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AND BUREAUCRACY BRUNELLESCHI The Tradition of Public Patronage at the Florentine Cathedral MARGARETHAINES D- , uring the fourteenthcenturythe governingboard of the Florentine Duomo evolved from a series of sporadic su- pervisory committees to an institution whose authority had been tested and structuresrefined in response to the gigantic prob- lems of funding and design that arose during the construction of the new cathedral. This remarkableinstitution, the Opera of S. Maria del Fiore, has long been the object of scholarly interest. In the last century, the illustration of its institutional history constituted the ultimate, if unrealized, aim of Cesare Guasti, con- ditioning the choice of sources assembled in his two fundamental volumes on the cathedral.!Modern studies of the Duomo, how- ever specific their aim, have benefitted from the breadth of Guasti's view, and some scholars have followed his lead with 1 C. GUASTI, La Cupola di Santa Maria del Fiore illustrata con i documenti dell'Archivio dell'Opera secolare. Saggio di una compiuta illustrazione dell'Ope- ra secolare e del tempio di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, 1857. The broader intentions of the author, clearly indicated in the subtitle of this volume, are explained in its dedication, p. V. Guasti's second documentarycorpus, treat- ing the history of the cathedral from 1293 until the period of the cupola, Santa Maria del Fiore. La costruzione della chiesa e del campanile secondo i documenti tratti dall'Archivio dell'Opera secolare e da quello di Stato, Florence, 1887, was prefaced by a fuller description of his ideal plan, embracing the administrative history of the Opera, pp. XVI-XXI. Although the accompanying "Discorsoanalitico su' documenti",pp. XXXIII-CXIV, was ostensibly limited to the history of the monument,it in fact constantlyreveals Guasti's interest in the Juridicaland administrativepolicies of the Opera and as such has constituted an importantguide to subsequent studies. For convenience, in this essay the frequent referencesto the two Guasti volumes will appearin abbreviatedform: Cup. (for 1857) and SMF (for 1887), each followed by the appropriatedocu- ment number (and by the page number only in cases of extremely lengthy do- cuments). 89 Casa Editrice Leo S. Olschki s.r.l. and Villa I Tatti, The Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve, and extend access to I Tatti Studies: Essays in the Renaissance ® www.jstor.org MARGARET HAINES inquiries into the Opera's administrativestructures!2 Nevertheless it seems possible to improve our grasp of the political mentality behind the institutional framework if we are prepared to pause over those aspects of the documentationwhich have perhaps least interested art historians: rhetoric and attention to form. In these eddies in the flow of events, a vocabulary emerges which was formed together with the institution, perpetratingits own ideo- logical and constitutional bases.3 Specifically, in the face of de- 2 The fullest study of the Opera for the period up to 1370 is A. GROTE, Das Dombauamtin Florenz, 1285-1370. Studien zur Geschichte der Opera di Santa Reparata,Munich, [1959/61]; for the trecento see also L. MUSTARI, The Sculptor in the Fourteenth-Century Florentine Opera del Duomo, PhD disser- tation, University of Iowa, 1975, esp. pp. 12ff, "The Opera of Santa Maria del Fiore". A survey of the institution from the thirteenth century up through the period of the cupola is in H. SAALMAN, Filippo Brunelleschi. The Cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore, London, 1980, esp. pp. 173ff, "Guild Control after 1331: The Opera of SantaMariadel Fiore". Interestingfor their comparativeapproach, if extremely cursory, are W. BRAUNFELS, MittelalterlicheStadtbaukunstin der Toskana, Berlin, 1953, esp. 151ff, "Die Domopera"; and C. MACCARI, "Le Opere del Duomo in Toscana",Fede e arte, VIII, 1960, pp. 286-301. Fuller comparisonswith the administrationof other cathedral churches, beyond the scope of the present essay, would yield both analogies and contrasts to the Flo- rentine situation. See, for example, the study of the civic and spiritual signi- ficance of the Milanese Fabbricadel Duomo: G. SOLDI RONDININI, "La fabbrica del Duomo come espressionedello spirito religioso e civile della societa milanese" (Studi e testi di storia in idem, Saggi di storia e storiografiavisconteo-sforzesche medioevale, n. 7), Bologna, 1984, pp. 49-64. The vast generalbibliographyon the Florentinecathedralcan be approached through W. and E. PAATZ, Die Kirchen von Florenz, III, Frankfurtam Main, 1952, pp. 320ff; an updating and overview of this material is provided by SAALMAN, op. cit., while the matter of Brunelleschiand the cupola is exhaus- tively treated in C. BOZZONI-G. CARBONARA, Filippo Brunelleschi:saggio di bi- bliografia,2 vols., Rome, 1977-1978. Those scholars who have worked closest to the documentary sourceshave typicallydisplayedat