The Cupola of Florence Cathedral
Two Florentine competitions, sponsored by the Guilds responsible for the public buildings concerned, are generally accepted to be of prime importance in the artistic Renaissance: the one for the second door of the Baptistery in 1401, the other for the vaulting and cupola over the central space of the fourteenth-century cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore. Lorenzo Ghiberti won the first, but only partially won the second, the palm for which went to Filippo Brunelleschi. It was the magnitude of the latter’s achievement, rather than the forms employed, which caused Vasari to acclaim it as ‘the finest of all achievements of ancient or modern times’.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.