Art Restorers Find Detail of Devil in Giotto Fresco
Giotto Fresco in Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi
Restorers have discovered a little detail while working on some clouds in a fresco by Giotto. It appears like a horned man (who must be the devil right?) has been floating in the clouds of fresco number 20 in a cycle of scenes depicting the life and death of St. Francis painted in the 13th century by Giotto di Bondone.
It has been suggested by Sergio Fusetti, the Chief restorer of the basilica, that Giotto probably didn’t want the image of the devil to be the main part of the fresco, and may have painted in “to have a bit of fun.” The detail was discovered by Italian historian Chiara Frugone.
Although it is difficult to make it out from the ground, in a zoomed in picture you can make out a figure with dark horns fixed into the clouds attached to a face with a sly smile, and a hooked nose. The scene is that of St. Francis’s death. Ironic.