Arts & Culture


Santi Quattro Coronati Cloister

Within the fortress-like Basilica of Santi Quattro Coronati complex is an early 13th century cloister that is possibly the earliest structure in Rome in the cosmatesque style. This style is characterized by the use of small marble tessarae set in patterns to form colorful mosaics. The convent and cloister, together with the basilica and adjoining cardinal’s palace, constitute one of the most complete medieval ecclesiastical complexes surviving in Rome. Augustinian nuns have cared for the monastery since the 16th century. Between 1912 and 1914, the fine arts superintendent, Antonio Muñoz, restored the cloister in such an exemplary manner that it stands as a milestone in the history of Italian restoration practice. In addition to the restoration, Muñoz assembled over 300 archeological artifacts found on the premises, now on display in the cloister. By the early 21st century, however, the cloister was once again in need of conservation work.

The 13thcentury Santi Quattro Coronati Cloister, located near the Coliseum in Rome, is an early, and possibly the earliest example of a Roman building in the cosmatesque style. The complex sits in close proximity to a number of major Christian and secular monuments in Rome and forms part of the nucleus of structures contributing to the understanding of medieval Roman and Christian history.
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