Monday, May 30, 2011

Giotto's 7 Virtues

Among the multi-coloured, painted marble slabs of the dado level, illusionistically depicted niches open up, in which Giotto has painted, as stone statues, the Virtues on one side of the chapel and the Vices on the other.

The canon of principal Christian virtues in the Middle Ages was made up of the three 'theological virtues' faith, hope and charity, and the four 'cardinal virtues', justice, prudence, fortitude and temperance. The cycle of seven virtues, sometimes paired with appropriate vices (not necessarily the seven Deadly Sins) was widely represented in medieval sculpture and fresco, often associated with the Last Judgment, like in the Scrovegni Chapel.