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Renaissance Top 48: The Meeting at the Golden Gate


The Meeting at the Golden Gate

  • Giotto di Bondone, 1305 C.E.
  • Fresco Painting 
    • 200 x 185 cm
  • Location (original and current): Arena Chapel (Cappalla Scrovegni) in Padua,Italy 



  • 1305 C.E.
  • Scrovegni had this Chapel built
    • Clear his family's name
    • Cover up the sins of his father
  • Father was a usurer
  • Building this Chapel made Scrovegni seem generous
    • Make his family seem like better people
  • Building a better reputation for his family


  • Anna was unable to conceive a child
    • Seemed to be less than others 
  • Joachim is thrown out of the temple 
    • Goes to pray in the desert
    • Falls asleep- dreams of Anna being pregnant 
  • Anna later finds out she is pregnant
  • Joachim and Anna meet at the gate of Jerusalem
    • Joachim accompanied by a shepherd 
  • Painting shows the scene of them meeting after hearing the great news
  • Pregnant with the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Portrays emotion in the figures




  • Fresco painting
  • 200 x 185 cm
  • Renders figures with volumetric weight
  • Chiaroscuro: light and shade in painting- model the folds of their draperies and emphasize their solidity (strong in structure)
  • Uses architecture to set the scene (gate)
  • Shades his figures to indicate direction of light
  • Light falls on upper surfaces of the figures
  • Lighting suited for dramatic narrative 






  • Didactic
    • Teaches about the life of Mary 
  • Chapel built to rehabilitate Scrovegni's family name