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Filippo Brunelleschi

Filippo Brunelleschi was born in Florence, 1377 and died in April, 1446.

He was an architect and inventor.


I think Filippo Brunelleschi was a flexible person but also very convinced of himself, he was representing the skepticism of renaissance by going further than others and beyond the borders of its time. He also studied the old roman architecture and reused their technology again. One example of both is when he was building the Dome in Florence, all other people told him that his idea won’t work; he was stubborn and let the dome get built. And today it’s still standing there.

He was apprenticed to a goldsmith. When he was young, Brunelleschi learned the skills of mounting, engraving and embossing. He also studied the science of motion. In 1401, the young craftsman entered a competition to design new bronze doors for the city’s baptistery, and with this he came to architecture.

Already paranoid, Brunelleschi hid his work away, and watched as his rival, Ghiberti, the lesser technician, wooed the judges and won the commission. Legend has it that Brunelleschi stormed out of the competition when he was refused complete control, and quit the city of Florence altogether. After running out of Florence, Brunelleschi spent the next 10-years living in Rome with his good friend, the sculptor Donatello, studying the ruins of the great city. When Brunelleschi returned to Florence, a new prize was on offer, the magnificent Cathedral desperately needed a dome. Whilst no one had ever made a self-supporting dome before, Brunelleschi was confident that he could solve the problem. But first he had to showcase his talents.

He was an early example of an inventor and architect going beyond the border of doing things “as always” but finding new ways and driving the technological development. He also combined the use of new technologies with impressive design (“Apple?”).


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