Samstag, 17.08.2019 12:33 Uhr

Pietro Cavallini as art innovator

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 05.08.2019, 12:19 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 1870x gelesen

Rome [ENA] Pietro Cavallini, (1259 – c. 1330) a painter present, perhaps, alongside Giotto in Assisi, halfway between Florence and Rome has gotten more attention recently. Cavallini was a painter and mosaic designer working during the late Middle Ages. He saw the world through new eyes exactly like Giotto, and in the same years, perhaps a little earlier, as shown by the mosaics in Santa Maria in Trastevere and in the frescoes

of Santa Cecilia. Little is known about his biography, though it is known he was from Rome, since he signed his masterpieces under the name of pictor romanus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMR_Vsmmc70&t=5s His first notable works were the fresco cycles for the Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura, with stories from the New and Old Testament (1277–1285). They were destroyed by the fire of 1823. His Last Judgment in the Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere in Rome, painted c. 1293 is considered Cavallini's masterwork, because it establishes an artistic style known as Roman naturalism. This naturalism influenced the work of artists working in other Italian cities such as Florence and Siena.

In the Sienese school, the influence of classical Roman forms combined with the Byzantine artistic tradition of the region and with northern Gothic influences to form a naturalized painting style that was one of the origins of International Gothic. In Cavallini’s work is represented a new humanity, a Christ and the apostles who are very different from the past , the truth of the faces, everything that seemed suspended in the Byzantine frescoes and mosaics now becomes earthly. In Florence, the influence of classical Roman forms combined with the Byzantine artistic heritage of the region generated an interest in volumetric, naturalistic paintings and statuary.

Mosaic by Pietro Cavallini in Santa Maria in Trastevere (detail)

This work is in stark contrast to the moderately flat and ornamented Gothic, International Gothic, and Byzantine styles. This naturalism is also evident in the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi in Assisi, built in the early years of the 13th century in honor of the newly canonized St. Francis. From 1308 Cavallini worked in Naples at the court of King Charles II of Anjou, notably in the churches of San Domenico Maggiore (1308) and Santa Maria Donnaregina (1317), together with his fellow Roman Filippo Rusuti. He returned to Rome before 1325, beginning the external decoration of the Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura in 1321, with a series of Byzantine-style mosaics.

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