Filippo Brunelleschi

Renaissance sculptor and engineer
Brunelleschi started working in the slums of amidst the slums of the Santa Croce quarter. There, young Brunelleschi learned the skills of mounting, engraving and embossing. He also studied the science of motion, using wheels, gears, cogs and weights. 
He then spent the next ten years living rough in Rome with his good friend, the sculptor Donatello, studying the ruins of the great city. He was especially interested in Roman engineering, fixed proportions, and Roman vaults. The construction of the Pantheon, especially the dome, fascinated him. Brunelleschi dedicated himself to understanding how it stayed up, which included pouring Roman concrete over a massive timber frame, and this understanding and study helped him to raise the dome of the cathedral Santa Maria de Fiore in Florence.


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