Giotto di Bondone was born 1267 in Verpignano outside of Florence. He is known as the genius of the Italian Renaissance as a painter, sculptor and architect of the traditional religious subjects (Web Gallery of Art Biography).
He is responsible for the frescoes of the life of St. Francis in the Church of the Assisi, and the frescoes in the Arena Chapel of Padua (Web Gallery of Art Biography).
The City of Florence gave Giotto the title of Magnus Magister (Great Master) and appointed him the city architect and superintendent of public works in 1334. It was in this position that he designed the Campanile bell tower, however he died before he could finish the project (Web Gallery of Art Biography).
Giotto di Bondone is also attributed with breaking free from the Byzantine style with a new sense of pictorial space and the new depiction of naturalism (Web Gallery of Art Biography).
The Italian garden was dedicated October 12, 1930 on Columbus Day, at the 2000th anniversary of the Latin poet Virgil.
Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper Morgue, Folder# 1935-1939. Special Collections Library at Cleveland State University.