Artist Spotlight

Artists & Architects: Filippo Brunelleschi

martyn10/hulton/people7/10Heralded as the father of modern architecture, Filippo Brunelleschi stands as one of the single most influential figures in the history of both art and architecture.

Born in Florence during the Italian renaissance, Brunelleschi began his journey as a goldsmith and sculptor. In 1401, he competed against five other artists for a prestigious commission: the bronze doors of the Florence baptistry. After making  it to the final two, Brunelleschi lost to his arch nemesis, Ghiberti.

The two trefoils below are his (right) and Ghiberti’s (left) competition entries. The were both challenged to create an engaging and articulate depiction of The Sacrifice of Iasaac.

Enraged and dismayed, Brunelleschi then travelled to Rome with his friend and fellow artist, Donatello, to study the buildings of antiquity. There he discovered a love and talent.

Later, he returned to Florence and won the competition to construct the dome for Florence’s cathedral, the result of which would become one of his most notable accomplishments.

His other major accomplishment was born out of his study of architecture, but became a revolutionizing tool for artists of all mediums. Brunelleschi created a mathematical grid that allowed painters and other masters to create realistic representations of reality.


His understanding of architecture and perspective allowed artists to create paintings and spaces more incredible than ever.

If you’d like to read more, here are some links:

(Post by Erin Seage ’16. Photos by &