sometime around 1240, Arnolfo was a sculptor, and honed his craft by helping Nicola Pisano sculpt the pulpit in Siena’s cathedral. He struck out on his own, went to Rome, and garnered many commissions.
He then made his way to Florence, where his first biographer, Giorgio Vasari, asserted in 1550 that Arnolfo was the architect of Santa Maria del Fiore (aka Florence’s Duomo).
Vasari also credited him as the architect for two other monumental Florentine building projects – Santa Croce and Palazzo Signoria. Though there’s just about zero proof for these last two, it’s highly likely he was the first architect of the cathedral; and it’s 100% sure that he did sculptures for the old façade (sadly torn down in the 1580s, to be resurrected in November 2015 when the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo re-opens).
Arnolfo died sometime between 1300 and 1310.
A great walking tour covering the historical centre of Florence, focusing on the area north of the river to the west of the Santa Croce area.
Find out how Florence came to be one of the most important art centres of all time. See fabulous masterpieces. Hear about astounding events that shocked the Florentines.
On this 3-hour walking tour you will hear murder stories, see relics of famous saints, learn about the famous annual ‘Palio' horse race and much more!