Tuscan craftsmen, Mosaics of the choirs of the matroneo
- Master of San Gaggio (attr., Grifo di Tancredi?) - Master of Santa Cecilia (attr., Gaddo Gaddi?)
- C. 1300-1310
- Baptistery of Saint John
- Specific location
- Matroneo (women's gallery), south and east choirs
- Polychrome tesserae in glass paste, gold
Parts of the matroneo (women’s gallery) are decorated with mosaics by the Master of San Gaggio (generally recognised as Grifo di Tancredi) and the Master of Santa Cecilia (Gaddo Gaddi?), completed in the early 1300s. The decoration by these artists covers the three choirs above the east door and the one above the south entrance. Given the lack of decoration on certain parts of the matroneo, it can be deduced that originally, the plan was to extend the mosaic decoration also to the choir about the north door and the three on the west side. On the choirs where present, the mosaic decoration develops seamlessly on the three walls, as well as on the vault and the arch of the vault. From within these decorated spaces, the women present would look out in the liturgy through the mullioned openings. The compositional and iconographic organisation repeats in the mosaics of all four choirs: on the vault and vault walls are clipei composed of leafy spirals, containing half-length figures; above the mullioned opening is a medallion with a half-figure among grotesques; the walls next to the windows feature full-figure depictions of saints, and on the back wall are pairs of saints, or sometimes series of clypei. The mosaics of each space compose a different iconographic theme. The southern choir features male figures in 14th-century garb: hermits, monks, perhaps prophets and rulers, together with Saints Andrew and Thomas. The mosaics of the north-east choir deal with the angelic hierarchies, and also show full figure portraits of saints Philip and James the Younger. The central choir presents the four Evangelists: four medallions with the Tetramorph are arranged around the mystical Lamb; above the mullioned window stands a blessing Christ and around the window are Saints Peter, Paul, Zenobius and Reparata. The third choir is dedicated to the holy virgins: the busts of Saints Lucy, Margaret, Agnes and Catherine of Alexandria appear on the clipei of the vault; next to the mullioned openings are the figures of the saints Thaddeus, John the Apostle and Simon.