Brunelleschi's Dome Ross King Summary

1178 Words5 Pages
Book Review of Brunelleschi’s Dome The Renaissance is painted with so much more than elegant artwork scattered throughout the ancient walls of Italy, but stories rich in culture, treachery, brilliance and innovation as well. One of which was the story of the dome of the Cathedral of Florence, an unfinished masterpiece that was too big a task to complete for near a century. It wasn’t until a brilliant mathematician found a solution that would herald a new age of architecture and beauty to Florence. Ross King tells the true story of Fillipo Brunelleschi and his astonishing quest to complete one of the biggest and most dangerous undertakings in Florentine history. King’s story unveils Brunelleschi as more than just a builder, but a genius, and…show more content…
Being the son of a clocksmith worker, the answer came to him. Much like a pulley and gear system that was already in place, he would use an ox that would walk in one constant circle to raise supplies needed for construction. The ingenious idea behind this radical innovation was the fact that with the flip of a lever, the machine could lower its supplies as well without the ox having to walk backwards, which as everyone knew at that time, was impossible. “Filippo’s ox-hoist was remarkable both for its sheer size and power and for the complexity of its design, especially its reversible gear, an important innovation for which there is no known precedent in the history of engineering.” (King 60) Again, his design for this radical piece of equipment won him money and respect among the Florentine’s. Another design King illustrates is the boat Brunelleschi creates in order to transport marble across a river. To highlight his ingenuity, King makes it a point to write about Taccola, a skilled engineer who seems baffled at Brunelleschi’s design. “Taccola, a skilled engineer, appears to have been flummoxed by the design: he attempts a description of Il Dadalone only to find that his pen fails him.” (King 113) But regardless of Filippo’s ingenuity, many men who believed themselves to be greater than him found jealousy and hatred as Filippo won the chance to build such a towering edifice in the Duomo. But Filippo didn’t care about fame or fortune for amidst the undertakings, rivalry existed between many creative artisans throughout Italy, some of which Filippo knew and some didn’t. But one would give him a headache for the next few decades and would challenge his every
Open Document