The Statues at Or’ San Michele, Florence
This famous oratory, the former corn market, enclosed with Orcagna’s elaborate shrine in the mid fourteenth century, was under the joint patronage of the guilds, which were expected to provide statues of their patron saints in niches upon the outside walls. Only a few had done so by 1406, when the commune ordered the rest to comply within ten years, the seven greater guilds were allowed to have statues in bronze. Ghiberti produced his bronze St John the Baptist for the Cloth Guild (Arte di Calimala) in 1412–14; meanwhile Donatello made his marble St Mark for the Linen drapers (Arte dei Linaiuoli) in 1411–13, and his marble St George for the Armourers (Arte dei Corrazzai) was ready in 1417.
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