Filippo Brunelleschi

By: Jacob Rioux

Brunelleschi Life

Filippo Brunelleschi the architect was born in Florence Italy in 1377 and died in Florence on April 16 1446. Brunelleschi spent most of his life in Florence but he made trips to Rome to study classical architecture and art. Brunelleschi was first trained as a gold smith but then started to study geometry and math under Paolo Toscanelli where he developed one point perspective. But his friendship with Donatello is what made him go into art and architecture. Donatello and Brunelleschi traveled to Rome to study the classic art and architecture which influenced Brunelleschi in his work. Cosimo de Medici took a liking to Brunelleschi and his work became his patron. Brunelleschi had some very marvelous works in many different fields, as a goldsmith and sculptor he did many good works, as a thinker he developed the laws of perspective and as an architect he did the San Lorenzo Church and accomplished the greatest architectural feat of the time, the dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore.

"Isms" of Brunelleschi

Filippo Brunelleschi is a good example of scientific naturalism and classicism. He shows scientific naturalism because he studied and used geometry in his works along with developing the laws of perspective. He also shows classicism because he studied Roman art and architecture and used those classics as inspiration for his works and accomplishments.

Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore

Brunelleschi's most famous work is the Dome on the Santa Maria del Fiore. This was the greatest architectural achievement of the time because it was the largest free standing dome at the time. The cathedral's construction began in 1296 but no one had the technology to build the dome until Brunelleschi in 1420 when the construction of the dome began and it was finally completed in 1436. This dome required a new technique from Brunelleschi so the dome could be free standing and support itself. He used self supporting rings to hold up the structure and they were stiffened by pointed arches that met at the top. This was a seemingly impossible concept at the time but it turned out to be quite ingenious on Brunelleschi's part. This piece is a great triumph of the renaissance and is an incredible action considering the limited amount of technology at the time so the fact it was completed at all is amazing and because it still stands, in Florence, today shows what an architectural genius Brunelleschi was.


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