It is highly informative to conduct a side-by-side comparison of the Ognissanti Madonna and the very similar Maestà of Giotto's master, Cimabue.
The Maestà is far less naturalistic, displaying many of the traits found in earlier Byzantine art. The figures are relatively two-dimensional, and their faces do not express much individuality, giving the image an ornamental, rather than representational, quality.
Giotto's Madonna, on the other hand, conveys a significant sense of depth perception, especially for the time. The figures seem more alive, and less rigid, as their clothing drapes convincingly over their forms; the Madonna's gaze is far more life-like, as is the body of the child on her lap.
The Ognissanti Madonna represents an important step in progress of Western art toward the near-photo realism attained by the late Renaissance artists.