Excerpt: ... been brought to Tuscany by the Goths and the rude Greeks. Thus he noted the new style of Giotto and such few antiquities as were known to him, and somewhat refined a great part of the grossness of that wretched manner by his own judgment, so that he began to work in better style, and endow his works with far more beauty than had hitherto been seen. When his intelligence, skill, and dexterity had become known he was assisted by many of his compatriots, and while he was still a young man, he was commissioned to make some small figures in marble for S. Maria a Ponte. These brought him such a good name that he was most earnestly desired to come to work at Florence by those in charge of the building of S. Maria del Fiore, as after the façade of the three doors had been begun, there was a lack of masters to execute the subjects which Giotto had designed for the beginning of that structure. Accordingly Andrea went to Florence in order to undertake that work, and because at that time the Florentines were desirous of making themselves agreeable and friendly to Pope Boniface VIII., who was then chief pontiff of the church of God, they wished Andrea, before everything else, to make his statue in marble. Andrea therefore set to work, and did not rest until he had finished the Pope's figure placed between St Peter and St Paul, the three figures being set up on the façade of S. Maria del Fiore, where they still are. Afterwards Andrea made some figures of prophets for the middle door of that church, in some tabernacles or niches. These showed that he had made great improvements in the art, and that in excellence and design he surpassed all those who had laboured for that structure up to that time. Hence it was decided that all works of importance should be entrusted to him and not to others. Soon after he was commissioned to make four statues of the principal doctors of the church-St Jerome, St Ambrose, St Augustine, and St Gregory. When these were finished...