CIUFFAGNI, Bernardo
(b. 1385, Firenze, d. 1457, Firenze)

St Matthew

1410-15
Marble
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

Monumental statues of the four Evangelists were commissioned for the Cathedral of Florence: in 1408 St Mark from Niccolò di Pietro Lamberti, St Luke from Nanni di Banco, St John from Donatello, and in 1410 St Matthew from Bernardo Ciuffagni. The comparison of these statues exemplifies the Florentine artistic ambience. The fluted decorative pleating of the drapery of St Mark and its exaggerated flexion derives from a style whose obsolescence is demonstrated by the St Luke and St John. As for St Matthew, its rigid frontality recalls the repetitive conventional art of the craftsmen maintained in Florence by the religious orders to counter the sumptuary excesses of International Gothic.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 8 minutes):
Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 (excerpts)