In 1401 Jehan Aubelet, maître d'œuvre du roi, with his nephew, Jehan Prévôt, was sent by Raymond du Temple to inspect the works at the Cathedral of Troyes (France). In 1403 Aubelet became maître des œuvres to the Duke of Orleans.
Brunelleschi Brunellesco (Filippo di ser Brunellesco)
architect ; b. 1377; d. 1446.
Filippo's father received the name Brunellesco from his own mother's family, the Bnunelleschi, of Florence. Filippo was born in Florence, and apprenticed to a goldsmith. He was early interested in mechanics, and made many practical inventions. Two statuettes of prophets, in the silver retable of S. Giacomo at Pistoia, are supposed to be by him. He made, also, a wooden crucifix, at S. Maria Novella. He entered the competition for the doors of the Florentine Baptistery, in 1401. From 1401 to 1417 Brunellesco appears to have lived in Rome, with Donatello, making occasional visits to Florence. In 1404 he joined the corporation of jewellers, and, in the same year, served on a commission at the cathedral of Florence. In 1415 he again appears at the cathedral. The general scheme of the dome was, undoubtedly, established by the model made about 1367. (See Giovanni di Lapo Ghini.) In 1417 the work had proceeded as far as the oculi in the eight sides of the drum. The cupola itself was begun in 1425. Ghiberti and Brunellesco, both members of the guild of goldsmiths, of Florence, 376 were associated at first on equal terms. Filippo superseded Ghiberti, and became capo maestro about 1438, and provisore a vita in 1445. The lantern was finished in 1461 (after his death), from Brunellesco's model. All Brunellesco's work is in Florence or vicinity. The reconstruction of S. Lorenzo was begun not later than 1420. Filippo finished the old sacristy and transept of that church before he died. The nave was built from his plans, after his death, by Manetti Ciacheri. He built the Badia, at Fiesole, near Florence, after 1439. The second cloister of S. Croce was built from his designs. The church of S. Spirito was begun by Brunellesco, and finished after his death. The chapel of the Pazzi, at S. Croce, Filippo's most perfect building, was begun not earlier than 1429. The unfinished church of the Camaldoli, or degli Angeli, was begun after 1426. The plan is an interesting example of eight sides on the inside, changing to sixteen on the outside, The Spedale degli Innocenti was commenced in 1419. The Loggia, with sculpture by Andrea della Robbia, is well known. He began the Pitti palace, for Luca Pitti, about 1444. Many drawings of this building, after the end of the fifteenth century, show the three stories of the facade, with only seven windows in the second and third. The rest has been added since. The Pazzi palace is attributed to Filippo without documentary evidence. He built a large part of the Palazzo della parte Guelfa. Brunellesco is credited with having discovered the modern science of perspective.
Lorenzo de' Ghiberti
goldsmith, sculptor, and architect; b. 1378; d. December, 1455.
The earliest of the three pairs of bronze doors of the baptistery of Florence was made by Andrea da Pisa. In 1401 a competition was opened for another. According to Vasari the competitors were Ghiberti and Brunellesco of Florence, Giacomo della Quercia and Francesco Valdambrini of Siena, Nicolò Spinelli and Nicolò Lamberti of Arezzo, and Simone of Colle in Val d' Elsa. The competitive panels of the "Sacrifice of Abraham," executed by Brunellesco and Ghiberti, are both in the Museo Nazionale, Florence. Ghiberti was successful, and began the work in December, 1403. It was finished in April, 1424. In a document of April 16, 1420, he is mentioned as associated on equal terms with Brunellesco in building the cupola of the cathedral of Florence. He appears occasionally in the records, but had little to do with the actual construction. January 2, 1424 (before the completion of his first doors), Ghiberti received a commission for another pair for the Florentine baptistery. This, the most celebrated work of its kind in existence, was finished in 1452. It is composed of ten panels in relief representing subjects from the Old Testament. In the framework are busts and figures in high relief. Ghiberti modelled also the beautiful framework of birds and foliage. The cartoons for many of the painted glass windows in the Florentine cathedral were drawn by Ghiberti. He was succeeded by his son Vittorio; and there were sculptors of the Ghiberti family in the sixteenth century. Much of our information about Ghiberti is taken from his Commentaries, extracts from which are published by Perkins in his monograph.
Giacomo (Jacopo) della Guercia (or Guercia)
sculptor; b. about 1374; d. 1438.
Giacomo probably derived his name from the village of Quercia Grossa, near Siena, Italy. In 1401 he competed for the bronze doors of the baptistery in Florence. One of his most charming works is the recumbent statue on the monument to Ilaría, wife of Paolo Guinigi, in the cathedral of Lucca. The first contract for the fountain of the Piazza del Campo, the so-called Fonte Gaia, at Siena, dates from January 22, 1409. It was completed in 1419. The retable of the Trenta chapel in the church of S. Frediano at Lucca was finished in 1422. About 1430 he made one of the bas-reliefs in the font of the baptistery at Siena. Another is by Donatello. March 28, 1425, Giacomo made a contract to decorate the great portal of the church of S. Petronio in Bologna. The bas-reliefs, representing scenes from the Creation, which he made for this door are among the finest works of the early Italian Renaissance.