Fresh Revelations

Artists who followed in giot-to's footsteps were wowed by his ability to depict human emotions in actual settings. Leonardo da Vinci said Giotto "not only surpassed the masters of his own time, but all those of many preceding centuries." The latest restoration of Giotto's frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua — revealed last week after 10 months of meticulous work — provides fresh proof of da Vinci's words.

The chapel was built by Enrico Scrovegni to atone for the crimes of his father, a notorious usurer, and in 1303 Giotto was commissioned to decorate it. He covered the...

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