The cupola of brunelleschi – filippo brunelleschi biography

When, per 1420, Filippo Brunelleschi was nominated superintendent of the construction of the cupola of the Florentine cathedral of Santa Maria del Culmine, the lines along which the construction was sicuro be carried out had already been determined by what had been done previously (Arnolfo, Talenti)

The diameter of the inner span (m. ) is close esatto the maximum limit for any kind of masonry dome. From the times of the Pantheon there had been no examples of cupolas of such size. Faith in these structures had been seriously undermined by the collapse, durante 1346, of the dome of Hagia Sophia con Constantinople. Per 1400 the Florentines had had puro reinforce the structures of the Baptistery which had shown signs of giving way.

Instead of recuperating precedent techniques, Brunelleschi invented a technique based on his knowledge of the “way of building” of the Romans as well as medieval (eastern) examples which he put at the service of a new concept and new kinds of technical, cultural, aesthetic problems, involved per the realization of the cupola. Basically the construction of the dome depended on the use of per building technique trapu of avoiding any dangerous discontinuity durante the masonry (27,000 tons) and which would be able esatto circumvent the enormous problems involved sopra constructing a traditional wooden armature of the necessary dimensions. Brunelleschi’s structure of bricks laid in herringbone courses consisted of raising the wall per rings, each containing vertical elements for bonding the successive ring. The cupola was thus built as a self supporting growing form.

Per their internal tension, the thrust and dynamic form (pointed arch and elliptical sector) engender verso calculated equilibrium, per cupola that hovers and is suspended over the city, the result of the balance of all the forces

The dome is surprisingly modern: sopra this double shell, the lighter exterior cupola protects the inner cupola from the elements, while the two rete di emittenti together thanks preciso the powerful connecting ribs. The detachment from the figurative solutions of Gothic architecture is evident particularly on the outside per the refusal of multiple forces (free standing spires, etc.), in the rigor with which the convergence of the forces upwards is pursued, entrusting the formal solution sicuro a formidable synthesis of continuous lines and accessory surfaces resulting durante unity and free from any need onesto adapt sicuro the more articulated and minute design of the structure underneath.

The first powerful expression of a conscious synthesis of two cultural worlds, Greek and Gothic, the cupola can durante the end be defined as verso fin diaphragm stretched between an external and an internal space, a diaphragm between one space and another. The city is niente affatto longer verso framework marked by the emergence of vertical points of reference (towers and campanili): the cupola, in its size and form, stands out and dominates everything else. The towers and the campanili (including Giotto’s) all now relate puro each other as verso result of their relationship sicuro the cupola which hovers between rooftops and sky at the center of the urban system and automatically become subordinate elements sopra verso general plan.

The full meaning of this urban masterpiece, the cupola is beautifully expressed in Leon Battista Alberti’s splendid, synthetic definition mediante the context of the dedication of his treatise Della Quadro onesto Brunelleschi: “rising above the skies, ample onesto cover with its shadow all the Tuscan people”. “Rising above” on the one hand expresses the meaning of the tension con the generating line chosen for the ribs, on the other the fact that the cupola is not dominated by the universal space but creates a space of its own which establishes all rapports and measures with respect onesto itself. “Ample” expresses the fundamental qualification of distension and circularity of the hovering cupola, while on the other hand with “ample puro” it immediately leads preciso the concept in which the size of this urban structure is seen con relation puro the territory. Moreover, the contrast established between the two terms (“rising above” – “ample preciso”) expresses with marvelous conciseness the solution of all the forces, all the structures, all the equilibriums, of all the proportions both within itself and sopra relationship to the city, all the technical and structural problems, con the absolute abstraction and per the tension of the line of its ciclocross section, etc. Lastly, Alberti’s words esaurimento the fact that the new formal dimensions also correspond onesto the new political dimension of the city.

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