Filippo Brunelleschi

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  • Topic: Filippo Brunelleschi, Florence, Florence Cathedral
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  • Published : April 13, 2010
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Filippo Brunelleschi

Many people before I have said that Filippo is the father of Renaissance architecture. During his lifetime, he was indisputably the most prominent architect in Italy.

Filippo, the second of three children, was born in Florence, Italy in 1377, to a lawyer and father, Brunellesco Di Lippo and his mother, Giuliana Spini. In 1392, he began his apprenticeship in a small workshop in Florence. After only 6 years, he passed his examination and became a guild master goldsmith. An important influence on him at this time was Paolo dal Toscanelli, a merchant and medical doctor. Paolo had an interest in science and mathematics and eventually taught Filippo the principles of geometry. He also brought out Brunelleschi interest in technology.

In 1401, Brunelleschi entered a competition with seven other esteemed artists to design the bronze doors of the Florence Baptistery. Though his work was amazing, another artist was the victor in the competition. Therefore, he was given the job as the assistant to the artist in control of the commission. After this setback, Brunelleschi turned more towards to architecture. He then stayed 7 years in Rome working beside his friend, Donatello.

In 1415, Filippo made an important achievement in the mathematics field. He rediscovered the principles of linear perspective, only using mirrors. With this discovery, he now understood that there should be a single vanishing point to which all parallel lines in a plane, other that the plane of the canvas. During this time, he also made the time to understand the scale and other mathematical principles.

From the year 1409 and onward Filippo became fascinated by the uncompleted Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, the Cathedral in Florence. Work on this cathedral began in 1296 but problems persisted on the huge engineering problem of how to place the dome on the octagonal Baptistery. After another competition, Filippo won and was give the commission to finish the...
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