The Lombard connection: northern influences in the Basilicas of San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito in Florence
By Matthew A. Cohen
Annali di architettura n.21 (2009)
Introduction: This account of the enthusiastic public reception of Filippo Brunelleschi’s Old Sacristy as it reached completion in the late 1420s, even if it perhaps embellished by Brunelleschi’s admiring biographer to enhance the architect’s reputation, is a remarkable record of the novelty and aesthetic appeal of Brunelleschi’s early Renaissance style according to one later fifteenth-century resident of Florence. Indeed, the account is not hard to believe, for the sacristy continues to be filled with admiring visitors today. The universal appeal of Brunelleschi’s unique style has inspired many scholars to explore its formal origins. What precedents did Brunelleschi assemble as inspirational raw materials, and how did he meld them into such an artistically expressive and influential form of architecture?