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This title in other editions

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

by

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture Cover

 

Staff Pick

It took decades of dedication from Brunelleschi and the entire Florentine community to create one of the most studied and beautiful structures in the world. In a steadily engaging and accessible manner, Ross King brings to life the challenges and innovations of building the Duomo.
Recommended by Malia, Powells.com

Of the many transformations that architecture has undergone throughout history, none is more important to the Renaissance than Filippo Brunelleschi's dome design for the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence. Few books have introduced Renaissance architecture to the uninitiated as successfully as Ross King's accessible and entertaining account. Brunelleschi's Dome hit the bestseller lists of the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle shortly after its release in 2000 and Book Sense concurrently named it Nonfiction Book of the Year, making the Canadian-born author who currently resides in England seem like an overnight success to American readers. (King's earlier British-released novels Domino and Ex Libris had already enjoyed considerable attention abroad.)

With a style similar to Dava Sobel's in Longitude and Kurlansky's in Cod, King places the dome in appropriate biographical and historical context. Personal histories, social politics, war, commerce, and plague are discussed throughout the book. King also includes detailed illustrations of the tools and plans Brunelleschi employed and explains each engineering and architectural feat in clear, easy-to-read terms, giving the masonry's absence of conventionally supporting framework due emphasis. Readers who love this swift and lucid narrative will likely do two things: search feverishly for the tomes listed in King's Brunelleschi bibliography, and reach for King's subsequent successful endeavor, Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling.
Recommended by Malia, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

By all accounts, Filippo Brunelleschi, goldsmith and clockmaker, was an unkempt, cantankerous, and suspicious man — even by the generous standards according to which artists were judged in fifteenth-century Florence. He also designed and erected a dome over the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore — a feat of architectural daring that we continue to marvel at today — thus securing himself a place among the most formidable geniuses of the Renaissance. At first denounced as a madman, Brunelleschi literally reinvented the field of architecture amid plagues, wars, and political feuds to raise seventy million pounds of metal, wood, and marble hundreds of feet in the air. Ross King's captivating narrative brings to life the personalities and intrigue surrounding the twenty-eight-year-long construction of the dome, opening a window onto Florentine life during one of history's most fascinating eras.

Review:

"In addition to his fascinating descriptions of Brunelleschi's inventions and methods, King fills in the equally fascinating biographical and historical background. We get a good sense of Brunelleschi's peppery personality (he enjoyed devising elaborate, rather spiteful, practical jokes), his rivalry with the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti and the exciting, tumultuous world of the quattrocento Florentine republic." Merle Rubin, Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Novelist Ross King offers an account of the remarkable design and construction of the largest dome in the world (even today): the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy. Reading with the excitement of a good novel, the book focuses on the innovative techniques used and the social and political context in which its architect worked." Booknews

Review:

"Those that are looking for a simple 'good read' in the mold of Dava Sobel's Longitude would do well to acquire this page turner." David Solt, Library Journal

Review:

"Ross King has a knack for explaining complicated processes in a manner that is not only lucid but downright intriguing....Fascinating." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Ross King deftly lays a score of high Renaissance adventures into the brickwork of the rising dome. As each novel feat of genius engineering flowers high aboveground, details of scandals and pranks blow up from the city streets to create an altogether enchanting tale." Dava Sobel

Synopsis:

An Independent Bestseller

By all accounts, Filippo Brunelleschi, goldsmith and clockmaker, was an unkempt, cantankerous, and suspicious man-even by the generous standards according to which artists were judged in fifteenth-century Florence. He also designed and erected a dome over the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore-a feat of architectural daring that we continue to marvel at today-thus securing himself a place among the most formidable geniuses of the Renaissance. At first denounced as a madman, Brunelleschi literally reinvented the field of architecture amid plagues, wars, and political feuds to raise seventy million pounds of metal, wood, and marble hundreds of feet in the air. Ross King's captivating narrative brings to life the personalities and intrigue surrounding the twenty-eight-year-long construction of the dome, opening a window onto Florentine life during one of history's most fascinating eras.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

