Giotto (di Bondone) (Ambrogio) b. 1266 d. January 8, 1337 Artist, Architect. Acknowledged as the most important painter of the 1300s. Giotto's art represented the first stirrings of the Italian Renaissance. He broke with the flat, unrealistic Byzantine style of his day and painted from direct observation of nature. Although he rarely used genuine perspective, he achieved a sense of depth through skillful use of light and shadow and a remarkable gift for composition. Above all he emphasized the human drama in his religious scenes, which still...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Cathedral of Florence*, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy *This location is unconfirmed or in dispute.
Niccolo' (Nicholas) II, Pope b. 1010 d. July 27, 1061 Pope. A Burgundian named Gerard, who at the time of his election was bishop of Florence. In his short pontificate (1058 to 1061) Niccolo' II did much. He renewed the election decrees in 1061. He condemned Berengarius, a Frenchman who denied transubstantiation. He fostered reform by means of energetic legates; and he made Hildebrand, reform's greatest champion, archdeacon of the Roman church. (Bio by: MC) Cathedral of Florence, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy