Brunelleschi's dome

Essay by kbo311College, UndergraduateA+, May 2007

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I'm writing about Brunelleschi's dome atop the Cathedral of Florence, I chose this work because it not only illustrates what one man can accomplish when he has a great vision of something, but also because its such a beautiful piece of architecture and the first thing you see when you enter Florence. Another beautiful thing about it is that Brunelleschi wasn't an architect, or a carpenter, he was a goldsmith and a clock maker. The dome was modeled after the Pantheon from Roman architecture; nobody believed that he could create a self supporting dome of that size.

The dome his breathtakingly large and sits atop the Cathedral of Florence, with clay colored shingles on the roof and a steeple at the top. It looks to be the size of a city block from the photos I've seen. When looking up at it, it seems to completely engulf the sky above you.

It is the largest dome in the world, 143 feet in diameter and was basically erected literally straight into thin air (King 151).

It all began in 1418 when Brunelleschi won the commission to take on the Cathedral that had been sitting dome less in the middles of the city; the Cathedral had already been under construction for more than a century. This came soon after he had lost the commission to build the Great Doors to Ghilberti. The dome has since become known as the centerpiece of Florence and definitely the first thing you see when entering the city. Just goes to show you that losing isn't always a bad thing to happen. It took Brunelleschi 28 years to complete the construction of the dome and completely get an understanding of the true complexity of it. Prior to this time if there was a dome...