Luciano Bellosi studied art history under Roberto Longhi in Florence and has been a professor of history of Medieval art at the University of Siena since 1979. Curator of numerous exhibitions, he is also the author of several books and of essays in prominent Italian journals as well as in the Revue de l'art (France) and The Burlington Magazine (U.K.).
The first modern monograph on this master of the Middle Ages.
Definitive and richly illustrated, this volume is the first extensive examination of Cimabue's work to appear in English in more than thirty years. Cimabue (c. 1240-1302) was the most admired artist of his time in Tuscany and Central Italy. His paintings and mosaics are seen by some as the last great flowering of Medieval art, and by others as the first works of the Renaissance. His somber crucifixion scenes are complemented by his shining mosaic work in the Baptistery in Florence, and by his majestic panels of the Madonna seated on a gilded throne and attended by angels with great multicolored wings.
The earthquakes that shook Central Italy in late 1997 struck hardest at the legacy of Cimabue, crumbling his brilliantly-colored paintings in the vault of the Upper Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi. The tragic Florentine flood of 1966 had already destroyed much of the master's famous Santa Croce Crucifix. But in this book a combination of archival and newly commissioned photographs — including pictures of the Assisi vault shot just moments before its collapse — offer a complete panorama of the artist's works, before flood or earthquake damage, and before and after recent restorations.
Luciano Bellosi takes into consideration all recent scholarship and reports on the staggering changes that have forever altered the physical reality of Cimabue's creations. Two hundred and forty illustrations, most of them in color, cover the whole world of the artist, including work by his contemporaries. The superbly reproduced images, some on double gatefold pages, make this a glorious volume for art historians and art lovers alike.