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

Interior view

Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome

A number of churches were erected in Rome in the twelfth century, the largest and most important of them being the Santa Maria in Trastevere which replaced an Early Christian basilica from the fourth century. In its architectural design the present church is indebted to the great Early Christian basilicas of Rome, especially the old St. Peter's. This is apparent even in the fact that the side aisles in the nave are separated from the centre aisle by colonnades, instead of columned arcades as was costumary in the time. Other borrowings from Early Christian church architecture are the open transept, the triumphal arch connecting the transept and the nave, and the mosaic decoration in the apse and on the apsidal arch.

The builder of the church was pope Innocent II (1130-1143). Although the construction was completed only after the death of Innocent II in around 1148, the mosaics in the apse calotte and on the upper part of the apsidal arch were completed during his lifetime.

The mosaics in the apse calotte and on the apsidal arch commissioned by Pope Innocent II in around 1140 were supplemented toward the end of the thirteenth century by seven more mosaics, six of them narrating the life of the Virgin. Pietro Cavallini is documented as the creator of these mosaics in the apse.

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