ca. 1240 - 1302
Painter from Florence, also known as Bencivieni di Pepo or as Cenni di Pepo. Although trained in the Gothic, Byzantine tradition, he became one of the first painters to apply more natural shapes and proportions.
Not much is known about his life, and some of the few sources are unreliable. His exact year of birth is unknown. His first work that still exists is probably a Crucifixion, c. 1270, in a church in Arezzo. Soon after that he spent time in Rome.
Around 1280 he made a number of fresco's in Saint Francis' basilica in Assisi. Some of them are in very bad shape, not only because of aging but also by bad use of the fresco technique.
It is not known how many students Cimabue has had. One of them was Giotto. Giotto in his turn had influence on Cimabue, as can be seen in the mild expressions of the figures in the Maestà of Santa Trinita (c. 1290).
At the end of his life he made a mosaic for the Duomo in Pisa. Cimabue died in 1302.