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Ospedale degli Innocenti: Facade facing courtyard showing nine bay loggia and ceramic tondos
The equestrian statue of Ferdinand I of Tuscany was made by Giambologna and placed there in 1608. The fountain was added in 1640.
The Ospedale was an asylum or hospice for foundling children. The plan of the complex (1419-1424) reveals a new order and symmetry; the most revolutionary part of the building, however, is the façade, which was the first since antiquity to use the vocabulary of Classical Roman architecture and thus constitutes the first structure of the Renaissance. Above each column is a ceramic tondo. These were originally meant by Brunelleschi to be blank concavities, but ca. 1487, Andrea della Robbia was commissioned to fill them in. The design features a baby in swaddling clothes on a blue wheel.