One wonders how Settignano managed to reach his understanding of Saint John. Donatello must have been a huge influence upon his ideas but had a very different group of sculptures behind him; all religious themes made for either private patrons or churches, more than likely royal families and the Papal court. Their workshop and production was far smaller than some of their contemporaries, however of a far more delicate ascension. The town was going through a change in the kind of literature and philosophy being written so, perhaps a feeling of intellectual freedom existed to enable the art of Florence to become so refined and reflective of all the Christian and scientific knowledge circulating the city. Other workshops from Florence around this time also provided some very special work, for example, della Robbia and Verrocchio. The delicacy and sensitivity of the sculpture from this place has never been matched and is almost the pinnacle of sculptural achievement. Communicating this level of reflection must have been one of those moments in time when certain information and people appear to gather in one place to make for a very different combination of ideas and talent and leave behind something so profoundly deep that few people could ever reach this level.
Luca della Robbia