On This Day

Florence Cathedral

A procession passes Florence Cathedral, its Baptistery and Campanile in the Piazza del Duomo
A procession passes Florence Cathedral, its Baptistery and Campanile in the Piazza del Duomo

Historical Context

This view of Florence's main piazza in the midst of a procession from the sixteenth century carefully depicts the city's most important monuments and some of the most important early Renaissance works.

The enormous cathedral, began in 1296 takes center stage, with its famous revolutionary brick dome by Filippo Brunelleschi which finally completed the building in 1436.

To the right is the baptistery built between 1059 and 1128 and the home of the bronze cast "Gates of Paradise" by Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti.

The campanile (bell tower) rising slightly behind the cathedral in the Gothic style was designed by another famous Florentine, the architect and painter Giotto. Began in 1334, it was completed after Giotto's death in 1359.

Painting Info

Artist: Giuseppe Zocchi
Location painted: Florence

Source: British Museum

Related Events

  • 1334-07-18 The bishop of Florence blesses the first foundation stone for the new campanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral, designed by the artist Giotto di Bondone
  • 1420-08-07 Construction begins on the dome of Florence Cathedral, designed by Renaissance architect Filippo Brunelleschi
  • 1501-08-16 Michelangelo awarded the contract to create his statue of David at Florence Cathedral by the Overseers of the Office of Works (the Operai) of the Duomo
  • 1503-04-24 Michelangelo undertakes to carve 12 Apostles for the Cathedral of Florence, each four and a quarter braccia high (248.2cm), at the rate of at least one completed statue per year. He produced only one, of St. Matthew, and that remained unfinished.
  • 1503-09-11 Michelangelo begins sculpting the 12 Apostles for the Cathedral of Florence, over-life-sized marble statues of which only 1 was partly finished, that of St. Matthew

Historical Paintings