On August 19, 1418, a competition concerning Florence's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore--already under construction for more than a century--was announced: "Whoever desires to make any model or design for the vaulting of the main Dome....shall do so before the end of the month of September." The proposed dome was regarded far and wide as all but impossible to build: not only would it be enormous, but its original and sacrosanct design shunned the flying buttresses that supported cathedrals all over Europe. The dome would literally need to be erected over thin air. Of the many plans submitted, one stood out--a daring and unorthodox solution to vaulting what is still the largest dome (143 feet in diameter) in the world. It was offered not by a master mason or carpenter, but by a goldsmith and clockmaker named Filippo Brunelleschi, who would dedicate the next twenty-eight years to solving the puzzles of the dome's construction. In the process, he did nothing less than reinvent the field of architecture. Brunelleschi's Dome is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder we continue to marvel at today. Denounced at first as a madman, Brunelleschi was celebrated at the end as a genius. He engineered the perfect placement of brick and stone, built ingenious hoists and cranes to carry an estimated 70 million pounds hundreds of feet into the air, and designed the workers' platforms and routines so carefully that only one man died during the decades of construction--all the while defying those who said the dome would surely collapse and his own personal obstacles that at times threatened to overwhelm him. Even today, in an age of soaring skyscrapers, the cathedral dome of Santa Maria del Fiore retains a rare power to astonish. Ross King brings its creation to life in a fifteenth-century chronicle with twenty-first-century resonance.
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Even in an age of soaring skyscrapers and cavernous sports stadiums, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence still retains a rare power to astonish. Yet the elegance of the building belies the tremendous labour, technical ingenuity and bitter personal strife involved in its creation. For over a century after work on the cathedral began in 1296, the proposed dome was regarded as all but impossible to build because of its enormous size. The greatest architectural puzzle of its age, when finally completed in 1436 the dome was hailed as one of the great wonders of the world. It has gone down in history as a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. This book tells the extraordinary story of how the cupola was raised and of the dome's architect, the brilliant and volatile Filippo Brunelleschi. Denounced as a madman at the start of his labours, he was celebrated at their end as a great genius. His life was one of ambition, ingenuity, rivalry and intrigue - a human drama set against the plagues, wars, political feuds and intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence, the glorious era for which the dome remains the most compelling symbol. Brunelleschi's Dome was voted Non-Fiction Book of the Year by American Independent Booksellers.
This two-part volume offers an innovative analysis and interpretation of Brunelleschi's masterpiece. Part One, which is richly illustrated with iconographic material, traces the design and construction phases of this magnificent building and explores its impact on figurative and literary culture down the ages. With the aid of original charts and diagrams, Part Two provides a thorough analysis of the structure, construction and static equilibrium of the Cupola, including a description and assessment of the current state of the cracks. This provides a solid basis for predicting the likely future behaviour of the monument and for suggesting possible conservation measures.
- Stunning photography captures in never-before-seen detail the entire fresco cycle of Brunelleschi's Dome in Florence, painted by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari between 1572 and 1579 The iconic Dome of the Cathedral of Florence, the largest masonry vault in the world, was built by Filippo Brunelleschi between 1420 and 1436. More than 100 years later, between 1572 and 1579, the vault was decorated with frescos by the artists Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari depicting the Last Judgment. Working with advanced imaging technology, total access, and Italy's leading art photographer, this book presents in never-before-seen detail and completeness the entire pictorial cycle of the Dome. Contributions by noted art historians Marco Bussagli, Mina Gregori, and Timothy Verdon illuminate the art historical significance of this magnificent symbol of Florence and the Renaissance. Text in English and Italian.
Comprehensive book describes how Filippo Brunelleschi built the dome of Florence's famed cathedral: masonry techniques, construction concepts, and more. 28 halftones. 18 line illustrations.
In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The thirty-three-year-old Michelangelo had very little experience of the physically and technically taxing art of fresco; and, at twelve thousand square feet, the ceiling represented one of the largest such projects ever attempted. Nevertheless, for the next four years he and a hand-picked team of assistants laboured over the vast ceiling, making thousands of drawings and spending back-breaking hours on a scaffold fifty feet above the floor. The result was one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. This fascinating book tells the story of those four extraordinary years and paints a magnificent picture of day-to-day life on the Sistine scaffolding - and outside, in the upheaval of early sixteenth-century Rome.
