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Cosmati Family

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COSMATI FAMILY, a family of archi tects and sculptors who flourished in Rome from the last half of the 12th century to the beginning of the 14th, who are known prin cipally through their inscriptions. The more prominent members of the family were Lorenzo (2d half of 12th century), Cosma (about 1210 35), Luca (1231-35), Jacopo (1231-93), Giovanni (1296 and 1303), Adeodato (1294). They won their fame by their decorative archi tectural work, known as Cosmati or Roman work, distinguished by the use of mosaic and colored marbles. Among their best works are the entrance to the cathedral of Civita Castel lana, the cloisters of the Lateran and the abbey house of Saint Pool; the door of Saint Saba; choir-screen in Saint Lorenzo fuori le Mura; tombs in Santa Maria sopra Minerva, in Santa Maria Maggiore and in Santa Balbina; the chapel of the-Sancta Sanctorum in the Lateran; the marble altar at Saint Cesare() and the mag nificent cloisters at Saint Paolo fuori le Mura.

A large number of unsigned works by members and pupils of the same family are to be found in Rome. They are mainly minor pieces: baldacchini, candlesticks, tombs, etc., all remark able for their exquisite sculpture and beautifully decorative mosaics. Gothic lines predominate in their style, but the defects of the execution o' detail were offset by the beauty of their mate rials. Consult Boito, 'Architettura del medio evo' (Milan 1 i) ' Miintz, E. 'Etudes sur l'histoire des arts a Rome pendant le moyen age" (Rome 1:.:I) ; Frothingham, 'Monuments of Christian Rome' (New York 1908) ; Clausse, G., 'Les Monuments du Christianisme au moyen age' (Vol. II, Chap. XXII, Paris 1893).