a great Italian painter, born at a village near Florence; was a shepherd's boy, and at 10 years of age, while tending his flock and drawing pictures of them, was discovered by Cimabue, who took him home and made a pupil of him; "never," says Ruskin, "checked the boy from the first day he found him, showed him all he knew, talked with him of many things he himself felt unable to paint; made him a workman and a gentleman, above all, a Christian, yet left him a shepherd.... His special character among the great painters of Italy was that he was a practical person; what others dreamt of he did; he could work in mosaic, could work in marble, and paint; could build ... built the Campanile of the Duomo, because he was then the best master of sculpture, painting, and architecture in Florence, and supposed in such business to be without a superior in the world.... Dante was his friend and Titian copied him.... His rules in art were: You shall see things as they are; and the least with the greatest, because God made them; and the greatest with the least, because God made you, and gave you eyes and a heart; he threw aside all glitter and conventionality, and the most significant thing in all his work is his choice of moments." Cimabue still painted the Holy Family in the old conventional style, "but Giotto came into the field, and saw with his simple eyes a lowlier worth; and he painted the Madonna, St. Joseph, and the Christ, - yes, by all means if you choose to call them so, but essentially - Mamma, Papa, and the Baby; and all Italy threw up its cap" (1276-1336). See Ruskin's "Mornings in Florence."

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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