Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Filippo Brunelleschi [1377–1446] was the first great Florentine architect of the Italian Renaissance. His most famous works are in Florence, including his Duomo [cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore], where he served as chief engineer, or as his contract put it "the inventor and governor" of the project, since the size and form and the actual curvature of the dome had been decided in 1367, ten years before he was born. 

The Duomo, completed in 1434, was the first notable dome erected in Italy since antiquity.

Brunelleschi had guaranteed that the dome would not require construction by centering, the elaborate scaffolding process used in Gothic cathedrals to put up the stone vaults with which the masons covered large internal spaces. 

Notes from Paul Johnson's The Renaissance [2000] p. 92