Filippo Brunelleschi (1377–1446) was an Italian architect,
goldsmith, and sculptor. The first Renaissance architect, he also formulated
the principles of linear perspective which governed pictorial depiction
of space until the late 19th century.
In Florence during the second and third decades of the 15th century, the
visual arts were transformed into the Renaissance style. The concept of
the Renaissance, whose aim was the re-creation of ancient classical culture,
occasioned in painting and sculpture a revival of naturalism based
primarily on antique statuary and in architecture a revival of classical
forms and ornament. All the arts revealed an increased concern for the
delineation and unification of space, which the development of linear
perspective satisfied. Three Florentine artists.the architect Filippo
Brunelleschi the sculptor Donatello, and the painter Masaccio. were the
leaders in this new movement and soon made Florence the artistic capital
Brunelleschi was born in Florence, the son of an eminent notary. Filippo
entered the silk guild as a goldsmith in 1398. The following year he was
employed by a goldsmith in Pistoia, where he made several silver figures
for the altar of St. James in the Cathedral. Brunelleschi entered the
competition of 1401 for a new set of portals for the Baptistery in Florence;
his trial piece, the Sacrifice of Isaac, compared very favorably with that
of Lorenzo Ghiberti, who was awarded the commission. Brunelleschi's relief
is derived stylistically from the work of his predecessor Andrea Pisano,
but it already reveals an interest in classical antiquity, as the servant
in the relief was inspired by the Hellenistic statue Spinario, or
“thorn-puller.” In 1404 Brunelleschi was admitted as master
to the goldsmiths' guild in Florence, and later that year he was consulted
regarding a buttress of the Cathedral.
During the next decade the details of Brunelleschi's life are very vague.
He undoubtedly made several trips to Rome to survey its ancient monuments.
A wooden crucifix in S. Maria Novella, Florence, perhaps from this period,
is sometimes attributed to him. In 1415 he repaired the Ponte a Mare in
Pisa, and 2 years later he and other masters presented opinions on the
design and construction of the great dome projected for the Gothic
Cathedral of Florence. It was perhaps at this time that Brunelleschi
devised the method of constructing linear perspective, which he illustrated
in two perspective panels (now lost): one depicted the Florentine
Baptistery as viewed from the Cathedral portal, and the other illustrated
the Palazzo Vecchio.
From October of 1916 through January of 1917, Rudolf Steiner gave a series
of nine lectures known as the Art Course. These lectures were given
the title of:
The History of Art.
Click here to discover what Steiner said about Filippo Brunelleschi in the
or in the entire