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

Last Judgment (detail)

c. 1300
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome

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.

Despite being damaged, this image of Christ sitting in judgment surrounded by the angelic hosts reveals Pietro Cavallini's sense of monumental power. The measured frontal view comes from the Byzantine tradition while the warm tones of the colours and the play of the light are definitely new.

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