Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Giotto.

 Gi’ona (g soft).Giovan’ni (Don). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Round as Giotto’s O. An Italian proverb applied to a dull, stupid fellow. The Pope, wishing to obtain some art decorations, sent a messenger to obtain specimens of the chief artists of Italy. The messenger came to Giotto and delivered his message, whereupon the artist simply drew a circle with red paint. The messenger, in amazement, asked Giotto if that were all. Giotto replied, “Send it, and we shall see if his Holiness understands the hint.” A specimen of genius about equal to a brick as a specimen of an edifice.   1

 Gi’ona (g soft).Giovan’ni (Don). 


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