GIOVANNI DA RIMINI
(active 1292-1336 in Rimini)
Stories of the Life of Christc. 1305
Tempera on panel, 53 x 35 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome
This work was once assigned to the hand of Giotto, then to a follower of Giotto. In 1935, however, it was identified with Giovanni da Rimini, one of the most significant exponents of the Riminese branch of the giottesque movement. This panel belongs to the early maturity of the artist, who is clearly displaying his ties to the painting of Giotto. Giovanni had plenty of opportunity to be exposed to Giotto, who worked at the "Tempio Malatestiano", during a Riminese sojourn estimated to have taken place between 1300 and 1303.
The panel is one half of a diptych: the other wing, showing stories of the Virgin and saints, is in the collection of the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle (England). Aside from the influence of Giotto's style, the two wings show the adoption of a distinctly Giottesque iconography, closely related to the famous cycle at Assisi.