Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Italian Renaissance (pt. 13)

He is perhaps most famous and more revered for having designed the dome of the Florence cathedral, the largest dome since the Pantheon, and the largest dome for over four centuries to follow.
Brunelleschi held a contest as to who would build the cupola (dome) since his engineering methods were frequently criticized.  He asked Florence's other engineers to make an egg stand upright on a flat piece of marble; whoever could do that would take charge over constructing the dome.  No one could do it.  Finally, Brunelleschi was asked to do it himself (others believing it impossible).  Brunelleschi cracked the bottom of the egg, and it stood upright.  When others complained his solution was too easy, that it could have been done by anybody, Brunelleschi's answer was basically, "But you didn't."  And so, he was put in charge of the dome construction.

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