Giorgio da Sebenico

Giorgio da Sebenico

Infobox Person
name = Georgius Mathaei Dalmaticus
Giorgio Orsini
Juraj Dalmatinac

image_size = 200px
caption = A modern sculpture of Giorgio da Sebenico, created by Ivan Meštrovićplaced in front of Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik | birth_date = circa 1410
birth_place = Zara, Republic of Venice (now Zadar, Croatia)
death_date = 1473/1475
death_place = Sebenico, Republic of Venice (now Šibenik, Croatia)
occupation = sculptor, architect
spouse =

Giorgio Orsini or Juraj Dalmatinac usually called Giorgio da Sebenico"Quaderni Giuliani di Storia "Anno XXIII (n°1 gennaio-giugno 2002) p. 21-35; article "La letteratura italiana in Dalmazia: una storia falsificata" by Giacomo Scotti [] ] Encyclopædia Britannica (1911) articles about [ Sebenico] [ and Ancona] ] [ Biography (Artnet)] ] (Latin: Georgius Mathaei Dalmaticus; c. 1410 – 1473), was a medieval sculptor and architect, who worked mainly at Sebenico in Dalmatia (now Šibenik, Croatia). He was born in the Dalmatian city of Zara (today Zadar, Croatia), which was then ruled by the Republic of Venice, and died in Šibenik.

Life and work

Very good information about Dalmaticus's origins and family name (along with a list of valid historic documents used to support it) can be found in a ninetheen century book written by the British historian Thomas Graham Jackson ["Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, with Cettigne in Montenegro and the Island of Grado" by Sir Thomas Graham Jackson, published in 1887 by Clarendon press, Page 389:

Giorgio seems to have been born at Zara. His father, Matteo, was a scion of the ancient and princely Roman house of Orsini; but the branch to which he belonged had sunk in the world, and been reduced to support itself by manual arts inconsistent with the idea of nobility as then understood, and the family name had been allowed to fall into disuse [...] His family descent from the Orsini was formally recognized in 1540 in the person of his grandson Giacomo, an advocate [...] that Giorgio was not a native of Sebenico is proved by the description of him in several 'Atti' of 1441-1450; e.g. "Magister Giorgius lapicida quondam Matthaei di Jadra, habitator Venetiarum ad praesens existens Sibenic"
] . Orsini was educated (as architect) in Venice GE-YLZ|4|Juraj Dalmatinac] , in the workshop of Giovanni and Bartolomeo Buon. He helped them sculpt the decorations on the Porta della Carta of the Doge's Palace.GE-YLZ|4|Juraj Dalmatinac] He married to Elisabetta da Monte, who brought him as her dowry some house property in Venice. After his engagement at Šibenik in 1441 he made that city his domicile; in Šibenik he invested his savings in concert with two partners in a grocery business and in a merchant shop. Finally, here he built himself a house and settled down close to the great church (Duomo) on which his fame as an architect principally rests. His opus represents the golden age of Dalmatian medieval art . His most beautiful achievement is probably the Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik - in Italian often referenced as Il Duomo di Sebenico, for which he was a chief architect from 1441 to 1473. The entire building was built solely of stone elements (with no wood or bricks used in the structure). The task before him was to build the choir, of which foundations had not been laid, to raise and roof the nave which was only completed to the top of the aisle vaults, and to construct some covering by a lantern and cupola or otherwise over the crossing. It should be noted that Giorgio did not finish the work he started on the Duomo. From July 1 1477 the work was continued by another architect - Nicolo di Giovanni da Firenze. It is to Nicolo that the construction of the stone roof is to be attributed. Especially interesting are 72 portraits of his fellow-citizens carved in stone, surprisingly realistic for the period Facts|date=February 2007. They reflect in a very direct sense the character of urban life of that time.In Split (then Spalato) he built several palaces and in 1448 he carved a stone altar in Spalato cathedral. In Ragusa (today Dubrovnik) he helped repair the Duke's palace and helped build the Minčeta fortress. He also made an urban plan for Pago. In Italy, he worked in Ancona where he built the Loggia dei Mercanti and the portal of San Francesco's (St. Francis) Church.His carvings and sculptures belong to the late gothic style, but his architecture is early Renaissance in style.


On relief by the north apse of Cathedral of St.James the artist signed: "hoc opus cuvarum fecit magister Georgius Mathaei Dalmaticus"cite book |last=Fisković |first=Cvito |coauthors=Nenad Gattin |title=Juraj Dalmatinac |year=1983 |publisher=Zora |location=Zagreb |language=Croatian |pages=73] cite book |last=Ivančević |first=Radovan |title=Šibenska katedrala |language=Croatian] , and on a contract from 1441 he signed: "Georgius lapicida quondam Mathei de Jadra Civis Sibenicenis" ("trans." "Georgius carver, son of deceased Mathei from Zadar, citizen of Šibenik"). Those are only known signatures of the artist.

In Croatia, Dalmaticus is much celebrated under the name "Juraj Dalmatinac". Two elementary schoold bear that name: one in Pag [hr icon [ Osnovna škola Jurja Dalmatinca Pag] ] , and one in Šibenik [hr icon [ Osnovna škola Jurja Dalmatinca Šibenik] ] . This name is a recent translation of "Georgius Dalmaticus" La Voce del Popolo 21/07/2003; "Dalmazia, una storia »falsata«"; by Kristjan Knez (] ["La Repubblica", August 14, 2004; [ "Traù, fuga di mezzanotte"] ; by Paolo Rumiz] ["La Voce del Popolo"; "L'Adriatico orientale e la sterile ricerca della nazionalità delle persone"; by Kristjan Knez (] ["Corriere della Sera", November 3, 2000: [ "Gli italiani d'Istria litigano con il Vaticano"] ; by Gian Antonio Stella ] . Croatian sources such as Yugoslav Lexicographical Institute and author Cvito Fisković claim that "Orsini" was never used by the artist and it was adopted by his son, after the death of his father.Encyclopedia of Visual Arts of Yugoslavian Lexicographic Institute, volume 3 (Zagreb, 1964), article "Juraj Dalmatinac".] .


External links

* [ La Voce del Popolo (Fiume/Rijeka) 02/02/05 - Lettere in redazione : La mistificazione della storia è il piatto forte di molti]
* [ Short biography in Spanish]
* [,%201410-1475,%20(Italian)aaa&cat1=All+Categories&thsz=12&txsz=50&slsz=1&c=fisher&sstrt=1&res=thumbnail Name and nationaliy according to English literature]
* [ Names according to a Croatian source]

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