(b. ca. 1386, Firenze, d. 1466, Firenze)

St John the Evangelist (detail)

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

When Donatello was working on the figure of St John for the cathedral façade, Nanni di Banco was commissioned to produce St Luke and Niccolò di Piero Lamberti to create St Mark. The fourth evangelists was to be the job of whichever of the three rivals created the best work. But this original plan was abandoned as early as 1410 and instead Bernardo Ciuffagni was commissioned to produce St Matthew. The original idea of an artistic competition is, however, entirely typical of the cultural climate in the Florence of the early 15th century.