Arnolfo di Cambio

Creator Name: Arnolfo di Cambio
Creator Type: Art
Dates: c. 1240 - 1300
Language: Italian

Arnolfo di Cambio (c. 1240 1300/1310) was an Italian architect and sculptor. As an architect he is most known for the original design of Florence Cathedral, while his most important surviving work as a sculptor is the tomb of Cardinal de Braye in S. Domenico, Orvieto.


Arnolfo was born in Colle Val d'Elsa, Tuscany.

He was Nicola Pisanos chief assistant on the marble Siena Cathedral Pulpit for the Duomo in Siena Cathedral (12651268), but he soon began to work independently on an important tomb sculpture. In 12661267 he worked in Rome for King Charles I of Anjou, portraying him in the famous statue housed in the Campidoglio. Around 1282 he finished the monument to Cardinal Guillaume de Braye in the church of San Domenico in Orvieto, including an enthroned Madonna (a Maest) for which he took as a model an ancient Roman statue of the goddess Abundantia; the Madonna's tiara and jewels reproduce antique models. In Rome Arnolfo had seen the Cosmatesque art, and its influence can be seen in the intarsia and polychrome glass decorations in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls and the church Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, where he worked in 1285 and 1293 respectively. In this period he also worked on the presepio of Santa Maria Maggiore, on Santa Maria in Aracoeli, on the monument of Pope Boniface VIII (1300) and on the bronze statue of St. Peter in St. Peter's Basilica.

In 12941295 he worked in Florence, mainly as an architect. According to his biographer Giorgio Vasari, he was in charge of construction of the cathedral of the city, for which he provided the statues once decorating the lower part of the faade destroyed in 1589. The surviving statues are now in the Museum of the Cathedral. While the design of the Church of Santa Croce has been attributed to Arnolfo, this is highly disputed. Vasari also attributed to him the urban plan of the new city of San Giovanni Valdarno.

The monumental character of Arnolfo's work has left its mark on the appearance of Florence. His funerary monuments became the model for Gothic funerary art.

Giorgio Vasari included a biography of Arnolfo in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects.

Selected works


  • Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence Cathedral, 1296. Arnolfo's design was extended and completed by other architects in the 14th and 15th centuries.
  • Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, 1299.


  • St. Peter Enthroned inside St. Peter's Basilica, is often attributed to Arnolfo.
  • Monument to Pope Adrian V (1276, attributed) San Francesco, Viterbo
  • Monument to Riccardo Cardinal Annibaldi (1276) San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome
  • Statue of Charles I of Anjou (1277) Campidoglio, Rome
  • Fountain of the Thirsty People (Fontana Minore) Perugia
  • Tomb of Cardinal Guillaume de Braye (c. 1282) San Domenico, Orvieto
  • Monument of Pope Boniface VIII the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo Florence



  • Tomasi, Michele (February 2007). "Lo stil novo del Gotico italiano". Medioevo (121): 3246.

External links

  • Arnolfo di Cambio in the "History of Art"

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Medieval - Gothic

Medieval - Gothic

c. 1100 - c. 1400

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