Encyclopedia Fiorentina

Here you will find the compendium of all our Florentine research and scholarship.

Work in Progress


Culture

Baptism in Florence

The ritual of baptism was a crucial feature of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Florence. This symbolic practice carried both a spiritual and social weight integral for full participation in the fabric of Florentine society. Baptism was not only a means of defense against hellfire, but an introduction to civic society and a foundational moment in each individual’s life. While some of the finer details of the practice are unclear to contemporary scholars, we now know that by 1128 the ritual was performed at the octagonal Baptistery of San Giovanni, located directly across from the cathedral.


People

Andrea Pisano: ca. 1295 – 1348

As his surname suggests, Andrea Pisano came from the city of Pisa, located some 45 miles to the west of Florence on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea. Although not directly descended from the father-son team of Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, Andrea’s contributions to the legacy of fourteenth-century art are no less important than those of his more famous predecessors.

Bernardo Daddi: ca. 1280 – 1348

A late contemporary of the famous painter Giotto di Bondone, Bernardo Daddi (ca. 1280 – 1348) became one of Florence’s most popular and most important producers of panel pictures during the two decades that preceded the advent of Bubonic Plague. The identity of his master remains unclear, and speculations range from Giotto himself to obscure miniaturists like the elusive Master of the Dominican Effigies.


Sites

The Bigallo: ca. 1352 – 1358

Built in the middle of the fourteenth century, the Oratory of the Misericordia (as it was then known) has endured expansions, fires, renovations, a merger, and more to become the elegant structure that stands on the Piazza del Duomo today. Read more about the structure’s tumultous history here. Explore the headquarters of one of the city’s most prominent charities, the Confraternity of the Misericordia, later merged with that of the Bigallo, and see the art that it commissioned to assert its place in Florentine society.


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