BRUNELLESCHI, Filippo
(b. 1377, Firenze, d. 1446, Firenze)

San Lorenzo: View of the nave toward the choir

1419-34
Photo
Piazza di San Lorenzo, Florence

This church was commissioned by Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici and Cosimo de' Medici. The building of the church was funded by a gift of 40.000 florins from Cosimo, in exchange for an agreement that he could be buried in front of the high altar and that the Medici arms would be the only arms to appear in the transept or choir. Work on the choir and the transept began c. 1425, the nave was designed in 1435 and constructed from 1442 to 1470s.

Brunelleschi was responsible for a revolution in the plan of church interiors and in the relation between church buildings and the urban complexes surrounding them. He was commissioned to build two of the major churches of Florence, Santo Spirito and San Lorenzo, and in each case he also submitted a design for an adjacent piazza. Although he never saw either church completed, and his projects for their piazze were not followed, Brunelleschi's new ideas for church interiors and his vision of harmonious urban design remained influential for centuries.