Bernardo Buontalenti, Small model for the facade of the Cathedral

Bernardo Buontalenti
Galleria dei modelli
Wood, stucco, pigments
Shaping, shaping, painting
Height: 113 cm; Width: 95,5 cm; Depth: 19 cm;

This second wooden model Bernardo Buontalenti made for the new façade was one of the designs considered to replace the original medieval façade, dismantled in 1587 on the orders of Grand Duke Francis I. Buontalenti’s second model is very different from his first, with its elaborate ornamentation. Despite only defining the lower part of the façade, we can see how the three tall, deep-set arches framing the doors are the dominant motif. Reminiscent of the triumphal arches of antiquity, they continue the pattern of the three neighboring arches along the lower band on each side of the Baptistery, creating a visual connection and continuity between the medieval architecture of the Baptistery and the Cathedral’s “modern” façade. 

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