Brunelleschi’s Basilica
The Building of Santo Spirito in Florence

Publisher: Viella (Rome)

Published: September 2020

Author: Rocky Ruggiero, Ph.D.

Price: $45 + shipping

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Brunelleschi’s basilica of Santo Spirito in Florence was not only a product of creative genius, but also of communal bureaucracy, socio-economic traditions, human and financial resources, factionalism, and rivalry. This complex network of forces behind the monument serves as testimony to the determination and capacity of Renaissance Florentines to actualize the creative ideas of the extraordinary artists and architects who were transforming the profile of the city. Moreover, it reveals that the labor, spirit, and energy of those human beings who were building Renaissance Florence were just as important to its manufacture as the brick, stone and wood used to build it.

By investigating those aspects that defined the building tradition of the Renaissance – the architect, the Opera (building committee), the quartiere (neighborhood), the cantiere (worksite and workforce) – we discover that behind a great monument lies a monumental account of collective human achievement.

Rocky Ruggiero received his Ph.D. at the University of Exeter, UK, and is now Professor of Art History at Kent State University Florence. In addition to lecturing for various American other North American Universities in Florence, including Syracuse, Vanderbilt, and Boston College, he has starred in various TV documentaries concerning the Italian Renaissance.

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations
Introduction: Rebuilding the History of Santo Spirito
1. Medieval Florence and the Old Church of Santo Spirito
2. Brunelleschi and the New Church of Santo Spirito
3. The Opera of Santo Spirito
4. The Patron’s Conundrum – Family Chapels
5. Patterns of Patronage at Santo Spirito
6. Brunelleschi’s Architectural Inheritance
7. Finances and the Cantiere
8. Towards Completion
9. The Errors Made and Consented to by Others


Price: $45 + shipping

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ISBN: 9788833134734
294+16 illustrated pages
black and white images
5.91″ x 8.27″ (15 x 21 cm)