DUOMO OF SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE
Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore, as now existing,
was begun in 1298. When the base of the dome was reached (1420),
the space to be covered, 138½ feet in diameter, was so great
that the closing of it with a dome was believed impossible; but Filippo
Brunelleschi undertook it, and in 1446 completed the wonderful work
which marks an epoch in architecture and is the first great triumph
of the Renaissance. The dome is octagonal, slightly pointed, and
surmounted by a lantern the apex of which is 387 feet above the pavement,
the cathedral is 500 feet long, and 128 feet across nave and aisles.
The interior is encrusted with colored marbles inlaid and arranged in
panels, the general effect of which is not good. The grouping of the
dome with the pentagonal apse and transcepts and intermediate members
is extremely impressive. The facade has been built since 1875. The
nave is 153 feet high, the aisles 96; but there are only 4 square bays,
making the proportions so bad the effect of enormous size is lost.
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HEYWORTH BUILDING, CHICAGO
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