(b. ca. 1250, Roma, d. 1330, Roma)

Last Judgment (fragment)

c. 1300
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome

The picture shows the middle register of the fragmentary Last Judgment.

The fresco decoration of the interior façade and the walls of the nave in Santa Cecilia in Trastevere was executed c. 1300 by 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.

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. It depicts Christ in judgment in the centre, seated on a wooden throne that is decorated with pearls and precious stones and was at one time partially gilded. He is surrounded by a red mandorla. The enthroned Christ is facing the viewer, but he is looking to the side. His right hand is extended toward the blessed; the left hand, which has not survived, would have been raised and presumably outstretched toward the damned in a dismissive gesture. The wounds on his feet, hands, and chest are displayed.

Angels, whose bright, colourful feathers stand out against the dark blue ground of the fresco, frame the mandorla. To Christ's right the Virgin stands on a rectangular wooden pedestal; she is dressed in a blue garment under a violet cloak and is turned toward Christ in prayer. Corresponding to her on the other side is John the Baptist, who is wearing a a violet garment under a brown, fur-lined cloak. Behind the Virgin and John are the apostles, each sitting ion a wooden throne; they can be recognized by the names inscribed on the footrests of their thrones and by their attributes.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.