least a subconsciousaware- ness of the Opera's structuresand practices. Since nearly all of the sources dis- cussed in the present paper have been considered in previous studies, my debt to this body of scholarshipwill be evident even where my interpretationdiverges from earlier formulations. No attempt will be made here, however, to register systematicallyprevious interpretationsof the documentationdiscussed when the matter seems to be well consideredby the recent bibliographycited. to 3 For the applicationof the concept of "normativevocabulary" the study of Florentinepolitical institutions see the importantstudy of J. NAJEMY, Corpo- ratism and Consensus in Florentine Electoral Politics, 1280-1400, Chapel Hill, 1982, especially the introductorycomments on pp. 15-16: "The language that legitimates and determinespolitical behavior is most likely to be found in the records documenting the evolution of those institutions that gave shape and 90 AND BUREAUCRACY BRUNELLESCHI cisions of vast responsibility, the Opera developed a tradition of consultation and consensus-buildingwhich explicitly evoked the perception of its relationship to the city's government and ulti- mately to the Florentine populace. The concept of representationalgovernment accountableto its constituency is, of course, inherent in the spirit of republicanism, so important and persistent in Florentine political ideology. The oscillations of the communal regime from broadly democratic to narrowly oligarchic were negotiated in terms of the proportional representationallotted to constitutionally defined categories of ci- tizens, and the rapid rotation of all offices guaranteed plurality of participationwithin the politically enfranchisedclass. Further- more, although the highest office of the Commune, the Signoria, enjoyed vast powers, while the councils' role was limited to voting on legislative proposals, public consultation on the formulation of policy thrived in the form of the "Consulte e pratiche", ad hoc advisory committees whose proceedings constitute a precious record of the decision-makingprocess for a span of two centu- ries.' These meetings were in reality no more representativethan the choice of the citizens convoked, but their very existence tes- tifies to the governmental officials' awareness of their responsi- bility to sound out and consider a variety of opinions on matters of public concern. Since the Opera del Duomo was, as we shall see, a delegate of the Florentine Commune and its members were typically expo- nents of the city's ruling class, it is not surprising that its prac- tices bore a marked resemblanceto those of the civic government. This is not to affirmthat the Opera directly mimicked its parent substance to political assumptions,ideas and goals"; so that "the meaning of events was built into the languageand structureof the institutions themselves". 4 E. CONTI, Le "Consulte" "Pratiche" e della Repubblicafiorentinanel Quat- trocento, I, 1401, Cancellierato Coluccio Salutati, ed. idem et al., Pisa, 1981, di pp. Vff. The importanceof these consultative processes in the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuriesis underscored G. BRUCKERin FlorentinePolitics and by Society, 1343-1378, Princeton, 1962, esp. pp. VI, 72ff, and idem, The Civic World of Early RenaissanceFlorence, Princeton, 1977, esp. p. 13. Their signi- ficance during the Medicean period is illustrated by N. RUBINSTEIN, The Go- vernmentof Florence under the Medici (1434 to 1494), Oxford, 1966. For an analysis of the same practicesfrom 1494 to 1512 see F. GILBERT, "Florentine Political Assumptionsin the Period of Savonarolaand Soderini",Journal of the Warburgand CourtauldInstitutes, XX, 1957, pp. 187-214. 91 MARGARETHAINES institutions, but rather that its development was conditioned by the same republican mentality and by a constitutionally derived sense of public accountability. As an institution charged with the management of an enterprise of universal significance to -the citizens of Florence, it may even have preceded and exceeded the Commune in the evolution of consensus-buildingprocesses in the 1360s.5 The sense of legitimacy and purpose consolidated and articulated in this period was bequeathed to subsequent genera- tions and constitutes a vital key to the interpretation of Brunel- leschi's relationship to the Opera di S. Maria del Fiore in the next century. The following analysis of how experience forged tradition over the first century and a half of the cathedral's building history will, of necessity, proceed in a highly condensed form, galloping through intensely studied terrain, while avoiding, whenever possible, controversial questions of design and chrono- logy which do not seem crucial to the definition of the Opera's role vis-a-vis its professional consultants and collaborators,on the one hand, and the public and its institutions, on the other. An early phase of the rebuilding of the city's ancient cathedral, dedicated to S. Reparata, was plagued