Cimabue was born around 1240 in Florence. His real name was Ceni di Peppi, and aside from his painted altarpieces, his other claim to fame was to have been Giotto's art teacher. Actually so many works have been attributed to him that it's quite possible what we're seeing in his painting may well have been done by a group of artists, possibly working under his direction, but perhaps working independently, but in close association. Whatever the case, we see in his work the first attempts to render a shallow perspective, a fascination with angels, and a fair degree of competence in what at the time passed for portrait painting. The massive altarpieces were totally dominated by the gold leaf over wooden, gessoed panels and only rarely is any pigment lighter than gold used. The gold, being a metal, has come down to use relatively unchanged while unfortunately, the precious blue pigments all seem to have darkened to such a degree that rarely can we now see more than very subtle gradations within them.