Cimabue, real name Bencivieni di Pepo (c. 1240-c. 1302), Italian painter and mosaicist, born in Florence.
He was one of the most important artists of his time, breaking with the formalism of Byzantine art, then predominant in Italy, and introducing a more lifelike treatment of traditional subjects. He was the precursor of the realism that developed in the early Renaissance Florentine school of painting founded by Giotto, and he is believed to have been Giotto's teacher.
Among Cimabue's works are Crucifix (c. 1260, San Domenico, Arezzo) and Madonna and Child Enthroned (c. 1285, Uffizi Gallery, Florence). He also made a mosaic of St John (Pisa Cathedral) and, with assistants, painted fresco cycles of saints and apostles and scenes from the Apocalypse in the upper and lower churches of San Francesco in Assisi.