Arts And Humanities Through The Eras. Renaissance Europe, by Edward Bleiberg

By Edward Bleiberg

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The scale of this project was unprecedented in European history, and in Bramante, Julius found an architect whose designs were equal to his goals. Bramante designed the new structure to be a centralstyle church that radiated from a commanding dome. Like many of the projects that Julius began, however, the rebuilding of St. Peter’s was too immense to be completed in a single lifetime. The pope accepted Bramante’s designs and had his workmen begin the demolition of Constantine’s basilica. He also ensured that the central piers that were to support Bramante’s dome were begun before his death in 1513.

The family demolished a huge city block that included a massive medieval tower that belonged to a noble count, several shops, and at least four other houses in order to build its new home. While the interiors of these dwellings offered definite improvements in comfort over most medieval structures, a palace’s walls were frequently plain and unadorned. The amassing of collections of art, a custom that grew more popular at the time, did much to relieve the monotony of Florence’s new interior spaces.

In the case of both churches Brunelleschi planned to situate the structures within impressive piazzas that would serve as a focus for civic life. Unfortunately, neither design was executed in the way in which the artist had wished, although later architects studied his plans. Thus they had an indirect impact upon developing ideas about urban design in the Renaissance. For the Church of Santa Croce in Florence, Brunelleschi designed a third architectural masterpiece, the small Pazzi Chapel that is a freestanding structure on the church’s grounds.

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