by Giotto's interpretation of the narrative. He depicts the absolute peak of psychic and physical drama in each story. More than any artists before him, Giotto portrays this drama through the depiction of human emotions. He is a minimalist whose works are reductive rather than additive. His main focus is always on the men and women who are the center of this drama.