HISTORY OF VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE AND HUMAN SETTLEMENTS-IV CATHEDRAL OF FLORENCE BY: AISHWARYA DEOPUJARI AKSHAY ANAND RISHABH GUPTA
INTRODUCTION The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or Cathedral of Florence (English: Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower) is the main church of Florence, Italy. Its construction begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo.
CONCEPT AND OVERVIEW The concept of the dome first emerged during the renaissance in the form of an architectural marvel that tops the cathedral of florence. The construction of the dome marks the beginning of renaissance architecture; the cathedral and its dome together represent early renaissance style-- one that blends old and new designs. Brunelleschi travelled to Rome with the sculptor Donatello to study architecture; there, the two artists investigated various roman ruins to learn about the design and proportion of buildings, as well as the construction of arches and columns. Although Brunelleschi never duplicated classical features, he borrowed ideas from the ancient ruins and incorporated them into the design of his dome.
PARTS OF THE CATHEDRAL 1. The baptistery of saint john 2. The cathedral of santa maria del fiore (the duomo) with the excavations of santa reparata 3. Giotto's bell tower 4. The museum of the opera del duomo 5. The cathedral canonries 6. The lay confraternity of mercy 7. The bigallo portico 8. The archbishop's palace 9. The column of saint zanobius 10. The pisan porphyry columns
PLAN AND STRUCTURE The cathedral of Florence is built as a basilica, having a wide central nave of four square bays, with an aisle on either side. The chancel and transepts are of identical polygonal plan, separated by two smaller polygonal chapels. The whole plan forms a Latin cross. The nave and aisles are separated by wide pointed Gothic arches resting on composite piers. The dimensions of the building are enormous: 1. length 153 metres (502 ft). 2. width 38 metres (124 ft). 3. width at the crossing 90 metres (295 ft). 4. The height of the arches in the aisles is 23 metres (75 ft). The height of the dome is 114.5 m.
Exterior: A - NORTH DOOR (FACADE) B - MIDDLE DOOR (FACADE) C - SOUTH DOOR (FACADE) D - BELL TOWER DOOR E - CANON'S DOOR F - ALMOND DOOR G - BALE DOOR
THE DOMUS Employed the Gothic pointed arch cross section instead of a semicircular one To reduce dead load, he created a double shell as was done in the Pantheon Employed 24 vertical ribs and 5 horizontal rings of sandstone, as observed in the ruins of Roman construction The cupola on top was a temple of masonry acting as a weight on top of the dome. A wooden framework was laid on which stone strings were attached at 5 segments/levels. Bricks were laid on top of the framework. Herringbone fashion of construction was followed. The Ribs, 13 feet (4 meters) deep, are supported by 16 concealed ribs radiating from center. The ribs had slits to take beams that supported platforms, thus allowing the work to progress upward without the need for scaffolding.[
THE DOMUS •Giorgio Vasari's fresco of the Last Judgment (1572-9). •Spans an area of 33,000 sq ft.
CENTERING OF THE DOME
INTERIORS The centre nave is created by great Gothic vaults resting on wide arches that divide the space in to four square bays, giving a more classical than Gothic harmony to the structure. The arches rest in their turn on powerful composite pilasters similar to those Francesco Talenti used for the Loggia dei Lanzi. What we see today is probably the result of Talenti's variations on Arnolfo's design, which foresaw a major number of bays and pilasters (and therefore windows). The fresco of the old Santa Reparata in the Museum of the Bigallo also gives us this impression.
INTERIORS The design and execution of the polychrome marble flooring is attributed to Baccio d'Agnolo and Francesco da Sangallo (1520-26). The naves and the tribune are illuminated by the beautiful 15th century stained glass windows created by artists like Ghiberti, Paolo Uccello, Donatello and Andrea del Castagno The lunette above the door in fact contains a mosaic by Gaddo Gaddi (early 14th century), who also worked on the mosaics in the Baptistery. The three round stained glass windows, together with the one in the cupola, were carried out from paintings by Ghiberti (1403-13), and can be said to be among the few remaining proofs of his pictorial activity.
INTERIORS The famous clock on the inner facade, with its quadrant and medallions, was painted in fresco by Paolo Uccello (1443). It is one of the few mechanical clocks that still exists and works: it has only one hand and tells the time by going round in the opposite direction compared to modern clocks because it measures the time from sunset to sunset. The wall also contains the tomb of Bishop d'Orso (1321), one of the most beautiful works of sculpture in the Cathedral.
INTERIORS The lefthand nave contains frescoes by Paolo Uccello and Andrea del Castagno while the Last Judgement by Vasari -Zuccari is painted in the cupola. The crucifix in wood above the high altar is the work of sculptor Benedetto da Maiano (1477). Three apses, separated by the two sacristies (bas- reliefs by Luca della Robbia), open into the transept, each one divided into five chapels. The chapel behind the high altar contains Ghiberti's masterpiece of goldsmithery: the Urn of St. Zanobus. Below the cupola stands the huge octagonal chancel curtained off by an elegant marble balustrade by Baccio Bandinelli (1555), which was once decorated with numerous bas-reliefs and statues, many of them now conserved in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo.
EXTERIORS The main feature of the exterior of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is the rich articulation with colored marble - white from Carrara, green from Prato and red from the Maremma. There is marble everywhere -on the façade built in the medieval Gothic style, on the sides of the aisles leading to the nave, on the buttresses, the small side domes and the massive main dome. The alternating colors show rectitude and beauty, the two basic principles of Florentine art. The exterior has an abundance of sculpted figures. Bronze doors. Mosaic pavements.
TIMELINE 1296— cathedral begun on design byarnolfo di cambio. 1357— project continued on a modified plan by francesco talenti 1366-7— talenti's definitive design emerged calling for an enormous octagonal dome. 1418— competition for construction of dome . 1420— technical solution for vaulting proposed by brunelleschi approved and construction begun. 1436— church consecrated.