Sunday, August 5, 2007
Pietro Cavallini (c 1243-1308)
Italian painter, born in Rome, was an artist of the earliest epoch of the modern Roman school, and was taught painting and mosaic by Giotto while, employed at Rome; it is believed that he assisted his master in the mosaic of the Navicella or ship of St Peter, in the porch of the church of that saint. He also studied under the Cosmati. Lanzi describes him as an adept in both arts, and mentions with approbation his grand fresco of a Crucifixion at Assisi, still in tolerable preservation; he was, moreover, versed in architecture and in sculpture.
According to George Vertue, it is highly probable that Cavallini executed, in 1279, the mosaics and other ornaments of the tomb of Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey. He would thus be the Petrus Civis Romanus whose name is inscribed on the shrine; but a comparison of dates invalidates this surmise. He died in 1344, at the age of eighty-five, in the odour of sanctity, having in his later years been a man of eminent piety. He is said to have carved for the Basilica of San Paolo, close to Rome, a crucifix which spoke in 1370 to a female saint. Some highly important works by Cavallini in the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome, have been recently discovered. [Adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica (1911)]
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