Synopses & Reviews
A lively and intriguing tale of the competition between two artists, culminating in the construction of the Duomo in Florence, this is also the story of a city on the verge of greatness, and the dawn of the Renaissance, when everything artistic would change.
Florence′s Duomo - the dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral - is one of the most enduring symbols of the Italian Renaissance, an equal in influence and fame to Leonardo and Michaelangelo′s works. It was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, the temperamental architect who rediscovered the techniques of mathematical perspective. He was the dome′s ′inventor′, whose secret methods for building remain a mystery as compelling to architects as Fermat′s Last Theorem once was to mathematicians. Yet Brunelleschi didn′t direct the construction of the dome alone. He was forced to share the commission with his arch-rival, the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, whose ′Paradise Doors′ are also masterworks. This is the story of these two men - a tale of artistic genius and individual triumph.
"Walker here pairs off proto-architect Filippo Brunelleschi and doormaker Lorenzo Ghiberti in an often engaging version of Quattrocento Smackdown. Pitting the two masters against each other in the competition for the sculpted bronze doors of the baptistery, Walker re-creates the intrigues of 15th-century Florence." Library Journal
"[A] skillful and engrossing story of one of the watershed events in Western civilization." Kirkus Reviews
"With this book, Walker...widens his reputation for versatility. His newest work is sure to bring such sheer pleasure to people interested in history, architecture and art that many of them will regard the book itself as a work of art." BookPage
The two brilliant young Florentine artists, Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti, first competed to design a set of bronze doors for the Church of St. John the Baptist. The victory went to Ghiberti, who spent fifty years creating the magnificent doors and who cast a second set so exquisite that Michelangelo deemed them worthy to stand at the Gates of Paradise.
Brunelleschi took a different path, redefining himself as an architect, rediscovering the techniques of mathematical perspective, and solving the greatest construction problem of his time: the magnificent dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. Yet the dome was not Brunelleschi's glory alone; he was forced to share the commission with his old archrival Ghiberti, who seemed to haunt his every move.
In The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance, Paul Robert Walker breathes life into these two talented, passionate artists, and offers a glorious tour of fifteenth-century Florence, a bustling city on the verge of greatness in a time of flourishing creativity, rivalry, and genius.
Follows the fifteenth-century creation story of Florence's great Santa Maria del Fiore's dome, noting its design by innovative architect Filippo Brunelleschi, who was forced to share its commission with archrival and gifted sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti.
About the Author
Paul Robert Walker has written twenty books on subjects ranging from the Italian Renaissance and the American West to folklore, baseball, and miracles. A former teacher and journalist, he lives in Escondido, California, with his wife and two children.