Cantoria

Donatello
marble and mosaic, originally in Florence Cathedral
1433-39




In 1431 Luca della Robbia was commissioned to design a marble Cantoria over the door of the Sacristy of the Masses, also known as the New Sacristy. Two years after Luca della Robbia began the cantoria, Donatello was commissioned to design another Cantoria to be placed over the Old or Canons' Sacristy to form a counterpart to that sculpted by Robbia.
Unlike the cantoria (open box or singing gallery) by Luca della Robbia, Donatella's cantoria does not illustrate a particular Psalm. It is inspired by both medieval and classical art.
 
Five columns, more medieval than classical, are supported by corresponding consoles. The pediment is ornamented with acanthus and other designs. Dancing, leaping, and running putti occupy a frieze behind the columns in a very shallow loggia, the background of which is mosaic inlay, inspired by Roman Cosmati work. The putti, like classical Victories, play with wreathes, some almost like hoops.
 
 


Go to Index of works in the Duomo Museum.

Also see the site index for many additional works by Donatello.

Click here to return to index of art historical sites.

Click here to return to index of artists and architects.

Click here to return to chronological index.

Click here to see the home page of Bluffton University.


© 2006 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.