Agnolo Gaddi, Stained glass window with the Saints John the Baptist, Louis, Miniato and others
- Leading, painting
- Height: 1000 cm; Width: 245 cm;
- Glass, lead, pigments
Stained glass window created in 1394 by Leonardo di Simone, master glassmaker and Vallombrosian monk, 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 iconology, adorning the mullioned openings of the third and fourth bays of the south and north aisles. In each work, the panels in stained glass 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 stylistic differences of 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.
Within a double border of the lilies of France and flowers, this window shows, in the top register: Saint John the Baptist, protector of Florence, with long hair and beard, bare feet, camel fur, purple mantle and cross; Saint Louis of France, elderly and bearded, with crown, sword, gilded globe and mantle with the lilies of France. In the middle register: on the left, Saint Barnabas, elderly and bearded, with a golden robe, a red book and the palm of martyrdom; this is the saint whose feast day is on 11 June, the day in 1289 when the Florentine Guelphs won the battle of Campaldino. Next to him is Pope Saint Victor I, in pontifical robes: his presence commemorates the battle of Cascina, 28 July 1364, when the Florentine troops won against Pisa, on the day of this same saint. In the lower band, on the left, we can recognise Saint Anthony the Abbot, depicted as an elderly man with a long white beard, pastoral staff in his right hand and a book in his left, dressed in a monk's habit and covered by a cope. Next to him is Reparata, a young martyr saint, protector of Florence, with crown, royal purple mantle and palm of martyrdom. According to legend invoked by Saint Zenobius, it was Reparata who assisted the troops of Flavius Stilicho in overcoming the siege of the city by the barbarian Radagaisus, in the battle of Fiesole, 406 AD.