In fifteenth-century Florence, Italy, a contest is held to design a magnificent dome for the town's cathedral, but when Pippo the Fool claims he will win the contest, everyone laughs at him. Based on a true story.
Building the Italian Renaissance focuses on the competition to select a team to execute the final architectural challenge of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore--the erection of its dome. Although the model for the dome was widely known, the question of how this was to be accomplished was the great challenge of the age. This dome would be the largest ever built. This is foremost a technical challenge but it is also a philosophical one. The project takes place at an important time for Florence. The city is transitioning from a High Medieval world view into the new dynamics and ideas and will lead to the full flowering of what we know as the Renaissance. Thus the competition at the heart of this game plays out against the background of new ideas about citizenship, aesthetics, history (and its application to the present), and new technology. The central challenge is to expose players to complex and multifaceted situations and to individuals that animated life in Florence in the early 1400s. Humanism as a guiding philosophy is taking root and scholars are looking for ways to link the mercantile city to the glories of Rome and to the wisdom of the ancients across many fields. The aesthetics of the classical world (buildings, plastic arts and intellectual pursuits) inspired wonder, perhaps even envy, but the new approaches to the past by scholars such as Petrarch suggested that perhaps the creative classes are not simply crafts people, but men of ideas. Three teams compete for the honor to construct the dome, a project overseen by the Arte Della Lana (wool workers guild) and judged by them and a group of Florentine citizens who are merchants, aristocrats, learned men, and laborers. Their goal is to make the case for the building to live up to the ideals of Florence. The game gives students a chance to enter into the world of Florence in the early 1400s to develop an understanding of the challenges and complexity of such a major artistic and technical undertaking while providing an opportunity to grasp the interdisciplinary nature of major public works.
The bestselling author of Brunelleschi's Dome and Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling captures the excitement and spirit of the Renaissance in this chronicle of the life and work of "the king of the world's booksellers" and the technological disruption that forever changed the ways knowledge spread. The Renaissance in Florence conjures images of beautiful frescoes and elegant buildings—the dazzling handiwork of the city's skilled artists and architects. But equally important for the centuries to follow were geniuses of a different sort: Florence's manuscript hunters, scribes, scholars, and booksellers, who blew the dust off a thousand years of history and, through the discovery and diffusion of ancient knowledge, imagined a new and enlightened world. At the heart of this activity was a remarkable man: Vespasiano da Bisticci. Born in 1422, he became what a friend called "the king of the world's booksellers." At a time when all books were made by hand, over four decades Vespasiano produced and sold many hundreds of volumes from his bookshop, which also became a gathering spot for discussion and debate. Besides repositories of ancient wisdom by the likes of Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, his books were works of art in their own right, copied by talented scribes and illuminated by the finest miniaturists. His clients included a roll-call of popes, kings, and princes across Europe who wished to burnish their reputations by founding magnificent libraries. Vespasiano reached the summit of his powers as Europe's most prolific merchant of knowledge when a new invention appeared: the printed book. By 1480, the king of the world's booksellers was swept away by this epic technological disruption, whereby cheaply produced books reached readers who never could have afforded one of Vespasiano’s elegant manuscripts. A thrilling chronicle of intellectual ferment set against the dramatic political and religious turmoil of the era, including the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks, Ross King's The Bookseller of Florence is also an ode to books and bookmaking that charts the world-changing shift from script to print through the life of an extraordinary man long lost to history—one of the true titans of the Renaissance.
- A detailed narration of the life of one of the masters of Renaissance, Filippo Brunelleschi - An interactive way to approach the cultural revolution of the 15th century - Text by Stefania Cottiglia, architecture expert and drawings by Andrea Orani, master of design - Contains a cut-out model of the famous Florentine Dome Written by Stefania Cottiglia, who for years has been unveiling architecture's mysteries to young adults, this book's ambition is to convey the fervor of the Renaissance's cradle through the architect that created its symbol: Brunelleschi and his Dome. The volume is enriched with vivid illustrations created by Andrea Orani, a master of design. The book details Filippo Brunelleschi's ventures: from being a goldsmith apprentice to becoming the winner of the contest for the new door of the Battistero, passing through his Roman period and finishes at his completion of the Dome for Florence's cathedral, which put him in the history books. Step by step, the reader will understand how the Dome symbolized a whole new concept of the world. Thanks to the cut-out model, young readers will be able to build a reproduction of the 'Cupola', becoming active stars of the cultural revolution of the 15th century.