Scrovegni Chapel in Padua

In the old town centre of Padua we find this combination of colours, lights and poetry. The Scrovegni Chapel holds the most complete series of frescoes by Giotto, in what is one of the most important masterpieces of figurative art of all time.

Visiting it is a way to learn and explore the work of Giotto to the fullest extent. His works harmoniously follow each other in frescoed stories while the colours in pastel shades, soft and with chiaroscuro effects typical of the great artist continue to testify how greatness and genius can be summarized in the figure of a single artist.

The chapel, commissioned by Enrico Scrovegni as a burial place for him and his wife, dates back to 1305. Its decoration was almost exclusively created by Giotto with the help of about 40 assistants over 625 days.

Entering the building you are immediately surrounded by pictorial cycles that depict, distributed in various carefully separated sections, different key episodes in the story of the Bible, like the salvation of humanity, the life and death of Christ, the Last Judgement, and scenes of parables and miracles. The significant height of the chapel, which exceeds eight metres, makes visitors feel small and contributes to the sense of wonder together with the beautiful barrel ceiling depicting a starry sky in which the figures of Christ, the Madonna, the Child and the Apostles are set.

A candidate to becoming a Unesco heritage site, the Scrovegni Chapel is a must for art lovers, although we are sure that Giotto’s immense work will be very impressive even in the eyes of laymen.

Art

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The chapel hosts the famous Adoration of the Magi by Giotto, in which it is thought that the painter portrayed Halley’s comet, whose passage took place right in the years when the fresco was still being completed, between 301 and 302.

Tips

  • Although Giotto took care of the whole main body of the chapel, for the reconstruction of the apse some twenty years later Enrico Scrovegni had to call another artist to create the decorations of that section. The style difference is still clearly visible today.
  • Anyone wanting to visit the Chapel should know that it can only be accessed with an online booking and confirmation, so we recommend preparing the visit at least three days in advance.
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