Filippo Brunelleschi dies on April 15th, 1446
Every year on his death day, the city of Florence remembers the man that was an important symbol for the Renaissance. Let’ take a look at the artist’s life and footsteps.
Filippo Brunelleschi’s importance as an artist is clearly expressed in Giorgio Vasari’s words used in “Le Vite”.
“He was given to us from heaven to give architecture and new form”
Born in Florence in 1377, he was the son a distinguished notary who would have wanted him to pursue a law career, Filippo Brunelleschi began his artistic career as a goldsmith. Shortly after that he became a sculptor, scenographer, and above all an architect who was designing and building buildings which paved the way for other artists.
He is considered a man that was an important symbol for the Renaissance for his innovative projects, one of these being the famous dome of the Florence Cathedral. His works were able to overshadow any other building of that time and still represent today a unique human natural capacity and technical knowledge.
Anybody who goes to Piazza Duomo cannot help but remembering his accomplishments by looking up towards the heaven and observing the magnificent dome that is on top of the Florence Cathedral. There are at least other four places that might not be known by everyone but that must be seen and visited to be able to pay homage to Brunelleschi.
Brunelleschi’s marble bust inside the Florence Cathedral
After his death, Brunelleschi’s body was momentarily placed inside of Giotto’s Bell Tower up until the 30th of December of that same year when he was moved inside the Cathedral of Florence. There is a burial trace of this location on the wall of the right side of the cathedral where Brunelleschi’s bust was placed, created by sculptor and architect Andrea di Lazzaro Cavalcanti also known as Buggiano, along with an epitaph by Carlo Marsuppini.
"Both the magnificent dome of this famous church and many other devices invented by Filippo the architect, bear witness to his superb skill. Therefore, in tribute to his exceptional talents, a grateful country that will always remember him buries him here in the soil below on May 15th, 1446."
After the body’s first move, Brunelleschi’s burial traces were lost up until 1972, when during an excavation of Santa Reparata, the tomb was found there, where it is still possible to see it, on the right side of the crypt’s entrance.
The Death Mask
Inside the Opera Duomo Museum, that will reopen to the public on October 29th, 2015, Brunelleschi’s death mask is preserved, made from white plaster by Buggiano, who was the artist’s adopted child as well as his student and collaborator.
The artist’s eyes, looking at his masterpiece
A niche on the façade of Palazzo dei Canonici, which is located in front of the right side of the Cathedral, is where Filippo Brunelleschi’s statue is located, created by Luigi Pampaloni. The statue shows the artist’s eyes that are looking at his masterpiece and with an expression of amazement.