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Giotto di Bondone (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒɔtto di bonˈdoːne]; c.  1267[a] – January 8, 1337), known mononymously as Giotto (UK: /ˈdʒɒtoʊ/, US: /dʒiˈɒtoʊ, ˈdʒɔːtoʊ/) and Latinised as Giottus, was an Italian painter and architect from Florence during the Late Middle Ages. He worked during the Gothic/Proto-Renaissance period. Giotto's contemporary, the banker and chronicler Giovanni Villani, wrote that Giotto was "the most sovereign master of painting in his time, who drew all his figures and their postures according to nature" and of his publicly recognized "talent and excellence". In his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, Giorgio Vasari described Giotto as making a decisive break with the prevalent Byzantine style and as initiating "the great art of painting as we know it today, introducing the technique of drawing accurately from life, which had been neglected for more than two hundred years".