Friday, November 12, 2004

Currently Reading...

Brunelleschi's Dome, by Ross King, is the account of the construction of the dome of the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, with "its immense, terracotta-tiled cupola". It is a marvel of architecture, still incredibly imposing more than 500 years later. Brunelleschi, its creator, a predecessor of Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Palladio, lived at the beginning of the 15th century. The book is also a story of his life.

Very well documented, and with pictures as punctuation, the book is easy to read even though the techniques used to erect the Dome were far from simple. King brings out Brunelleschi's genius through dozens of accomplishments, including the first crane, which enabled the masons to lift 5-ton blocks of granite up 300 feet in the air. The writing is lively, far from dry. A well-worth read.

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