QUERCIA, Jacopo della
(b. ca. 1367, Quercia Grossa, d. 1438, Siena)
Baptismal font: Annunciation to Zacharias1427-30
Gilt bronze relief, 60 x 60 cm
Jacopo della Quercia was the most prominent artist in Siena, and when plans for the baptismal font were drawn up he, like Ghiberti, was entrusted with two narrative reliefs. But whereas Ghiberti fulfilled his contract, Jacopo's reliefs were beset by procrastination and delay, so that the contract for one of them, the Presentation of the Baptist's head to Herod, was transferred to Donatello, and the other, Zacharias in the Temple, was only begun after Donatello had delivered the companion piece.
It is in this relief that Jacopo comes closest to Ghiberti, like him populating the Renaissance setting with Late Gothic figures. Donatello's influence is traced in the illusionistic treatment of the brickwork and in the background with its audacious intimation of the prospect seen through the arcade.