Today, April Fool’s Day, people use to playing jokes and organize hoaxes to friends or colleagues. Taking advantage of this special day we want to tell you a story about the young Giotto, his master Cimabue and one of the most famous fools in the history.

Giotto’s joke is perfect hoaxes for April fool’s Day

At that time, Giotto was the apprentice of Cimabue. He was learning the art of painting from the famous painter.

One day, Cimabue had to leave his workshop for a work commitment. So, he asked the student to complete the background of one of his painting.

Giotto, diligently, did his job before to go away. To fill the time, or perhaps to make a joke to the teacher, he painted a fly on a part of painting that was almost completely white and very bright, as it was laying on the canvas. He was so much good that it seemed real.

The morning after, the first thing that Cimabue did going into the workshop, was to verify how Giotto completed his painting. Can you cannot imagine his reaction?


Cimabue, (Florence, 1240 – Pisa, 1302) was a florentine painter. He was known as one of the first great Italian painters to break from the Italo-Byzantine style.


Giotto, (Florence 1266/7 – 1377) is considered the first of many great artists (painters and architects) of Italian Renaissance.

After a careful examination, he found the job very well done. But before to leave, he saw the fly on the canvas. With an open hand, he did the very common gesture that even today we do when we want to chase away a fly. Perhaps, following the gesture with an imperious: “Shoo”!!

Cimabue, seeing that the fly didn’t go away and repeated the hand motion again. Then, he got close to his work and when, with pleasant surprise, realized that the fly was painted, called Giotto to congratulate him.

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