Architecture of the Renaissance

Presented by: St. Peter Museum of Art and Culture

Exhibit on Architecture of the Renaissance

The Renaissance marked a time of rebirth. Architects began to return to Greek and Roman roots. This exhibit focuses primarily on the works of Filippo Brunelleschi, the Father of Renaissance Architecture. Study the change the remarkable change in Architecture that sparked during the Renaissance. Visit the St. Peter Museum of Art and Culture, now through May.

St. Peter Museum of Art and Culture

(507) 934-9999

Filippo Brunelleschi

Filippo Brunelleschi was born in Florence, Italy in 1377. Brunelleschi was originally a goldsmith, but soon discovered a passion for mathematics and architecture. Brunelleschi is often regarded as the father of Renaissance architecture. He formulated techniques for lifting construction materials. In fact, during the construction of the dome of the Cathedral of Florence, no scaffolds, columns, or arches were used to aid in the support of the dome. The discovery of linear perspective is often attributed to Brunelleschi. Brunelleschi is responsible for the Pazzi Chapel, Church of San Lorenzo, and the Foundling Hospital.

Pazzi Chapel

The Pazzi Chapel was commissioned in 1429, however construction did not begin until 1442. The building itself was to used for the Franciscan Monks of Santa Croce. Brunelleschi used a circle square design. In doing so, he encompassed many Greek and Roman architectural styles. As was common in the Renaissance, a major focus was placed on symmetry. Unfortunately, Filippo Brunelleschi died in 1446, before the construction was finished. The entrance to the Pazzi Chapel is marked by six massive columns. Upon entering the Chapel, one is treated to a beautiful fresco painted by Lucca della Robbia.

Palazzo Pitti

The Palazzo Pitti was commissioned by Luca Pitti. The building was to be used a residency for the family. Pitti hoped the large and impressive size of the building would threaten the Medici family, a long time rival of the Pitti family. The architectural plans were created by Filippo Brunelleschi, however scholars are unsure as to if he was present during construction. The building itself was meant to be large in size, it measured 205 meters in length, and 36 meters high. The exterior was elegant and simple, however the interior contained elaborate frescos. Ironically after the financial fall of the Pitti family, the Palazo Pitti was bought by their rivals, the Medici family.

Basilica of Saint Peter

The initial construction of the Basilica began during the time of Nero, approximately 64 AD. Within the stadium many Christians were tortured and put to death. Saint Peter, the Apostle, was put to death within its walls. After Constantine's Edict of Milan, reconstruction of the Basilica was considered. In 1612 reconstruction of the Basilica began. Michelangelo was said to have directed the construction of the dome. The entire church was reconstructed around Saint Peters tomb. The entrance to the Basilica is garnished with eight massive columns. The jewel of the church is the dome. The interior of the church is massive and looming. During construction, light was an important aspect to include. There are many windows and skylights that fill the church. The architecture of the church is considered similar to many government buildings today.