12 November 2019

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Cimabue, pseudonym of Cenni Bencivenni di Pepo, was born in Florence around 1240. He was credited with a fundamental step in Western painting: the transition from hieratic and idealised figures of Byzantine tradition to real subjects, gifted with humanity and emotions.

The crucifix of San Domenico in Arezzo is a splendid shaped cross painted in tempera and gold on wood, datable around 1268-1271 and it is the first work attributed to Cimabue. The crucifix shares the extraordinary artistic wealth of Arezzo with the whole world. According to historians, Cimabue would have finished the wooden cross between 1265 and 1271 and since then it has never left San Domenico church.

The black and white stripes decorating the edges of the central chapel, behind the main altar, add value and highlight the work of the Florentine painter. The splendor of this work is the product of two restorations in 1917 and 2005. The light blue glass windows behind the cross and the warm colours of the piece of art create a strong and impactful contrast.

The site is not to be missed.