Frescoes in Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome (The Last Judgement)
by Pietro CAVALLINI

Santa Cecilia in Trastevere is one of the oldest titular churches in Rome. The present structure, whose interior was completely remodeled in the Baroque style, was built during the Carolingian period under Pope Paschal I (817-24). The mosaic in the apse also dates from this period. Around 1300 the interior of the church was entirely redecorated. Above the high altar Arnolfo di Cambio placed an elaborately designed Gothic ciborium with opulent figurative decoration (completed in 1293). The fresco decoration of the interior façade and the walls of the nave was added c. 1300. According to Ghiberti and Vasari, the frescoes were the work of the Roman painter Pietro Cavallini. The frescoes of the nave were largely destroyed when Cardinal Francesco Acquaviva had the interior redesigned in 1724-25.

Not until 1900, during restoration work in the church, did large sections of the old fresco decoration come to light again. The middle register of a depiction of the Last Judgment on the west wall of the basilica, fragments of the fresco of the Annunciation on the north wall, and two scenes from the story of Jacob on the south wall were uncovered. It is assumed that there were cycles of the Old and New Testament, respectively, on facing walls of the nave.

Of the paintings in Santa Cecilia, the most important is the fragment of the Last Judgment that extends the entire width of the west wall (its size is 320 x 1400 cm). In the enthroned Christ and apostles, whose rich colouristic harmonies are dominated by soft orange and green, and in the angels with feathers in graduated colours, there is a wholly new sense of real rather than schematic volumes, of surfaces, and of textures in light.

The innovations of Cavallini provided a strong incentive, perhaps even inspiration for Giotto, who must have seen and studied Cavallini's work in Rome.



Preview Picture Data Info
Last Judgment (fragment)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (fragment)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Last Judgment (detail)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Esau Appears to Isaac (fragment)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome


Jacob's Dream (fragment)
c. 1300
Fresco
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome



Works by Pietro CAVALLINI
Last Judgement | Mosaics | Paintings



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