TALENTI, Francesco
(b. ca. 1300, d. after 1369, Firenze)

Biography

Italian architect and sculptor, part of a family of artists. Three members of the family were active in Florence in the 14th century: Francesco Talenti and his son Simone Talenti were both involved in works on the cathedral, while Fra Jacopo Talenti, presumed to be Francesco's brother, worked at the monastery of Santa Maria Novella. Another of Francesco's sons, Piero, mentioned on 5 May 1379 in connection with the building of the Loggia dei Lanzi, is otherwise unknown.

Francesco Talenti worked mainly in Florence after 1351. He is mentioned working at Orvieto Cathedral in 1325. In the 1350s he completed the two middle stories of Giotto's Campanile, and two doorways, the Porta dei Cornacchini and the Porta del Campanile, respectively in the north and south sides of the Florentine Duomo. In 1351 he succeeded Andrea Pisano as director of works of the cathedral. The cathedral's famous dome is first mentioned in 1357, but opinions differ whether Talenti was responsible for its inclusion or not. Talenti enlarged its structure by redesigning the apses and prolonging the nave, making the church the largest ever built in Europe so far.