a pointed dome

a contest

In 1418 the Opera del Duomo organized a contest for the desing of the dome. One of the participants was Filippo Brunelleschi. In 90 days he builded a model with a 4m high dome with the assistance of some stone workers and wood carvers.

the egg of Brunelleschi

There was much wrangling and rivalry in the approval of the job. Brunelleschi's design was so revolutionary different than the plans of his concurrents that he met much opposition. Giorgio Vasari, who wrote biografies of the most important Italian artists of his time, tells how in the end Brunelleschi turned out to be the winner. Vasari often prefers a nice story above the true story, and has a very strong personal taste, but the story about the egg indeed is a nice one. "... Filippo proposed that he who could place an egg straight on a marble plate would get the appointment to build the dome. All of the masters present in the room tried in vain. Then Filippo took gently the egg, tapped it against the parble plate and put it straight. When the others said they could have done the same way Filippo replied that surely they would know to how to build the dome after seeing his plans and his model. And so Filippo got the appointment."

a pointed dome

Brunelleschi visited Rome to study the ancient Roman monuments. He made sketches of the Pantheon, but as prescribed in the rules of the contest, Brunelleschi didn't plannes a circular but a pointed dome. Drag in the applet the green point to the left and transform the circular dome into a pointe one.