by unstable and discon- tinuous funding from both public and ecclesiastical sources. Com- munal subsidies began with frequent, if timid, allotments for the repair of the old church.6 These soon grew into more substantial serial allocations which accompanied the decision to rebuild the cathedral, with support reaching an annual level of 4,000 lire up through 1303.7 All these measures were voted by overwhelm- 5 BRUCKER, Florentine Politics (see note 4), pp. 76-77; cf. the observations on consensus politics in the electoral scrutinies in the 1350s and 1360s and in the period after 1382 in NAJEMY,op. cit. (see note 3), pp. 166ff, 263ff. 6 SMF 1, 3-4, 6-8, allotments recorded from 1293. Proposals for public funding are known from 1285 and 1292: GROTE, op. cit. (see note 2), p. 30 with correcteddating of SMF 2. 7 SMF 9, 13, 17, 18, 22, 26. Additional measureslegislated in 1295 and 1296 (SMF 10, 16) were aimed at collecting monies directly from the populace. It would be difficult to estimate their success, for there was apparentlyno effi- cient enforcementagency: the first was an offering of atonement invited from those who knew themselves to be guilty of fraud with public funds; the se- cond, a tax on wills and a surtax prorated to the amount of communal lira tax assessed to individuals in the city and territory, was to be exacted by un-salariedrectors of the bishop. For estimates of Opera income in this and the following period see D. FINIELLO ZERVAS, "Un nuovo documento per la 92 AND BUREAUCRACY BRUNELLESCHI in ing majorities the city councilswith the insistent and explicit motivation the work regarded only the reverence that not and praisedue to God and the patronsaints,but also the honorof the Commune the decorum the city.8 Meanwhile 1296 and of in Boniface VIII had allowed to 3,000 florins the income up of of ecclesiastical courtsfor the "sumptuous" churchnew which,in his formulation, been undertaken the addressees the had by of bull, the bishopand the cathedral chapter.9 Thesefirstfunding effortswere however quickly, to exhausted, judgefromthe affir- mationmotivating indulgences by accorded Clement in 1310 V for ten yearsto individuals contributing the construction to effort, saidto be moreor less interrupted lackof money.'0 sit- for The uationwas worsestill in 1318, when, aftera long silence, the communal councils declaredthat the site was nearlyabandoned and that workcouldnot proceed withoutpublicsubsidy."Ob- serving that the bishopand chapter decreeda tax on the had clergyfor the benefitof the new church, councils the followed suit by approving generous a new allotment five years. Six for months later,in support suddenly of stepped-up construction,the councilsfurther allocated it onethird theInquisitor's to of revenues dueto the Commune the nextten years.12 for in Not surprisingly, the earlyperiodboth church Com- -and munemaintained control overtheirfinancial contributions ap- by pointing theirown representatives administer to them. The civic fundswereconsigned to directly fourOperai elected the Priors by to supervise theirexpenditure,'3 the samemenindependently and storia del Duomo e del Campanile Firenze, 1333-1359",Rivista d'Arte, XXXIX, di 1987, pp. 3-53: 7ff. 8 See the various formulations of this invocationin SMF 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14, 16, 17, 18, 22, 26. 9 SMF 12. 10 SMF, Discorso analitico,p. XLII. 11 SIMF 29. 12 SMF 30. The petition presented by the officialsof the Opera explained that to keep up the marble supply and increased work force ("ut in eodem opere plus solito viriliter laboretur")it was necessary"quod comune Florentie, more solito, manum porrigeretadiutricem". Appeal was made, as usual, to the "honoreet decore comunis et populi Florentini". 13 SMF 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 17, 18. 93 MARGARETHAINES solicited further legislation to augment the Opera's income."4Even before Boniface VIII's indulgence, the bishop had also nominated his own Operai.'5 It is not clear whether both groups of repre- sentatives comprised the Operai of S. Reparata who, together with the Calimala consuls for the Baptistery, petitioned the gov- ernment for the enlargementof the piazza in 1296,16but another proposal of the same year was presented jointly by the bishop and his two Operai, on the one hand, and the Commune's two Operai, on the other.'7 Although the first instance of the Com- mune's delegating its supervisory powers to a guild dates from 1303, when Por S. Maria was drawn by lot to fill this role for one year,18 evidence of joint ecclesiastical and lay representation on the board of works is still available in 1318, when the new public funds were put into the hands of three officials elected separately by the bishop, the chapter, and the Commune."9 The situation recorded in the 1321 Statute of the Capitano del Po- polo consists in the annual rotation of five major guilds in the supervisory role, each to appoint three officials empowered to spend money with the assent of a fourth, who was to be a priest nominated by the chapter.' Such an institution was inevitably hobbled by lack of con- tinuity in personnel and funding. According to Giovanni Villani, in 1331 the work on S. Reparatahad long been interruptedbecause of the diversion of communal funds to military expenses.2" This state of affairswas assessed by the communal councils in October of that year. The traditional legislative rhetoric had now to be 14SMF 10, describedin note 7 above. 