HUMANIST ITALY: PUBLIC SPACES AND PRIVATE PALACES OF THE RENAISSANCE

HUMANIST ITALY: PUBLIC SPACES AND PRIVATE PALACES OF THE RENAISSANCE

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I. HUMANIST ITALY: PUBLIC SPACES AND PRIVATE PALACES OF THE RENAISSANCE The movement to revive ancient Greco-Roman culture, known in hindsight as the Renaissance, had its epicenter in 14th- and 15th-century Florence. A. The Dome of Florence and Its Architect, Filippo Brunelleschi. 1. During the 14th century, the wealthiest families from the merchant guilds dominated the artistic output of Florence. a. They channeled their collective resources into great civic projects: i. the Palazzo Vecchio; ii. the new cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore; iii. the public grain market of Or San Michele (later turned into a church); iv. the city walls and the bridges. 2. The emergence of perspective vision accompanied the development of the principal public space of the city, the L-shaped Piazza della Signoria that surrounded Palazzo Vecchio. a. The enlarged space, brought together on a grid of flagstones and brick pavers, allowed one to view the formidable volume of the city’s public palace and bell tower in relation to its surroundings. 3. Construction began on Florence’s greatest civic project, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, in 1296. a. Arnolfo di Cambio proposed a simple Gothic style, with quadripartite ribbed vaults spanning the nave and two side aisles. b. The commune charged a committee to set the dimensions of the cupola in 1367 as wide as the Pantheon in Rome and nearly twice its height. i. Neri di Fioravanti produced a scale model showing the dome’s central octagon, which stepped down to three partial octagons, each of which contained five radiating chapels. ii. The structural concept for Fioravanti’s dome derived from that of the 12th-century Baptistery of San Giovanni. iii. Its unprecedented size, more than a third wider and over twice the height of the Baptistery, posed tremendous logistical problems for its construction.
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  • Fall '16
  • Architecture, History Of Architecture, Palazzo Vecchio, Leon Battista Alberti, San Lorenzo, ideal city, fortress-like Palazzo Vecchio

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