Filippo Brunelleschi


A True Renaissance Man: an Architect, a Sculptor and an Inventor


  • born in Florence, Italy in 1377
  • grew up in Italy; mostly Florence, spent time in surrounding cities
  • son of an eminent notary
  • second of three sons
  • grew up around art, architecture & sculpture everywhere
  • competed against Lorenzo Ghiberti
  • worked alongside Donatello
  • became a goldsmith in 1398 (in Pistoia)
  • trained as goldsmith & sculptor at the Arte della Seta
  • became master goldsmith: 1400
  • invented linear perspective
  • built the Dome of the Florentine Cathedral
  • Patronage by Cosimo de Medici

Is Brunelleschi a Renaissance Man?

defined as someone who is:

  • creative (he was an inventor, sculptor, architect)
  • educated (he invented linear perspective)
  • religious (he built the dome on the Florentine Chapel)
  • patron of the arts (Cosimo de Medici was his patron)
  • determined/persistent (he finished what he started)
  • inspired by ancient Greek societies (inspired by the Pantheon)
  • well-balanced (mainly an architect, also an inventor & sculptor)

Scientific Naturalism

  • defined as the observation/study of the natural world
  • such as geometry and proportions
  • Brunelleschi invented linear perspective
  • in his Dome, he perfectly placed each brick to maintain the weight in the Dome itself


  • defined as the new emphasis on individual achievement
  • religion falls under this category
  • lots of his work was part of cathedrals & chapels
  • he expressed his own ideas & inventions

Brunelleschi's Dome

About this Piece

  • Created in 1420
  • A beautifully constructed work of art, handmade with bricks and wood using intricate design and strategy, made by Brunelleschi
  • Found in Florence, still standing
  • Important because no dome, except the Pantheon, had ever existed this large
  • Used rings and ribs, a herringbone pattern to make an inner and outer dome, each very different from the other
  • Inner Dome: lighter, held up Outer
  • Outer Dome: seen by the people, beautiful, heavy
  • closely linked to scientific naturalism because of its proportions and geometric factors
  • I believe it is his most well-known, very important at the time, and it truly is intriguing as to how he created it

Works Cited

  • unknown. Florentine Cathedral, Exterior, Dome. 1436. Florentine Chapel, Florence, Italy. artstor. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.
  • unknown. Santo Spirito (Florence, Italy); dome. N.d. Florentine Chapel, Italy, Florence, Italy. Artstor. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
  • Brunelleschi. Dome of the Cathedral of Florence; diagram showing the construction technique. N.d. Florentine Chapel, Italy, Florence, Italy. artstor. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
  • unknown. Santa Maria del Fiore (Cathedral : Florence, Italy). N.d. Florentine Chapel, Italy, Florence, Italy. artstor. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
  • unknown. Filippo Brunelleschi; profile. N.d. unknown, Florence, Italy. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.