MOSAIC ARTIST, Italian
(active c. 1280 in Rome)

Vault (detail)

c. 1280
Mosaic
Sancta Sanctorum, Rome

Around the middle of the thirteenth century there were no major papal initiatives in the area of church building and decoration. The situation changed only with the accession of Pope Nicholas III (1277-1280). In around 1280 he built the Cappella Sancta Sanctorum next to the Lateran, and decorated it not only with porphyry columns, coloured marbles, and wall paintings, but also with a mosaic in the vault above the altar. It pictured a Christ giving benediction inside an aureole supported by angels, and busts of saints appeared in the lunettes. The name of the mosaic artist is not known, but it has been noted that his work is similar in style to some works created by Jacopo Torriti and his workshop more than a decade later.




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