1. A More Beautiful and Honourable Temple

2. The Goldsmith of San Giovanni

3. The Treasure Hunters

4. An Ass and a Babbler

5. The Rivals

6. Men without Name or Family

7. Some Unheard-of Machine

8. The Chain of Stone

9. The Tale of the Fat Carpenter

10. The Pointed Fifth

11. Bricks and Mortar

12. Circle by Circle

13. The Monster of the Arno

14. Debacle at Lucca

15. From Bad to Worse

16. Consecration

17. The Lantern

18. Magni Ingenii Viri Philippi Brunelleschi

19. The Nest of Delights

Notes

Select Bibliography

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

AmandaD, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by AmandaD)
Ross King provides a very accurate, interesting, and concise history of how Filippo Brunelleschi succeeded in constructing one of the most impressive architectural masterpieces of his time. One of the best books I've ever read about the Duomo. A definite must read for me!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780142000151
Subtitle:
How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
Author:
King, Ross
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
Renaissance
Subject:
Architecture - Specific Styles
Subject:
Design and construction
Subject:
Florence
Subject:
Domes.
Subject:
History - Specific Styles
Subject:
History
Subject:
Santa Maria del Fiore (Cathedral: Florence, I
Subject:
Brunelleschi, Filippo,
Subject:
ARCHITECTURE / General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series Volume:
RP-599
Publication Date:
20011101
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.16x6.26x.45 in. .56 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Architects
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Buildings » Religious
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » History » General
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Pocket Books
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Europe » Italy » Medieval and Renaissance
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Renaissance
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Italy

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Penguin Books - English 9780142000151 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

It took decades of dedication from Brunelleschi and the entire Florentine community to create one of the most studied and beautiful structures in the world. In a steadily engaging and accessible manner, Ross King brings to life the challenges and innovations of building the Duomo.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Of the many transformations that architecture has undergone throughout history, none is more important to the Renaissance than Filippo Brunelleschi's dome design for the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence. Few books have introduced Renaissance architecture to the uninitiated as successfully as Ross King's accessible and entertaining account. Brunelleschi's Dome hit the bestseller lists of the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle shortly after its release in 2000 and Book Sense concurrently named it Nonfiction Book of the Year, making the Canadian-born author who currently resides in England seem like an overnight success to American readers. (King's earlier British-released novels Domino and Ex Libris had already enjoyed considerable attention abroad.)

With a style similar to Dava Sobel's in Longitude and Kurlansky's in Cod, King places the dome in appropriate biographical and historical context. Personal histories, social politics, war, commerce, and plague are discussed throughout the book. King also includes detailed illustrations of the tools and plans Brunelleschi employed and explains each engineering and architectural feat in clear, easy-to-read terms, giving the masonry's absence of conventionally supporting framework due emphasis. Readers who love this swift and lucid narrative will likely do two things: search feverishly for the tomes listed in King's Brunelleschi bibliography, and reach for King's subsequent successful endeavor, Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling.

"Review" by , "In addition to his fascinating descriptions of Brunelleschi's inventions and methods, King fills in the equally fascinating biographical and historical background. We get a good sense of Brunelleschi's peppery personality (he enjoyed devising elaborate, rather spiteful, practical jokes), his rivalry with the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti and the exciting, tumultuous world of the quattrocento Florentine republic."
"Review" by , "Novelist Ross King offers an account of the remarkable design and construction of the largest dome in the world (even today): the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy. Reading with the excitement of a good novel, the book focuses on the innovative techniques used and the social and political context in which its architect worked."
"Review" by , "Those that are looking for a simple 'good read' in the mold of Dava Sobel's Longitude would do well to acquire this page turner."
"Review" by , "Ross King has a knack for explaining complicated processes in a manner that is not only lucid but downright intriguing....Fascinating."
"Review" by , "Ross King deftly lays a score of high Renaissance adventures into the brickwork of the rising dome. As each novel feat of genius engineering flowers high aboveground, details of scandals and pranks blow up from the city streets to create an altogether enchanting tale."
"Synopsis" by ,
An Independent Bestseller

By all accounts, Filippo Brunelleschi, goldsmith and clockmaker, was an unkempt, cantankerous, and suspicious man-even by the generous standards according to which artists were judged in fifteenth-century Florence. He also designed and erected a dome over the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore-a feat of architectural daring that we continue to marvel at today-thus securing himself a place among the most formidable geniuses of the Renaissance. At first denounced as a madman, Brunelleschi literally reinvented the field of architecture amid plagues, wars, and political feuds to raise seventy million pounds of metal, wood, and marble hundreds of feet in the air. Ross King's captivating narrative brings to life the personalities and intrigue surrounding the twenty-eight-year-long construction of the dome, opening a window onto Florentine life during one of history's most fascinating eras.

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