Lived and worked in Rome. Laid the foundations for a new direction in painting. The author of the mosaics (in the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, 1291) and frescoes (the Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, approx. 1293). Sought to overcome the flatness of the forms and compositional structure inherent in the Italian painting of the XIII century, giving the images a volumetric plasticity. The art of Cavallini influenced Giotto and other young artists of Italy.
Helped the teacher with the mosaic decoration of the so-called Navicelli on the eve of St. Peter's Church. He is credited with mosaic, and the ornament on the tomb of Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey. For his piety of life he was considered Holy; according to tradition, the crucifixion of his work in the Basilica of San Paolo-Fuori-Le-Mura, near Rome in 1370 spoke to one Saint.
It is known that throughout his long creative path, Cavallini worked in the most important Roman and Neapolitan churches, where he performed the orders vysokopostavlennyh persons, such as Pietro da Bartolo of Stefaneschi, Charles and Robert of Anjou. Among the surviving works by the earliest artist is in Rome is a mosaic (which shows his name) in the apse of the Church. Santa Maria in Trastevere (1291), depicting six episodes from the life of Mary and "St. Peter, representing the donor of the Mary Stefanski". Soon, Cavallini creates frescoes in the Church. Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. From this ensemble is preserved only monumental composition "the last judgement", discovered in 1901 in the pews and choirs are samm significant and most perfect work of the master. In Naples in 1308 he works for the Dukes of Anjou. Attend his workshop and, especially, subsequent records do not accurately define its role in the execution of frescoes in the Cathedral ("the Tree of Aseeva", the chapel of San Lorenzo) and frescoes in the Church. Santa Maria Donnaregina ("the last judgment", the "Apostles" and "Prophets"). Most of his works of the Roman period, mentioned by Ghiberti and Vasari, is not preserved (e.g., mosaic, executed about 1321 for the facade of the Basilica of San Paolo in Rome).
Along with Giotto, Cimabue and Duccio, Cavallini occupies an important place in the history of Italian painting of the late, ducanto and the beginning of the trecento. Raised in the Byzantine tradition (which was natural for an artist of his generation), he did not obey her common mannerisms, but, on the contrary, tried to recreate the most high and the ancient forms went the way of the great Roman medieval painting. He had a gift to collect from the mighty tree of Roman art, the fruits of the most daring experiments of the time, primarily Cimabue (in Rome in 1272) and Giotto. This ratio between the two great masters allows you to abandon that point of view, according to which, Cavallini was considered as the "Roman teacher of Giotto". But, in any case, the comparison of their works shows the true greatness of Cavallini. The volume and density of forms in the frescoes in the Church. Santa Cecilia, in comparison with the mosaics in the Church. Santa Maria in Trastevere, is a step forward that cannot be explained without the influence of Giotto. The Cavallini color gives each form of independence: a sharp and deep shadow creates a relief and gives them the solemnity and equanimity. Realism in the depiction of individuals may Express a religious fervor, and human happiness. These elements of art, Cavallini give his work the highest poetry and expressive power. He owes much to the Roman, Neapolitan and Umbrian painting of the XIV century.