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The Frescoes of the Pisa Cemetery

In the city of Pisa it is possible to find a complex of frescoes, unfortunately heavily damaged by the weather and by the bombardments of the Second World War, which depict the life and martyrdom of Efisio.

In fact, between 1390 and 1391 in the Monumental Cemetery of Pisa Spinello Aretino, considered the last heir of Giotto, decorated a portion of the southern wall with life stories of the Saints Efisio and Potito on assignment of people in charge of the Opera of the Duomo.

The painting cycle describes six slices of the life and the martyrdom of the Saint, chosen among the episodes of His Passio (written centuries before).

Efisio is represented as a soldier wearing blue clothes who fights against the Barbarians/Saracens. The Saint appears adopted by Pisa, as shown in the scene in which Efisio takes over the standard, emblem of the city, from an angel with an armour which bore a white cross in a red background.

In 2009, after a careful restoration, three large paintings were relocated in the Monumental Cemetery.


Text by Fabio Pinna

Translation by Gabriele Demurtas and Giusy Pitzeri


Details of the cycle of frescoes by Spinello Aretino from the Camposanto Monumentale in Pisa.

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