The next room is given to models and architectural plans and drawings connected with the cathedral, the most interesting thing being Brunelleschi’s own model for the lantern. On the stairs are a series of fine bas-reliefs by Bandinelli and Giovanni dell’ Opera from the old choir screen of the Duomo, and downstairs, among many other pieces of sculpture, is a bust of Brunelleschi from a death-mask and several beautiful della Robbia designs for lunettes over doors.
The Campanile and the Baptistery
A short way with Veronese critics—Giotto’s missing spire—Donatello’s holy men—Giotto as encyclopaedist—The seven and twenty reliefs—Ruskin in American—At the top of the tower—A sea of red roofs—The restful Baptistery—Historic stones—An ex-Pope’s tomb—Andrea Pisano’s doors—Ghiberti’s first doors—Ghiberti’s second doors—Michelangelo’s praise—A gentleman artist.
It was in 1332, as I have said, that Giotto was made capo-maestro, and on July 18th, 1334, the first stone of his campanile was laid, the understanding being that the structure was to exceed “in magnificence, height, and excellence of workmanship” anything in the world. As some further indication of the glorious feeling of patriotism then animating the Florentines, it may be remarked that when a Veronese who happened to be in Florence ventured to suggest that the city was aiming rather too high, he was at once thrown into gaol, and, on being set free when his time was done, was shown the treasury as an object lesson. Of the wealth and purposefulness of Florence at that time, in spite of the disastrous bellicose period she had been passing through, Villani the historian,