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Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the leading architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance, and is best known for his work on the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) in Florence.
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Brunelleschi displayed his findings with two painted panels (since lost) of Florentine streets and buildings. By using Brunelleschi's perspective principles, artists of his generation were able to use two-dimensional canvases to create illusions of three-dimensional space, crafting a realism not seen previously.
Linear perspective as an artistic tool soon spread throughout the whole of Italy and then through Western Europe, and has remained a staple in artistic creation since.
Brunelleschi is also known for building or rebuilding military fortifications in such Italian cities as Pisa, Rencine, Vicopisano, Castellina and Rimini. He also created a hoist-like mechanism to help stage theatrical religious performances in Florentine churches (to assist angels in flying, for instance) and is credited with securing the first modern patent for a riverboat he invented.
Brunelleschi died in Florence on April 15, 1446, and is entombed in the Duomo. He is remembered as one of the giants of Renaissance architecture. The inscription on his grave within the basilica reads: "Both the magnificent dome of this famous church and many other devices invented by Filippo the architect bear witness to his superb skill. Therefore, in tribute to his exceptional talents, a grateful country that will always remember buries him here in the soil below."
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