Pietro d' Abano and the Astrological and Scientific Image in Padova During the XIV Century: from Giotto to Carraresi


  • Giordana Mariani Canova Dipartimento di Storia delle Arti Visive e della Musica Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia Università degli Studi di Padova, I


The paper intends to prove the incidence that scientific doctrines, mostly Pietro d’Abano’s astrological and medical studies, had on Giotto’s painting at the Cappella degli Scrovegni in Padova and his lost astrological cycle in the Sala della Ragione. It is emphasized how in no other painting of his, Giotto displayed as much intellectualism as in the Cappella degli Scrovegni. There we can note the importance of the physical representation of the sky and stars and figures’ particular physiognomic characterization referable to Pietro d’Abano’s theories presented in his astrological treatises and in his Compilation Phisionomiae. Even the ecceptional botanical realism displayed in the representation of plants can be probably referred to Pietro d’Abano’s scientific teaching. An hypotetical reconstruction, according to Ptolomeus’ theories and Pietro d’Abano’s physiognomic, of Giotto’s astrological cycle in the Sala della Ragione is also proposed.  Key words: Pietro D'Abano - Astrology - Padua - Astrological image