Master of St. Cecilia

Datesactive about 1290 - 1320

The history of painting in Florence has been distinguished by many famous names, but the identity of one influential artist remains a mystery: the Master of St. Cecilia. Because his work contains poses and Greek inscriptions derived from Roman paintings and mosaics, historians suggest that the Master of St. Cecilia may originally have come from Rome.

He was active in Florence in the late 1200s and early 1300s, and he was familiar with innovations in the naturalistic rendering of form and space created by his contemporary, Giotto. The extent of this master's contact with Giotto and other Florentine artists has been debated; regardless, scholars believe that the Master of St. Cecilia had a considerable influence on Bernardo Daddi and other painters.

A number of works in and around Florence, similar in style, are believed to be by his hand. In addition to the painting for which he is named-the altarpiece of St Cecilia Enthroned in the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence-he is thought to be the creator of a cycle of frescoes from the Legend of St. Francis in the Upper Church of San Francesco, Assisi, and of an altarpiece of St. Margaret with Six Scenes from Her Life in the Santa Margherita a Montici, Florence.