Giotto di Bondone (ca. 1266–1337) worked on his influential frescoes in the Arena Chapel in Padua between 1303 and 1305 with a team of ca. 40 assistants. The frescoes cover all of the church's walls and ceiling. The fresco showing "The Mourning of Christ" belongs to a cycle of 37 scenes. Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574) described Giotto in his famous work Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, as the artist who made a clean break with the prevalent Byzantine style. Compared to Byzantine paintings, Giotto's style differs by drawing accurately from life. His figures are not stylized or elongated but are three-dimensional. Their faces and gestures are based on close observation and their garments hang naturally. By showing some characters facing inwards, with their backs towards the observer, Giotto aims – as one of the first artists – to create the illusion of space.
Giotto di Bondone (ca. 1266–1337), No. 36 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 20. Lamentation (The Mourning of Christ), Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua, fresco, 200 x 185 cm, 1304–1306, unknown photographer; source: © Web Gallery of Art.