HAA 1306 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Bernardo Rossellino, Filippo Brunelleschi, Palazzo Medici Riccardi

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15 Sep 2015
Wed September 4: This class will give a summary look at the development of Italian
Renaissance architecture in the 15th century, and its contribution to the High Renaissance in the
century that followed.
Transition from Gothic to Renaissance:
Gothic dominated in most medieval countries, not so much in Italy
Gothic radically modified in Florence to change to another style
~1420 AD Gothic rejected in Florence
City had no Roman buildings
Venice was richest city, Milan most militarily powerful, Rome most influential – Florence
wasn’t special
Good economy, mathematically advanced
No logical planning to city – Old Florence (ancient Roman city) was rectilinear
Sense of nationalism when older Florentine architecture looked towards to define
new style
Key works:
1. Arnolfo di Cambio (born around 1240--died between 1302 and
1310): plan & original dome conception for S. Maria del Fiore,
Florence, 1294ff.
building built west  east
Intermediary between Gothic and Renaissance
Rib vaults - Gothic
Terminates in enormous dome - Renaissance
3 arms with vaulted chapel
Individually defined – not quite mathematical
precision of Brunelleschi but not Gothic
Cupola was planned as regular-sided octagon – very
Arnolfo dies before finished and Florence hit by
depression and plague
2. Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446): cupola of S. Maria del
Fiore, 1420-36.
“cupola” = dome
Central plan building with dome as in Roman
buildings, but dome is octagonal rather than round
Roman base but articulated in French manner
Ribbed – in French Gothic ribs were inside dome
Knew dome could be built without internal scaffolding in
dome is perfectly circular – circle can be inscribed within every
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