Who's who on the front of the Duomo ?

Does somebody now a website where I can find a detailed iconography of who's actually represented by the statues on the front side of the Duomo in Firenze ?
Sofar, I could only find two out of four I'm interested in : Galileo Galilei and pope Eugenius IV.
Where are Amerigo Vespucci the Navigator, and Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli the astronomer ? I only found a site that says they're on there, but without describing where exactly.


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member

Very interesting question - unfortunately, I don't know the answer :/ But I did do some searching myself and found that most of the illustrious men are in that line of sculptures at the very top, right below the large, central rose window that you can see clearly on the two first pics seen here: http://www.visitflorence.com/florence-churches/duomo.html

For an actual list of who's who and in what order, I've contacted the Opera del Duomo office directly and my request has been sent to the person in charge of the Archives - not sure whether I will get an answer or just a book reference that we are recommended to check, but as soon as I get some more info I'll let you know :)

Very interesting - new things to keep learning all of the time! Thanks for posting this :)

Elena - Florence Guide

Well-known member
Galileo, Vespucci & Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli

Ciao Loudes! Ciao S!
Thanks for the interesting question...it would be perfect for a treasure hunt in Florence!
Well, affter some searches about the statues on the facade of Santa Maria del Fiore I found out that most of the busts and sculptures around the central "rosone" (round window) are idealized portraits of important philosophers, navigators and other Tuscan celebrieties.
The bust of Galileo by Adolfo Calducci is clearly recognizable by the telescope .

Next to him you can find the idealized bust of Marsilio Ficino, Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli, Amerigo Vespucci, by the Italian author Calducci, and busts depicting to Pippo Spano and Niccolò Acciaiuoli by Passaglia.

If you are interested in illustrious Tuscan poets, painters, doctors, sculpturs you can walk along the Uffizi Courtyard were there is an interesting collection of 19°century statues. Amerigo Vespucci is located at the bottom left looking towards the River Arno.
Should you need any extra info don't hesitate to write us!
A presto,


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Thank you Elena!!! You've already gone and identified the other people around Galileo, which are all located around the rose window on the sides and four corners.

seriewoordenaar - you do send us on treasure hunts, I'm enjoying discovering these details of places I hadn't ever thought to look at ;-)

I received very helpful replies from the archives director, Mr. Giuseppe Giari, who I've thanked profusely for his help, he did more research for us.

This is our best reconstruction of who's who among the "personalities"
- under the rose window, along the entire line of sculptures are, from left to right:
Arnolfo, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Andrea Pisano, Petrarca, Dante, S. Ambrogio, Guido Monaco, Palestrina, Beato Angelico, Leonardo, Raffaello, Orcagna, Giotto.
All of their names are actually written under but you need binoculars to see them. The director says he was able to reconstruct the order with photos from books.

As Elena had already listed, at the corners and sides of the rose windows:
Marsilio Ficino, Galileo, Del Pozzo Toscanelli, Vespucci, Pippo Spano, Niccolò Acciaiuoli.

The pope is further down, one of the four sculptures between the doors which all host religious figures:
cardinal Valeriani, bishop Agostino Tinacci, Pope Eugenio IV who consecrated the church in 1436, and Sant'Antonino Pierozzi, bishop of Florence.

If you're looking for more info, Mr. Giari says that the best publications would be two volumes on the cathedral by the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze in the series dedicated to churches in the city. Those can be consulted in local libraries, not sure they would be easy to find for purchase though.

Elena has a great reminder about the statues around the main Piazza degli Uffizi.

This would be a great idea for a treasure hunt of sorts across Florence: find all the Galileos or Amerigos or Brunellschis in the city! ;-)
Who's who pinpointed


As Elena had already listed, at the corners and sides of the rose windows:
Marsilio Ficino, Galileo, Del Pozzo Toscanelli, Vespucci, Pippo Spano, Niccolò Acciaiuoli.

So, to be more specific - in the square around the central rose window :
Galileo is lower left (found him through a binocular when I was there),
Toscanelli (holding a compass in one hand) is upper left, and Vespucci (is that an anchor hanging over his left shoulder ?) is upper right, as on the image above ?

Thank you very much the both of you ! :)