Devil’s Face Uncovered in Famous Giotto Fresco

Natalie Aldern | Thu, 11/10/2011 - 03:36

Art restorers working on a fresco by Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone have discovered the smirking face of the devil disguised in clouds within the painting.

The 13th century fresco, which is located in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, is one of Giotto’s most famous works. The hidden devil went unnoticed for hundreds of years because the artist incorporate the smirking face in such a way that it is nearly impossible for a normal viewer to spot from the ground.

According to Chiara Frugoni, a medieval expert who discovered the sunken face, “In the Middle Ages it was believed that demons lived in the sky and that they could imped the ascension of human souls to Heaven”.

Art historians have not yet reached a consensus on the significance of the image. Some theorize that Giotto may have incorporated the devilish head as a joke, or to spite someone he knew by using their likeness for the satanic face.