The Cantoria (singers' gallery)
by DONATELLO

In 1431 the Opera del Duomo commissioned Luca della Robbia to erect a large marble Cantoria (singers' gallery) over the entrance to the north Sacristy in the Cathedral. Two years after Luca della Robbia began his work, Donatello was commissioned to design another Cantoria to be placed over the south Sacristy where it could form a counterpart to the one made by Robbia. Both were completed in 1439. On the occasion of the marriage of Ferdinando de' Medici in 1688 the two structures were found to be too small to accomodate all the singers, and they were replaced by wooden balconies. Later stone ones were substituted and are still in place today. Not until 1891 were the two cantorie reassembled in the museum, after having been kept dismantled at the Bargello.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 9 minutes):
Josquin Desprez: Motet (In principio erat verbum)


Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Cantoria
1431-39
Marble, 348 x 570 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

966*699
True Color
118 Kb



Cantoria
1431-39
Marble, 348 x 570 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

1409*900
True Color
202 Kb



Cantoria
1431-39
Marble, 348 x 570 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

1342*1100
True Color
243 Kb



Cantoria (detail)
1431-39
Marble
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

1541*800
True Color
219 Kb



Cantoria (detail)
1431-39
Marble
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

1250*873
True Color
236 Kb



Cantoria (detail)
1431-39
Marble
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

551*820
True Color
165 Kb



Cantoria (detail)
1431-39
Marble
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

583*820
True Color
175 Kb



Cantoria (detail)
1431-39
Marble
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

796*590
Grayscale
97 Kb




Summary of sculptures by Donatello
Early works
John XXIII | David | Duomo | Orsanmichele | Siena | Various
Mature works
Cantoria | Basilica di Santo | Prato Pulpit | San Lorenzo | Various
Late works
Judith and Holofernes | Pulpits of San Lorenzo | Various