Essential Architecture- Search by architect

Arnolfo di Cambio

Arnolfo di Cambio[1] (c. 1240 – 1300/1310[2]) was an Italian architect and sculptor.

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

Particular of the tomb of Riccardo Cardinal Annibaldi, at St. John Lateran. This was the first major work of Arnolfo in Rome.He was Nicola Pisano’s chief assistant on the marble pulpit for the Duomo in Siena (1265-1268), but he soon began to work independently on important tomb sculpture. In 1266-1267 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 de Braye in the church of San Domenico in Orvieto, for which he modified an antique Roman statue of the Abundance. In Rome Arnolfo had known by the Cosmatesque art, and its influence can be seen in the intarsio and polychrome glass decorations in the churches of San Paolo fuori le Mura and Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, where he worked in 1285 and 1293, respectively. In this period he also worked to the presepio of Santa Maria Maggiore, to Santa Maria in Aracoeli, to the monument of Pope Boniface VIII (1300) and the bronze statue of St. Peter in St. Peter's Basilica.

In 1294-1295 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 façade destroyed in 1589. The surviving statues are now in the Museum of the Cathedral. Also attributed to Arnolfo is the design of the Church of Santa Croce. Vasari assigned him also 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 Artists.

Selected works

The tabernacle over the high altar of St. John Lateran is derived from a design by Arnolfo di Cambio and decorated with paintings by Barna da Siena in 1367-1368. The cage above contains silver reliquaries which are said to hold the heads of SS. Peter and Paul.


Old basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence. Begun 1245.

Monument to Pope Adrian V (1276) - 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 Museum of the Opera del Duomo - Florence)

Tomasi, Michele (February 2007). "Lo stil novo del Gotico italiano". Medioevo (121): pp. 32-46.

^ The name "Arnolfo di Lapo" by which he is mentioned in some sources was an invention by his biographer Giorgio Vasari. See Tomasi, 2007.
^ The traditional date of 1302 has been recently discovered to be wrong. See Tomasi, 2007.