13th Century

To return to the concept of openness to other artistic and cultural influences. In the ambulatory of the quadrangular cloister, on the first floor, it is possible to admire a small sepulchral marble slab with a silver insert. It is the tombstone of the siblings Simonetta and Percivale Lercari, buried on August 16th, 1259. This extraordinary work, mixes arts such as sculpture, painting and goldsmithery and is derived directly from the then current artistic culture of the Île de France. Not surprisingly, the Lercari family had close contacts with the French court, and evidently wished to import these artistic innovations, albeit for a very sad occasion. Furthermore, in the first decades of the century, French workers built the façade of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, demonstrating a close link with that nation, where the Genoese were extremely active. Certainly the 13th century was a very vibrant period for Genoa. The Pallium of San Lorenzo (currently under restoration) is an astonishing silk cloth among the most important preserved anywhere in the world and it is testimony to the treaty of Nymphaeum of 1261. With this treaty the city comes into possession of commercial privileges that were fundamental for trading in the Byzantine Empire, acquiring that additional strength which would allow her to defeat her rival in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Pisa, and to compete as an equal with Venice. From 1292 the presence of Manfredino da Pistoia, a painter familiar with Cimabuesque and Giotto's innovations, further attests to the vitality and openness of the Genoese cultural milieu.