It has a beautiful but incomplete facade designed by Giovanni di Mino del Pellicciaio in 1382, and a marvellous font with bas-reliefs by Donatello, Ghiberti, Jacopo della Quercia and other 15th-century sculptors.
Opposite is the Baptistery built by Arnolfo di Cambio in the 13th century on the site of an earlier church, and adorned with beautiful bronze doors by Ghiberti in the 15th century.
There is a splendid museum of medieval and Renaissance antiquities in the Bargello, the ancient palace of the Podesta, itself one of the finest buildings in the city; among its many treasures are works of Donatello, Ghiberti, Verrochio and other sculptors, and large collections of ivory, enamel and bronze ware.
The large double doors of cedar wood, covered with bronze showing a geometric interlaced pattern, have been compared with those of Ghiberti at the Baptistery of Florence.
Within the grounds, which comprise nearly 1500 acres, is the mausoleum erected by the 10th duke, a structure resembling in general design that of the emperor Hadrian at Rome, being a circular building springing from a square basement, and enclosing a decorated octagonal chapel, the door of which is a copy in bronze of Ghiberti's gates at Florence.
The greatest artists in metal laboured on it in succession, among them Orcagna, Ghiberti, Verrocchio, Ant.
Whole volumes might be devoted to the magnificent works in bronze produced by the Florentine artists of this century, works such as the baptistery gates by Ghiberti, the statues of Verrocchio, Donatello and many others, the bronze screen in Prato cathedral by Simone, brother of Donatello, in 1444-1461, and the screen and bronze ornaments of the tomb of Piero and Giovanni dei Medici in San Lorenzo, Florence, by Verrocchio, in 1472.
Yet we find in the writings of Ghiberti and Alberti, we notice in the masterpieces of these men and their compeers Brunelleschi and Donatello, how even in the 15th century the minds of artists were fascinated by what survived of classic grace and science.
It was executed by Peter Vischer, the celebrated artist in bronze, who was occupied on the work for thirteen years (1506-1519), and has here shown himself no unworthy rival of Lorenzo Ghiberti.
It was the result of the revival of classic architecture known as Renaissance, but the change had commenced already a century earlier, in the works of Ghiberti and Donatello in sculpture, and of Brunelleschi and Alberti in architecture.
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