Filippo Brunelleschi

By Sophia Dobrowski

The Life of Filippo Brunelleschi, The Architect

Filippo Brunelleschi was born in Florence, Italy in 1377. He spent almost all his life there, in Florence training as a goldsmith and a sculptor. He later enrolled in the Art della Seta art school. He then became a architect, transitioning from being a goldsmith and sculpting into architecture. Brunelleschi's lifestyle was full of many talents such as being a an engineer, sculptor, goldsmith, artist, and an architect. Brunelleschi was known mostly for his greatest architectural achievement which was when he built the Florence Cathedral Dome. Brunelleschi created paintings such as his paintings inside the Florence Cathedral Dome, and as an architect he was famous for the Florence Cathedral Dome. To help Brunelleschi with his works, he had to have had patrons. Howard Saalman was one of his leading patrons, who gave a modern style to Brunelleschi's buildings. Because Brunelleschi was well-known for an number of things he is linked to many Renaissance ideals such as Scientific Naturalism and Humanism. Brunelleschi is linked to Scientific Naturalism because he was known for the use of geometry, proportions, space, laws of perspective, and anatomy in his works. Also Brunelleschi is linked to Humanism because he looked to the past and studied the techniques of Ancient Rome and Greece. He renewed the interest in mankind to others and he created a new perspective of mankind. And on the other hand, his artwork, on the other hand, was not very religious for the most part.

The Florence Cathedral

Brunelleschi was commissioned by the Medici Family to build the Florence Cathedral in 1420 after winning a coin toss to see who would build the dome. The most intricate part of the cathedral was the dome. This took sixteen years to build, but all that time was well spent because today the dome and cathedral still stands in Florence, Italy. Why this cathedral and dome were so significant is because it is proof of mans achievement of the unthinkable and it defied all doubt and danger of anything built before it. Brunelleschi used techniques such as symmetry, geometry and proportions to build the dome itself. The dome was a masterpiece, unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. It showed the people what man is capable of creating, which was the unthinkable. Without a doubt, the dome and cathedral were both closely linked to the idea of Scientific Naturalism because the dome was created using geometry, proportions, space, laws of perspective, and anatomy. This building is so fascinating because everyone doubted Brunelleschi, saying that his plan would never work. Not only did he prove everyone the day his dome was completed, but he has been proving them wrong to this day, because the dome has been standing for hundreds of years.


"Filippo Brunelleschi." Merriam Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995. Biography in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

"Filippo Brunelleschi." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998.Biography in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.