‘… Squarcialupi, a famous organist, but who remains a rather mythical figure’. Of course we know that Antonio degli Organi, as he was called throughout his life, was a real person, and if we trust in the verisimilitude of Benedetto da Maiano's portrait bust of him (made ten years after his death, strongly classicising in design, and altered at least once in the early sixteenth century), we have an idea of what he looked like. Antonio degli Organi (1416–80) was not born with the surname Squarcialupi, nor do we know precisely when or under what circumstances he took this name (but see below). We have enough information about his life to form a preliminary notion of his character, but the mental image we create is not altogether a coherent one. He was organist at Santa Maria del Fiore, the Florentine cathedral, for an extraordinarily long period, from 1432 until his death. This alone makes him a ‘famous organist’; but a good deal of the fame is posthumous, and there is next to no meaningful comment from contemporaries about his playing. He judged the quality and state of repair of organs but is not known to have had organ-building expertise. Antonio presumably taught his son Francesco, who succeeded him at the cathedral on his death and served until his own death in 1509. His only other student of note is the Greek organist Isaac Argyropoulos, whose playing was much admired in Naples, Bologna, Florence and Milan in the 1470s.