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Art History: Filippo Brunelleschi Scuptor and Architect of the Renaissance Period

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Art History: Renaissance

Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the greatest sculptors and architects of the Renaissance. His architectural achievements consist of some of the most well known and impressive structures not only of the Renaissance, but today. Not only were his structures amazing, but during his time he also invented new technology that would allow for his structures to be built. What would happen if Brunelleschi never designed architecture? We would have lost his inventions, his structures, and all of the work he inspired in other artists. Brunelleschi’s career path changed from sculpture to architecture after his loss to Ghiberti during the competition for the Eastern Doors of the Florentine Baptistery. If Brunelleschi had won that competition, architecture and art in the Renaissance, and even today would have been negatively affected.
To understand how Brunelleschi came to be the artist he is, you need to look back to his childhood. Brunelleschi, during his youth, was showing that he was already capable of great things. His great-great-grandfather was a master physician, so there we can see evidence of technical skills being passed down. Brunelleschi’s father tried to push him into various career paths which didn’t involve art, such as being a physician, and a notary, but Brunelleschi showed little interest and was more drawn to manual labor, art, and things of greater utility. Utility by definition is the quality or state of being useful. We will eventually see several useful things come from Brunelleschi. His father realized that his son was going to do what he wanted, so he introduced him to a goldsmith where he learned to set stones and work with metal, which he quickly mastered and moved away from. He then moved...


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...ay have never discovered the secret to linear perspective, which was later used by not only architects, but painters as well, such as Masaccio's Holy Trinity fresco in 1427. All of the art that was ever inspired by Brunelleschi wouldn’t be here today. Brunelleschi barely lost the competition for the eastern doors of the Baptistry, and that may have been the most defining moment of the Renaissance.


















Annotated Bibliography

Paatz, Walter. The arts of the Italian Renaissance: painting, sculpture, architecture. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1974.

Partridge, Loren W.. The art of Renaissance Rome, 1400-1600. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.

Turner, Richard. Renaissance Florence: the invention of a new art. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1997.

Vasari, Giorgio. Lives of the painters, sculptors & architects. London, Toronto: J.M. Dent, 1927.



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