marble and mosaic, originally in Florence Cathedral

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.

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© 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. They are not available for commercial purposes.