Filippo Brunelleschi
Italian, 1377-1446

A major Early Renaissance architect and sculptor, Filippo Brunelleschi is best known for designing the dome for the Cathedral of Florence (1420–36), and for his competition panel of the Sacrifice of Isaac (1401-02) for the second set of bronze Baptistery doors. After losing the commission for the latter to Ghiberti, he focused on architecture and engineering projects, going on to construct some of Florence’s most important buildings. His masterpiece, however, is Florence Cathedral’s great duomo, for which he devised an innovative, concealed internal structure of iron and wood to support the base, and a Roman style of brickwork laid in a herringbone pattern for the exterior. Other notable architectural achievements included the Ospedale degli Innocenti (“Hospital of the Innocents), as well as the Old Sacristy of San Lorenzo built for the Medicis, a structure that epitomizes …

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