Brunelleschi, Philip

, an eminent Italian architect, was born at Florence in 1377. His father was a notary, and his sou for some time was apprenticed to a goldsmith, but afterwards discovered a turn for geometry, in which he was instructed by Paul Toscanelli. A journey which he happened to take to Rome gave him a taste for architecture, which he hftproved by the study of the edifices in that city, and had a very early opportunity of trying his skill. A dome was wanted for the church of St. Maria del Fiore at Florence; the ablest architects had been requested to send in their plans, and that of Brunelleschi was adopted, and carried into execution with an effect which astonished Michael Angelo himself. He was next employed by Cosmo the Great in building the abbey of Fesoli, and was afterwards solicited for the plan of a palace for Cosmo. Brunelleschi accordingly gave in a design of great magnificence, but Cosmo thought proper to prefer one more suited to the prudent economy which was then necessary for him, and Brunelleschi was so irritated that he destroyed his design. | Brunelleschi afterwards built the Pitti palace, in part, and the church of St. Lorenzo in Florence almost entirely. He also gave some designs in military architecture. He is said to have been the first who attempted to restore the Grecian orders of architecture, and under his control this branch of the art attained a degree of perfection which it had not known from the time of the ancients. Brunelieschi died in 1446, greatly lamented, and was interred with sumptuous funeral honours, and Cosmo erected a monument to his memory. He is said to have employed his leisure hours in cultivating Italian poetry, and some of his burlesque verses have been printed along with those of Burchieiio: there is a separate poem, “Geta e Birna,” ascribed to him and to Domenico dal Prato, Venice, 1516, 8vo, but this seems doubtful. It is more certain that he wrote architectural descriptions of all his works, some of which are, or lately were, in Cosmo’s palace at Florence, now the residence of the noble family of Riccardi. 1

1 Dict. Hist. Argenville. Roscoe’s Lorenzo.