Events and people in over 260,000 days of history

16th century
24 April 1503

Michelangelo is commissioned to carve twelve statues of the Apostles for the chapels in the choir. In the event he only begins work on the figure of St. Matthew (now in the Galleria dell'Accademia).


Baccio d'Agnolo, commissioned to make a marble gallery at the base of the dome drum, builds one of its eight sides. Michelangelo's disapproval – he is said to have compared it to a "cricket cage" – brings work on the project to a halt, never to be resumed.


Jacopo Sansovino, Benedetto da Rovezzano, Andrea Ferrucci and Baccio Bandinelli carve statues of four apostles for the cathedral.

23 March 1537

Baccio d'Agnolo joins Francesco da Sangallo as joint master of the works.

13 August 1544

Master of the works Baccio d'Agnolo dies and is succeeded by his son Giuliano.


Baccio Bandinelli, with the architectural assistance of Giuliano di Baccio d'Agnolo, works on the octagonal marble choir beneath the dome.

November 1555

Bartolomeo Ammannati is elected master of the works to succeed Giuliano di Baccio d'Agnolo on the latter's death.


Bandinelli's pupil Giovanni Bandini completes the choir after his master's death.


Onorio Zeffirini completely renovates the cathedral's most important organ.


Giorgio Vasari begins to fresco the Last Judgement on the intrados of the dome but work is interrupted when he dies on 27 June 1574. His place is taken by Federico Zuccari, who completes the project on 15 October 1579.

11 February 1576

Master of the works Francesco da Sangallo dies.


Giovanni Bandini and Vincenzo de’ Rossi carve four statues of the apostles for the cathedral.


Acting on the advice of Bernardo Buontalenti, Grand Duke Francesco I orders the demolition of Arnolfo di Cambio's cathedral façade to make way for a design chosen by competition, but the prince's sudden death prevents the proclamation of a winner.

30 April 1589

The cathedral undergoes major redecoration both inside and outside in preparation for Grand Duke Francesco I's wedding with Christine of Lorraine. The first temporary façade is installed, consisting in a large canvas painted by Domenico Passignani and Federico Zuccari.


Master of the works Bartolomeo Ammanati dies and is succeeded by Alessandro Allori.

August-October 1600

The cathedral's temporary façade and interior decoration are thoroughly restored under the supervision of Alessandro Allori in preparation for Maria de' Medici's wedding with Henri IV of Bourbon, King of France.

17th century