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Monday, May 09, 2005



to start to get through all the photos we took in italy is difficult -- so many. but for starters, this is the church of san spirito -- probably the finest example of the renaissance ethic ever assembled by the genius of brunelleschi.

the proportions of the basilica are almost absurdly perfect -- a real sense of all being in order pervades the place, and nothing seems odd or mistaken.

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nearly as perfect, brunelleschi's unused sepulchre for the pazzi family, wiped out by the medici before anyone could be interred. della robbia glazes decorate the interior.

the extremely clean, symmetrical design is exactly the objective of early humanist architecture.

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of course, brunelleschi's -- and florence's -- crowning achievement is the massive duomo. the first dome of such span built since antiquity, it is testament to the man's immense engineering genius.

the duomo absolutely towers over the city -- a statement of both outsized civic pride and dedication to god -- visible even from miles away in the hills surrounding the city.

the interior, decorated by vasari somewhat later on, was to be mosaic in brunelleschi's original plan.

this of course is just a taste of brunelleschi's titanic legacy in western civilization, and these places were among the most affecting we visited in and around florence.

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