Opinionator blog today: "The Frisbee of Art" by James McMullan, illustrator of I STINK the wonderful children's book about garbage trucks)
When Pope Boniface (I love his name. did he make it up?). Hopefully he was handsome or it might have been quite hard to go round with that name--imagine it would be like being called Mrs Gorgeous and then going right ahead being plug-ugly. But I suppose, if he wasn't good looking, he could always have changed his name and been Pope Ugliface.
Anyway. Stop it. Back to the story. So when this stunning Pope Boniface VII was looking for a new artist to work on the frescoes in St Peter's Basilica, James McMullan continues:
"He sent a courtier out into the country to interview artists and collect samples of their work that he could judge. The courtier approached the painter Giotto and asked for a drawing to demonstrate his skill. Instead of a study of angels and saints, which the courtier expected, Giotto took a brush loaded with red paint and drew a perfect circle. The courtier was furious, thinking he had been made a fool of; nonetheless, he took the drawing back to Boniface. The Pope understood the significance of the red circle, and Giotto got the job."
However, James McMullan argues it's not the circle so much as the ellipse that is the true test.
must go and sharpen my pencils now I just saw two ellipses on my toe