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Feud That Sparked the Renaissance: How Brunelleschi and Ghiberti Changed the Art World
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Feud That Sparked the Renaissance: How Brunelleschi and Ghiberti Changed the Art World

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  190 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A lively and intriguing tale of the competition between two artists, culminating in the construction of the Duomo in Florence, this is also the story of a city on the verge of greatness, and the dawn of the Renaissance, when everything artistic would change.

Florence′s Duomo - the dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral - is one of the most enduring symbols of the Itali
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1990)
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Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Something happened in Florence six hundred years ago,something so unique and miraculous that it changed our world forever. We call it the Renaissance, a rebirth of ancient art and learning.’

This story begins in the waning days of the 14th century, and tells the story of the competition between Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi to design and produce a new set of bronze doors for the Church of St John the Baptist (The Baptistery) in Florence. Ghiberti won this particular competition, but
Simone Fournier
For my second summer book, I read The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance: How Brunelleschi and Ghiberti Changed the Art World, by Paul Robert Walker. This book centers around two great artists of the early Italian Renaissance Period, Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti. Although these two young men came from very different origins, they both entered the Florentine art scene around the same time, in competition over who would design the bronze North Doors of the Florence Baptistery. Ghiberti ...more
I wanted to like this book.
The very premise that there was a 'feud' .. well he never wrote about it beyond the fact that one artist lost one commission. Hardly a feud.
I did like learning the history from the early Renaissance a period I do know know much about.

Also the story was very choppy .. didn't really follow just one artist... it was vaguely chronological but... just needed some more editing

I will look into this period of history more though.
Amber Tritabaugh
This is difficult to listen to without prior knowledge of Renaissance Florence, but it pairs really well with the Khan Academy coverage of the same topic. Listen to the book, and when key characters and buildings are introduced, read/watch a brief article/video for context. Between the two resources, I learned a LOT.
It was a good book with a great overview of the artists of the early Quattrocento, I was especially happy about the biographical look at Masaccio. However, if one is interested in the actual construction of Il Duomo and why it took one hundred years to complete, one should read "Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King. Not too mention, Walker makes it sound like Brunelleschi pulled all of his geometry and technical skills out of his ass. He rarely touches on Brunelleschi's friendship with Toscanelli (o ...more
A fascinating look at the rivalry between Brunelleschi and Ghiberti beginning with the competition to design the Baptistery doors by each submitting one panel for the door with the theme the Sacrifice of Isaac. Both panels are exquisite but Ghiberti was given the commission to create the doors. 15 years later, Brunelleschi begins work on Florence’s icon – the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral. Walker combines this artistic rivalry with Renaissance intrigue, and discusses other Renaissance ...more
Craig Masten
It's been awhile since I read this book, but as I recall I found it an entertaining and informative study of how these two men created their masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. All you ever want to know and more on the techniques employed.
Mary Beth
It feels like Walker decided to use everything he found in his research, rather than do some trimming that would have made the narrative a bit less meandering. This meandering and the overall style undermine "the feud" aspect; especially since it felt like there were "oh, wait, I need to mention the feud!" moments. As some of the other reviewers mention, it does read a bit like a weaker version of Brunellesci's Dome, which I found the more interesting read overall.
David Eppenstein
Unless you are interested in architectural history and in particular the architecture of the Italian Renaissance then this book will bore you to tears. I, on the other hand, did find the book informative and enlightening. I particularly enjoyed delving into the personalities of these two Renaissance giants and learning about the customs and bureaucracy of Renaissance Florence. A good book if you're into this period of history.
This book drags at many point, but is interesting where he gets into the meat of Brunelleschi's work. Not sure there was an actual feud. Seems more like competition where commissions were at times hard to obtain. Wondering where the notes are for the author's thoughts. If this is non- fiction they are missing.
I learned a lot, but it can be very "in the weeds." I love esoteric, in-depth history, but this got a little too into the details even for me. On the other hand, I knew almost nothing about art history before, and now feel like I have at least a basic grasp on this period.
An entertaining and compelling read that gives the history of the beginning or the Renaissance from the perspective of the lives of the amazing individuals individuals involved, that brings the subject matter to a more real feel than any other book I've read on the subject.
It was an interesting historical saga, but the guy's writing leaves a little to be desired. Every piece of art was "bold" or "daring", and I just don't see it. Also, I'm still confused by his construction descriptions of the Duomo -- and I'm a civil engineer...
Sandra Strange
Fascinating account of the feud between Brunellesci (same as in Brunelleschi's Dome) and its consequences: Brunelleschi's revolutionizing painting and architecture, helping add to the gathering wave of the Renaissance.
I am surprised how boring this book was. If I were to choose a new field to study for fun, it would be history, and yet I found few interesting parts of this book.
Glen Grayson
This was a follow up to Brunellechi's Dome, but I liked the original better, although this dealt with some additional historical bits, so it was worth it.
This is an interesting account of these Italian (Florence) artists. The book could benefit from more pictures of their work.
Compelling story, but the author seems to have fallen in love with every fact he came across making for slog at times.
Inspiring. A must for all who love the Art of Science or the Science of Art or simply the hazy idea thereof.
Caulyne B
I thought this book was great before I went to Florence. Then I reread it and got so much more out of it!!
Occasionally a bit too detailed, nevertheless a great intro to the men who began the Italian Renaissance.
Laura Rose Clawson
Dry but interesting. There's a reason I have an art history minor.
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I was born in Oak Park, Illinois—just like Ernest Hemingway, only later.

I’ve been saying this in biographies for a long time, and it sounds pretty good. Ernest Hemingway is big stuff, and how many authors are born in Oak Park, Illinois?

Yet recently I was taken to task during a visit to the Fresno area, where two—count them two—separate individuals pinned me down with grueling interrogations involv
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