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.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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