Filippo Brunelleschi is famous in history for his architecture and engineering skills. He was born in Florence in 1377, and trained as a sculptor and goldsmith. He decided to try his had at architecture when he tied in competition for the bronze doors of the Baptistery of Florence with Lorenzo Ghiberti. He is best known for the dome of the Florence Cathedral (1420-36), that he not only designed and oversaw the production of, but also created the machines used to build the structure. His father had been involved in the original plans for the cathedral dome in 1367. Brunelleschi created the dome by building a cylindrical base first, and then a double masonry dome. The design uses ribs and a pointed arch to support the vault. The result is a structure in which each portion reinforced the next as it was built.

Brunelleschi is also credited with helping to develop the theory of perspective and designing the sacristy and basilica of San Lorenzo. His later works foreshadowed the strong profiles and grandeur of later Renaissance artists. He died in 1446.

Brunelleschi’s work set standards for Renaissance artists the would follow in his footsteps. He had great influence on Alberti and Bramante.

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