Italian, ca. 1240 - 1302

Variously considered the last great Byzantine artist and the first great Renaissance artist, painter and mosaicist Cimabue used the formal vocabulary of Byzantine art, but brought emotional charge, an increased concern with naturalism, and new awareness of three-dimensional space to his stylized forms. Cimabue is considered by many to have provided the foundation for the art of Giotto and Duccio in the 14th century. Notoriously proud, Cimabue’s name translates as “bullheaded”, and in his Divine Comedy, Dante places Cimabue among the proud in Purgatory. Among Cimabue’s surviving works are his frescoes in the Church of San Francesco at Assisi, and the apse mosaic of Saint John the Evangelist in the Pisa Duomo.

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