Agnolo Gaddi, Stained glass window with the Saints John, Louis of Toulouse, Anne and others
- Agnolo Gaddi - Antonio da Pisa
- Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
- Specific location
- Interior, left nave, fourth bay, mullioned window
- Leading, painting
- Height: 900 cm; Width: 190 cm;
- Glass, lead, pigments
Stained glass window made in 1395 by Antonio da Pisa, master glassmaker, to a cartoon by Agnolo Gaddi, one of the most important painters of the time. This window is one of a group of four first commissioned in 1388, all similar in shape and iconography, adorning the mullioned openings of the third and fourth bays, in the southern and northern aisles. In each work, the stained-glass panels conform with the elongated ogival forms of the openings and are divided along the vertical midline, with left and right sides arranged in three horizontal registers, for a total of six parts. Each part depicts a saint, standing erect within a tabernacle/temple niche. Despite the stylistics differences between the glass masters who created and installed the works, we can see the genius of Agnolo Gaddi in the highly accurate and fine design, and in the use, for the first time in Italian stained glass, of such complex tabernacles, already present in northern Europe and for these windows, modelled on those of contemporary fresco painting.
This is combined with the skill of Antonio da Pisa who, better than the masters who created the other windows, was able to form the lines of the lead cames in humble respect to both the lines and spirit of Gaddi’s drawing, and who mastered an accurate and vast chromatic range, recognisable in the use of rosés and violet-purples: the sole presences of these colours in the entire series.
Inside two borders - the external one decorated with lilies of France and the internal one with floral motifs - we can recognise, in the top register at left: a youthful Saint Louis of Toulouse, with crozier, bishop's gloves and mitre, the royal mantle with the lilies of France and the Franciscan habit; Saint John the Evangelist, bearded and elderly, showing the open book at the incipit of his own Gospel, with his left hand, and holding a pen in his right hand. In the middle register, in a purple dress, Saint Anne, protector of Florence, holds the model of the city: it was on her feast day, 26 June of 1343, that the Florentines expelled the despotic Duke of Athens. At her side is an unidentified saint, with whit monastic habit, tonsure, white beard, cope and crozier, and a book in one hand. In the lowest register are depicted, on the left, a holy martyr, with a palm in her right hand, her blond hair gathered, wearing a red dress under green cloak and a sort of white scapular resting on her shoulders. Her companion to her right could be Mary Magdalene, with hair descending and vase of perfumed oils, or Saint Barbara, with the model of her tower of captivity, and the palm of martyrdom.