By Anne Leader

Filippo Brunelleschi died on 16 April 1446 in Florence. Today recognized as the father of Early Renaissance architecture, Brunelleschi began his career as sculptor, famously losing the competition to create bronze doors for the Florentine Baptistery to Lorenzo Ghiberti. Despite this early setback, Brunelleschi would find great success in Florence as an architect, above all for his design to vault the great choir of the city’s new cathedral. Other important projects include the redesign of San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito and the entry loggia for the Ospedale degli Innocenti. Brunelleschi’s refined classicism, based on intense study in Rome, provided a new architectural vocabulary for Florence that would be repeated and reinvented throughout the Renaissance by numerous Italian architects.

Sacrifice of Isaac, 1401-2, gilded bronze, Bargello, Florence

Crucifix, 1412-13, polychromed wood, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Cupola, 1418-36, Cathedral, Florence

San Lorenzo, views of old sacristy, nave, and aisle, 1421-40, Florence

Ospedale degli Innocenti, begun ca. 1419, Florence

Santo Spirito, 1434-82, Florence

Death Mask of Filippo Brunelleschi

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