Orvieto Cathedral
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Architect Arnolfo di Cambio
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Location Orvieto, Italy   map
Date 1290 to 1500   timeline
Building Type church
 Construction System masonry
Climate mediterranean
Context urban
Style Romanesque-Gothic
Notes mosaic inlaid facade






Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing

Section Drawing


More drawings available on The GBC CD-ROM.   Contributions appreciated.

3D Model
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Discussion Orvieto Cathedral Commentary

"Orvieto, with its base some 660 feet above the River Paglia and its sharply cut flanks giving it clarity, possesses one of Italy's most distinctive profiles. Though the town is full of historic buildings, none can equal its superb Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, begun in 1290, and the medieval square it faces."

— G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. p56.

"Orvieto Cathedral,...built after 1290 under the patronage of the papacy, is a timber-roofed, columnar basilica like Santa Croce, but with colorful stone striping and sumptuous capitals and cornicework. Its magnificent polychrome faŤade (begun 1310) embodies a love of luxurious effects reminiscent of the northern cathedral fronts, but with a typically Italian emphasis on closed mural surfaces, classically carved detailing, and marble inlays."

— Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p275.

Sources on Orvieto Cathedral

Donald Corner and Jenny Young, University of Oregon. Slide from photographers' collection. PCD.2350.1012.1143.71. photo of cathedral facade from street facing, framed by vernacular building facades.

Louis Grodecki. Gothic Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1977. ISBN 0-8109-1008-X. LC 77-4853. NA480.G7613. transverse section drawing, f355, p337. plan drawing, f354, p337.

Johnson Architectural Images. Copyrighted slides in the Artifice Collection.

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. discussion p56. very distant photo, p56, close-up of square, p57.

A. Rosengarten. A Handbook of Architectural Styles. London: Chatto and Windus, 1910. NA200.R7 1910. elevation drawing of west front, f524, p364.

Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture, from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986. ISBN 0-13-044702-1. NA200.T7. discussion p275. — available at Amazon.com

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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