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Cenni di Pepi, called Cimabue, is first recorded in Rome in 1272 where he is referred to as a 'Florentine painter'. He is last recorded in 1302.

His only secure work is a mosaic of Saint John in Pisa Cathedral, dated 1301-2. On the basis of this mosaic a number of paintings are attributed to him, including the 'Santa Trinita Madonna' (about 1280, Uffizi, Florence) and the now ruined Crucifix in S. Croce, Florence. He may also have carried out some of the fresco painting in S. Francesco, Assisi. A now lost altarpiece, dated 1301, may have been the earliest to have a predella.

He is traditionally believed to have been the teacher of Giotto.