Cracked Wide Open
Arts Illustrated|June - July 2020
Building one of the world’s largest domes was no mean task for anyone, let alone an amateur goldsmith, so how did Filippo Brunelleschi accomplish building not one, but two of them?
Moksha Kumar

For the story of Brunelleschi’s dome, his magnum opus, we travel back in time to Florence, a city already captured by the Renaissance movement and poised to become the epicentre of creativity, innovation and affluence, and yet flummoxed by the challenge of completing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, the city’s grand structure. To find a solution to this problem as well as establish their ingenuity, the Arte della Lana (the most prominent wool guild) announced an architecture competition.

And so, Brunelleschi entered the competition with the promise of completing the dome, but would not let anyone know of his plans – prompting the jury and the crowd to unanimously ridicule and reject him. But Brunelleschi said he could explain with the help of an egg.

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