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Medieval Art & Architecture

Baptistry mosaic

In both architecture and sculpture, the first influence came from the north. Lombard masons filled Tuscany with simple Romanesque churches, although it wasn’t long before two distinctive Tuscan forms emerged: the Pisan style, characterized by blind rows of colonnades, black and white zebra stripes, and lozenge-shaped designs; and the ‘Tuscan Romanesque’ which developed around Florence, notable for its use of dark and light marble patterns and simple geometric patterns, often with intricate mosaic floors to match (the Baptistry and San Miniato are the chief examples).

From the large pool of talent working on Pisa’s remarkable cathedral complex in the 13th century emerged Italy’s first great sculptor, Nicola Pisano, whose Baptistry pulpit, with its naturalistic figures derived from ancient reliefs, finally broke away from the stiff hierarchic figures of Byzantium.

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Arnolfo di Cambio

Precursor of the Renaissance

Badia Fiorentina

Where Dante Saw Beatrice

Bicci di Lorenzo

Son of Lorenzo, Father of Neri


First Man of the Proto-Renaissance

Bernardo Daddi

Master of Refined Altarpieces

Duccio di Buoninsegna

Revolutionary Artist from Siena


Florence's Mothership

Agnolo Gaddi

Master of the Legend of the True Cross

Taddeo Gaddi

Star Follower of Giotto

Francesco di Gentile da Fabriano

International Gothic Supremo


Florence's First Great Painter

Giovanni da Milano

Follower of Giotto

Giovanni del Biondo

Spiky stylist

Jacopo di Cione

Youngest Cione Brother

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Original Sienese Master

Pietro Lorenzetti

Ambrogio's Big Brother

Lorenzo di Bicci

Patriarch of the Bicci Boys

Lorenzo Monaco

Illuminator and Brilliant Colourist

Mariotto di Nardo

Last of the Gothics

Simone Martini

Sienese International Gothic Master

Maso di Banco

Follower of Giotto

Andrea Orcagna

Mid 14th-century Genius

Palazzo Davanzati

Museo della Casa Fiorentina Antica

Andrea Pisano

Master Sculptor of the First Baptistry Doors

Nicola Pisano

Founder of Modern Sculpture

San Carlo dei Lombardi

Little Church Opposite Orsanmichele

San Leonardo in Arcetri

Small church with a Big Pulpit

Santa Maria Maggiore

Medieval Meets Baroque

Santi Apostoli

One of the Oldest in Florence

Spinello Aretino

Early Narrative Master

Francesco Talenti

Cathedral Builder

Tino di Camaino

14th-century Sienese Master

Torre della Zecca

Defending a Never-Built Bridge

Torre San Niccolò

Piazza Poggi and the Arno Beach

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by PD Art