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Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King

Brunelleschi's Dome: how a Renaissance genius reinvented architecture by Ross King (2000)
This book describes how a fifteenth-century goldsmith and clockmaker, Filippo Brunelleschi, came up with a unique design for the dome to crown Florence's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore.

With the excitement of the Renaissance as a backdrop, author King tells the whole story from Florence. Brunelleschi’s bitter, ongoing rivalry with the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti to the near capture of Florence by the Duke of Milan.

To help you make this journey back to fifteenth century Florence, King includes lots of fascinating detail; the traditions of the brickmaker’s art, the daily routine of the artisans laboring hundreds of feet above the ground as the dome grew ever higher, the problems of transportation and the power of the guilds.