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Author King, Ross, 1962-

Title Brunelleschi's dome : how a Renaissance genius reinvented architecture / Ross King.

Imprint New York : Walker & Co., c2000.


Location Call No. OPAC Message Status
 Axe Kansas Collection J Schick  726.6094551 K586b 2000    ---  Lib Use Only
 FSCC Non-Fiction  726.6 K5801b 2000    ---  Available
Description 194 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Note Simultaneously published: London : Chatto & Windus, 2000.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. [177]) and index.
Summary Anyone alive in Florence on August 19, 1418, would have understood the significance of the competition announced that day concerning the city's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, already under construction for more than a century. "Whoever desires to make any model or design for the vaulting of the main Dome ... shall do so before the end of the month of September". The proposed dome was regarded far and wide as all but impossible to build, due not only to its enormous size but also because its original and sacrosanct design eschewed the flying buttresses that supported cathedrals all over Europe. The dome would literally need to be erected over thin air. Of the many plans submitted, one stood out -- a daring and unorthodox solution to vaulting the largest dome (143 feet in diameter) in the world. It was offered not by a master mason or carpenter, but by a goldsmith and clock maker named Filippo Brunelleschi, then 41, who would dedicate the next 28 years to solving the puzzles of the dome's construction. Brunelleschi's Dome is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder. Denounced at first as a madman, he was celebrated as a genius upon erecting the dome. He engineered the perfect placement of brick and stone and built ingenious hoists and cranes (some among the most renowned machines of the Renaissance) to carry an estimated 70 million pounds hundreds of feet into the air -- all the while defying those who said the dome would surely collapse and tackling personal obstacles that at times threatened to overwhelm him. This drama was played out amidst plagues, wars, political feuds, and the intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence -- events Ross King weaves into the story to great effect, from Brunelleschi's bitter, ongoing rivalry with the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti to the near capture of Florence by the Duke of Milan. He also offers a wealth of fascinating detail that opens windows into fifteenth-century life: the celebrated traditions of the brickmaker's art, the daily routine of the artisans laboring hundreds of feet above the ground as the dome grew ever higher, the problems of transportation, and the power of the guilds. Even today, in an age of soaring skyscrapers, the cathedral dome of Santa Maria del Fiore retains a rare power to astonish. Ross King brings its creation to life in a fifteenth-century chronicle with twenty-first-century resonance. Novelist Ross King offers an account of the remarkable design and construction of the largest dome in the world (even today): the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy. Reading with the excitement of a good novel, the book focuses on the innovative techniques used and the social and political context in which its architect worked. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Contents A More Beautiful and Honourable Temple -- The Goldsmith of San Giovanni -- The Treasure Hunters -- An Ass and a Babbler -- The Rivals -- Men without Name or Family -- Some Unheard-of Machine -- The Chain of Stone -- The Tale of the Fat Carpenter -- The Pointed Fifth -- Bricks and Mortar -- Circle by Circle -- The Monster of the Arno -- Debacle at Lucca -- From Bad to Worse -- Consecration -- The Lantern -- Ingenii Viri Philippi Brunelleschi -- The Nest of Delights.
Subject Santa Maria del Fiore (Cathedral : Florence, Italy)
Brunelleschi, Filippo, 1377-1446.
Domes -- Italy -- Florence -- Design and construction.
Florence (Italy) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
Santa Maria del Fiore.
ISBN 0802713661
Standard No. NLC 20030120888
NLGGC 248358766
YDXCP 1700697
NZ1 5773042
AU@ 000021625926

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