Title: Giotto Info Date modified: 09/22/2001

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Giotto's Tower

Our logo is a stylized schematic sketch of Giotto's Tower in Florence, because we consider that Tower to be emblematic of essential features of the values we seek to advance.

In 1334, when he was 68 years old, the painter Giotto was commissioned to design and construct the belltower for the Cathedral of Florence. Giotto sketched out his design, did the underlying calculations, and began the construction. When he died three years later, the first story had been completed. Thirty years after his death, his student Andrea Pisano had completed the next three stories. Then Pisano's student, Francesco Talenti, designed the remaining stories, and three more generations carried on the work. Talenti discovered that Giotto had made some mistakes in his calculations and that the walls on the first floors had to be thickened and reinforced in order to carry the full load of the Tower. The thickness of the lower walls was doubled, and the construction went on. Giotto's Tower was finally completed in the year 1480, nearly 150 years after it was begun. Five generations of artists, architects, and artisans had worked on it; five generations of Florentine nobility had financed it.

In our day and age, there is no such building. Our buildings take a few years to construct, at the most. We do not launch projects that might take generations to complete, because we do not have any confidence that succeeding generations will share our passions, or our sense of aesthetics. No, for us, what seems beautiful and worthwhile today may seem dated and trivial a few years from now.

But there are exceptions to this general rule. Some works of art - like Giotto's Tower - are admired centuries after they were created, and some books are read centuries after they were written. We hope we are publishing works of that type.

The Staff at Giotto Multimedia