Photographer's Note

The original faade of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio and usually attributed to Giotto, was actually begun twenty years after Giotto's death.

This original faade was only completed in its lower portion and then left unfinished. It was dismantled in 1587-1588 by the Medici court architect Bernardo Buontalenti, as it appeared totally outmoded in Renaissance times. Some of the original sculptures are on display in the Museum Opera del Duomo, behind the cathedral. Others are now in the Berlin Museum and in the Louvre.

The competition for a new faade turned into a huge corruption scandal. The wooden model for the faade of Buontalenti is on display in the Museum Opera del Duomo. A few new designs had been proposed in later years but the models (of Giovanni Antonio Dosio, Giovanni de' Medici with Alessandro Pieroni and Giambologna) were not accepted. The faade was then left bare until the 19th century.

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Additional Photos by Gosia Siudzinska (siudzi) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2782 W: 23 N: 4581] (34141)
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