The New York Times bestselling, award winning story of the construction of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence and the Renaissance genius who reinvented architecture to build it.
On August 19, 1418, a competition concerning Florence’s magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore was announced: “Whoever desires to make any model or design for the vaulting of the main Dome….shall do so before the end of the month of September.” The proposed dome was regarded far and wide as all but impossible to build: not only would it be enormous, but its original and sacrosanct design shunned the flying buttresses that supported cathedrals all over Europe. The dome would literally need to be erected over thin air.
Of the many plans submitted, one stood out–a daring and unorthodox solution to vaulting what is still the largest dome in the world. It was offered not by a master mason or carpenter, but by a goldsmith and clockmaker named Filippo Brunelleschi, then forty-one, who would dedicate the next twenty-eight years to solving the puzzles of the dome’s construction. In the process, he reinvented the field of architecture.
is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder we continue to marvel at today. Award-winning, bestselling author Ross King weaves this drama amid a background of the plagues, wars, political feuds, and the intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence to bring the dome’s creation to life in a fifteenth-century chronicle with twenty-first-century resonance.