Campanile of the cathedral of Florence
- (1334-1350s)The construction history of the Campanile of the Cathedral of Florence is rather complex. In 1334, Giotto was appointed director of the Cathedral Works. Primarily a painter, he probably had little experience as architect, though some have attributed the design of theArena Chapel to him. Giotto's design for the Campanile is recorded in a tinted drawing on parchment now housed in the Museo dell' Opera del Duomo in Siena. It provided for a Gothic-inspired structure with pointed windows, tracery, and a large spire. The foundations of the Campanile were laid and the first story completed according to Giotto's specifications. When he died in 1337, Andrea Pisano and Francesco Talenti were put in charge. They modified Giotto's design as they found it to be structurally weak, particularly the delicate spire he wanted to cap with a statue of the archangel Michael. In the end, the spire was replaced by a heavier flat top able to withstand high winds. Talenti inlaid the Campanile's exterior with colored marbles to match those of the Baptistery, a few steps away from the cathedral. Andrea, who was also a sculptor, provided rhomboid relief medallions to adorn the base of the Campanile and statues for its niches.
Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. Lilian H. Zirpolo. 2008.
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