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Orvieto Cathedral

Description Orvieto Cathedral

The central nave, inside the Orvieto Cathedral, culminates with a stupendous Gothic window, 16,30 meters high, made by Giovanni Bonino from Assisi and finished under the co-mastership of Nicola di Nuto in 1334. The window consists of 48 panels which reproduce the story of the Madonna and Jesus, the figures of the Prophets, of the Doctors of the Church. The walls of the apse have frescoes of the Orvieto school, executed by Ugolino di Prete Ilario and assistants, including Pietro di Puccio, between 1970 and 1380. They were restored during the last decade of the fifteenth century by Giacomo da Bologna and then by Bernardino di Betto known as Pinturicchio and by Antonio da Viterbo known as Pastura. these frescoes, partly lost, represent the "Glory of Mary" on the vault and the "life of Mary" on the walls. The apse is divided from the transept by a grand travertine staircase surmounted by a dark red marble balustrade. The magnificent sculptural group of the Pietà (1574), the work of Ippolito Scalza, is located in the transverse nave, made up of four highly expressive figures carved in a single marble block.

Orvieto Cathedral

The Cathedral of Orvieto it was built during the period when the medieval Comune achieved its moment of maximum splendour. Works began during the ponteficate of Nicholas IV in 1290 and the first mass was celebrated on August 15th, 1297 by Boniface VIII. The first known builder is the Benedictine Fra Bevignate. In 1309 the architect Lorenzo Maitani, having taken over the works, created and modified the façate to three cusps and reinforced the cross vault with rampant arches. The façade in considered a typical example of Italian Gothic art. The frames of the cusps show various scenes from the life of Jesus and the Madonna with gilt mosaics that over the centuries have been restored and repaired. In the center of the façade, between the two central cusps, is the rose window, a masterpiece by Andrea di Cione better known as Orcagna. It is made up of small columns and delicate decorative elements, with the head of the Redeemer in the centre. It was built between 1354 - 1380. The three portals on the façade have great effect. The ones on the sides end in an ogive and the central one is round; the sloped surface is beautifully decorated with a series of small twisted columns alternated with decorative fascias. In 1970 the old wooden doors were replaced with bronze doors finished by Emilio Greco.

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