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Born in 1377 AD in Florence and died in 1446, also in Florence, Filippo Brunelleschi is considered one of the most brilliant architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance. Best known for the great brick dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, built with machines Brunelleschi himself invented for the task. His childhood was unremarkable – second of three sons of a notary in the city. He was initially schooled as a goldsmith and craftsman in the Arte della Seta, a merchants’ guild. Around 1401, Brunelleschi is designated in city records as a master goldsmith.
Having lost a competitive commission to craft bronze reliefs for the doors of a Florentine church, Brunelleschi decided to concentrate his energy on architecture rather than sculpture. With his friend Donatello (yes, that one), he visited Rome and was seemingly inspired by all of the decaying ruins. In short order, Brunelleschi had his first architectural commission in Florence, building the Hospital of the Innocents. Other works followed: the Ridolfi Chapel, the Barbadori Chapel, the Pazzi Chapel, and eventually the dome of the great cathedral in the city. In doing so, not only did he reincorporate the linear perspective, but also devised machinery for the theatrical “miracle” productions in Florentine churches. Brunelleschi died and was buried in the cathedral he made famous.
|Great People of Civilization VI|
|Artist • Admiral • Engineer • General • Merchant • Musician • Prophet • Scientist • Writer|