Florence cathedral Essay

This essay has a total of 1061 words and 5 pages.

florence cathedral

In the Florence Cathedral, Florence, Italy, there is a cathedral church whose octagonal
dome, built without the aid of scaffolding, was considered the greatest engineering feat
of the early Renaissance. Dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore, Our Lady of the Flower, it
is also known as the Duomo, after the Italian word for cathedral. Created by many great
Early Modern artists, this piece of architecture is a perfect example the Renaissance
style. We can come to a better understanding of why this is so by exploring what the
characteristics of the Renaissance "style". To understand the properties of the Florence
Cathedral that fit the Early Modern style, I will begin with a description and its
history. The cathedral's architectural style, although greatly influenced by French Gothic
elements remained distinctively Florentine, especially the geometric patterns of red,
green, and white marble on the building's exterior. Construction of the cathedral began in
1294 on the site of a Christian church founded in the 6th or 7th century and continued
until 1436. Several celebrated Italian architects were involved in the project, including
Giotto, Arnolfo di Cambio, Andrea Orcagna, and, most notably, Filippo Brunelleschi, who
was responsible for designing and building the dome. The cathedral's exterior is
ornamented with sculpture and mosaics by Italian artists Donatello, Nanni di Banco, and
Domenico Ghirlandaio, among others. The building's stained-glass windows are the work of
the Italian architect and artist Lorenzo Ghiberti, and the interior is decorated with
sculpture and fresco paintings by several Renaissance masters. Construction of the
campanile (bell tower), situated to the right of the entrance to the Duomo, was begun by
Giotto and completed according to his plans in 1359, after his death. Nearly 278 ft high,
the campanile is embellished with red, green, and white marble panels of relief sculpture
by Italian artists Andrea Pisano and Luca della Robbia, and niches with sculpted figures
by Donatello and other masters. Facing the cathedral and campanile is a smaller, octagonal
structure, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, noted for its gilt-bronze doors, elaborately
worked in high relief by Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti. With that background
information about the cathedral, one question comes to mind: what is it that makes the
Renaissance style distinct? Renaissance Art is painting, sculpture, and architecture
produced in Europe in the historical period that has been called the Early Modern period.
Though the piece I selected is a piece of architecture it has all the aforementioned forms
of art, and the elements of the Renaissance style encompasses all these forms. The three
main components of Renaissance style are the following: a revival of the classical style
originally developed by the ancient Greeks and Romans, an intensified concern with
non-religious life, and an interest in humanism and emphasis on the importance of the
individual. The Renaissance period in art history corresponds to the beginning of the
great Western age of discovery and exploration, when a general desire developed to examine
all aspects of nature and the world. This greatly influenced the art that was produced
during this period. During the Renaissance, artists were no longer regarded as mere
artisans, as they had been in the medieval past, but for the first time emerged as
independent personalities, comparable to poets and writers. When he was discussing
architecture in his book Lives of the Artists, Giorgio Vasari writes, "…some idea of
form and some approximation of the good ancient rules were rediscovered by the better
architects, who have left examples of their style throughout Italy in the oldest as
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