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The Evolution of the Design of Orvieto Cathedral, ca. 1290-1310

David M. Gillerman
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
Vol. 53, No. 3 (Sep., 1994), pp. 300-321
DOI: 10.2307/990939
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/990939
Page Count: 22
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The Evolution of the Design of Orvieto Cathedral, ca. 1290-1310
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Abstract

This paper focuses on the choir, transepts, and nave of the cathedral of Orvieto. This early part of the cathedral is generally assumed to have been executed in a single uninterrupted campaign of construction lasting from 1290 until about 1308. During this time the builders are thought to have followed a predetermined master plan. The elegant late Gothic façade is usually supposed to have been started about 1310 as a completely separate project by a new architect, Lorenzo Maitani. Based primarily on visual analysis of the fabric, this essay challenges some of these assumptions, suggesting that the design for the choir, transepts, and nave evolved during the course of construction and that the architect and the sculptors who completed the nave probably had a hand in the design and execution of the façade.

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