History / Karen / Nonfiction / Nonfiction Book Club

Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King

If you are planning to read this book, here is what you need to be or need to have done:

 An architect (this wins hands-down!)

An art historian (you could probably have been an art history major, but you would need to have memorized lots of dates. And I mean lots!)

A physicist (with a minor in art history)

 Or, you have gone to Florence, Italy a few times and you took some really, really good pictures of the dome. And have a good memory.

 Now, although I am not nor have I done the above, I was fortunate enough to have been with the non-fiction book discussion and we did have an art history major and another couple that just came back from Florence. Perfect!

 Brunelleschi’s Dome is an account of a how a cathedral in Florence with no roof in 1296 ended up being this amazing dome today. And all because of the talent of a goldsmith/clockmaker named Filippo Brunelleschi. In 1418, he entered and won a contest to build this dome. Not only did he do this, but the fact that he basically had to invent the necessary tools needed to build it was astounding on every level. We are talking about a three-speed hoist with a system of gears, pulleys, screws and drive shafts with ropes tied to animals. But it worked!

 The discussion was mostly positive, except for a few of us that could not comprehend the magnitude of the project. The book was very technical, so it is not for everyone.

 The best part of the discussion was the show-and-tell portion, as two of our members had just returned from a vacation in Florence and they had beautiful photos to share. These pictures put everything in perspective for the rest of us.

 Overall, a good discussion on a well-researched book.



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