Both dome and architect offer King plenty of rich material. The story of the dome goes back to 1296, when work began on the cathedral, but it was only in 1420, when Brunelleschi won a competition over his bitter rival Lorenzo Ghiberti to design the daunting cupola, that work began in earnest. King weaves an engrossing tale from the political intrigue, personal jealousies, dramatic setbacks, and sheer inventive brilliance that led to the paranoid Filippo, "who was so proud of his inventions and so fearful of plagiarism," finally seeing his dome completed only months before his death. King argues that it was Brunelleschi's improvised brilliance in solving the problem of suspending the enormous cupola in bricks and mortar (painstakingly detailed with precise illustrations) that led him to "succeed in performing an engineering feat whose structural daring was without parallel." He tells a compelling, informed story, ranging from discussions of the construction of the bricks, mortar, and marble that made up the dome, to its subsequent use as a scientific instrument by the Florentine astronomer Paolo Toscanelli. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Fascinating read about the history, life, and times of Renaissance Florence and the building of this masterpiece cathedral.Published 11 hours ago by Mark Jackson
Ross King is a terrific author. I have read every one of his books and can't get enough. He brings history and art to life in a way like no other!Published 9 days ago by Paula Wallrich
A fascinating history written in a free flowing style with great detail and splendid insight. Anyone who has traveled to Florence, Italy or plans to travel should read this... Read morePublished 13 days ago by jml1931
I wish I had read this book before climbing the steps of Filipino and his workmen to the top of the dome. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Sharon
Though the story itself is excellent, the book that arrived was in rougher shape than anticipated.Published 16 days ago by Mimi Klotz
The historical side information was as great as the main subject coverage. I would recommend it to anyone who appreciates real insight into historical life.Published 18 days ago by Ronald R. Whisler