Giotto was born near Florence, Italy, the son of a poor farmer. According to legend, the young Giotto was tending a flock of sheep one day. To pass time, he began to sketch one of the sheep with rough, pointed stone on a smooth surface of rock. As he was drawing, the famous artist Cibuiue happened to come by.
The artist was so impressed by the boys talent that he invited Giotto to go and live with him in Florence and study art. He rejected the offer becase he said he had to stay at the farm to help his family make money. Before Giotto, European artist painted in flat, linear (line-like) style that had not changed in 500 years. Giotto made a great breakthrough that was to greatly change European painting. He discovered how to make a flat surface look as if it has depth.
He gave his figures a three-dimensional look-height, width, and depth so that they seem almost as solid-looking as sculptures. painters after Giotto developed the three-dimensional effect in greater detail. Look at Giotto's painting, The Flight into Egypt. Your eye goes strait to Mary holding the baby Jesus. The donkey seems to be stepping carefully, aware of the presents of the baby. Joseph looks back to see that they are all coming along safely.
Notice that this entire scene takes place in the foreground (toward the front 0 of the painting. Also, most of the activity takes place int he center of the picture. In this way Giotto makes the viewer almost enter into the picture.