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DOME OF SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE, Filippo Brunelleschi,1423-38. Florence, Italy.
In 1418 a contest was proclaimed for the model of dome, the first projects for which dated from a century before, but no winner was declared. Brunelleschi, who had journeyed to Rome with his friend Donatello to study ancient monuments, intensified his travels in the search for techniques that would allow him to “vault” a dome of great size without external reinforcement. Appointed superintendent together with Ghiberti in 1420, Filippo was now sure of his technical superiority to his rivals, who became the object of his ridicule. The herring-bone system he designed, in part inspired by Roman building techniques, allowed the dome to stand alone as the work gradually progressed, supported by the counter-thrust of the ribbing. He continued the work on his own, designing devices to lift the materials and scaffolding* to build the lantern, completed after his death. * a temporary structure on the outside of a building, made usually of wooden planks and metal poles, used by workers while building, repairing, or cleaning the building.
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