(active 1343-1377, Firenze)

The Church as the Path to Salvation (detail)

Cappellone degli Spagnoli, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

In front of the side wall of the Cathedral, we can see the hierarchic order of the medieval society: the Pope, at his left the Emperor and King, a prince, at his right the Dominican general and a bishop. Before them are the friars at the left and laymen at the right; then noblemen and knights, merchant, scholar, finally women and the lower ranks of the society. The basilica in the background is the symbol of the Church. The prevailing opinion in the literature is that Urban V is to be recognized in the figure of the pope and Charles IV in the figure of the emperor, Gil de Albornoz in the cardinal, Peter I of Cyprus in the king. Lying at the feet of the pope are several sheep, in front of the sheep, and watching over them, are black-and-white spotted dogs, the 'domini canes' symbolizing the Dominican friars.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.