15 SMF 11. 16 SMF 14. 17SMF 16, describedin note 7 above. See the bishop's Operai still elected in 1299 (SMF 19, 20). 18 SMF 27. 19SMF 29. Cf. also the petition presented to the Signoria in 1313 "pro parte Capituli ecclesie Florentine ac etiam pro parte operis eiusdem ecclesie": GROTE, op. cit. (see note 2), p. 39. 2 SMF 31. 21SMF 33: "si ricominci6a lavorarela chiesa maggiore di Santa.Reparata di Firenze, ch'era stata lungo tempo vacua e sanza nulla operazioneper le va- rie e diverse guerre e ispese avute la nostra citta". 94 AND BRUNELLESCHI BUREAUCRACY inverted: long interruption the church, beautifully the of so be- in gun,was declared no uncertain termsto be a publicdisgrace.' the Since,as it was againemphasized, work appertained the to of and dignity the government the decorum the city, a better of administrative formula and was required, it was found at this time.Thecouncils approved firstpermanent the a financing, stand- cut ing,automatic of all communal payments, in consolidated 1332 of by the attribution a similar of percentage the saleof gabelles.' to of Thesepublicfundswereassigned the consuls the powerful NVool Guild,who werein turnempowered electOperai re- to to ceiveandexpend themin the construction the cathedral.We of hear no more aboutsystematic funds or represen- ecclesiastical tationon the Opera A of afterthis time.24 variety offering boxes scatteredaround city, somein the wool merchants' the establish- ments,yieldedrelatively in modestamounts the comingyears while perhaps servingto keep alive the conceptof the direct relationship and betweenthe populace the cathedral, parallel to the linesof delegated responsibility whichnow descended through to the councils the guild and its Opera.' For publicsubsidies, '2 SMF 35: "cacthedralis ecclesiaFlorentinacepta fuit tam formosaet pulcra, quod ad honorem comunis Florentie et decorem civitatis ipsius cedit non mo- dicum...; post cuius temporis lapsum nulla fuit in dictum subsidium assignata pecunia per comune Florentie, ita quod remansit iam est longum tempus et est absque hedificatione aliqua, quod redundat in grande dedecus obbrobrium et abominationen Comunis iamdicti". 23 SMF38. 24 An attempt to reactivate the right to income from the episcopal court may be documentedduring a temporarycollapse of communalincome in 1353: SMF 70, p. 76. 25 VILLANI (SMF 33) indicates that the collection boxes in wool shops pro- duced a revenue of 2,000 lire for the first year, but such contributionsseemed to have taperedoff radically. ZERVAS, Ioc. cit. (see note 7), pp. 12-15, concludes that the Opera income recordedfor 1333-1359 was largely from public sources. When these funds were drasticallycut in 1353, the Opera's salaried manager (provveditore)was able to scrape together only about 158 lire from boxes in the Mercanzia,the Camera del Comune, and the cathedral and from the "cassettadal pane" and that of the "isconti dei maestri"(SMF 70, p. 74). To his repeated queries about reinstating the boxes in the wool shops, the Operai responded that the guild was not in a position to do so (SMF 70 pp. 76, 80, 81). The marked preponderance public funding over income from pri- of vate offerings,pious donations, and legacies at S. Maria del Fiore is in contrast with the results of analysesavailablefor other cathedrals;compare,for example, L. RICCETTI, cantiere edile negli anni della Peste Nera", in II Duomo di 'Il 95 MARGARETHAINES however, an amendment to the 1331 legislation, holding the Opera accountableonly to the consuls, and not to the Commune as previously decreed, served to reinforce the intermediary po- sition of the guild.26 The basic composition of the Opera was written into the Wool Guild's new constitution of 1333: four Operai, a treasurer, and a notary. All but the last were unsalaried guild members, elected on a representationalbasis. All would serve brief four- month terms and be ineligible for re-election for the span of four years.27 The number and duration of offices and of eligibility, as well as the method of selection by lot from the pool of can- didates approved in qualifying scrutinies, would be adjusted re- peatedly throughout the history of the institution,' but the guid- ing principle remained that the Opera should effectively represent the entire guild. It therefore constituted, despite the rotation of individuals, a standing, prestigious entity, able to solicit, consol- idate, and defend public subsidies within the limits of the Com- mune's ability to contribute.29 Thanks to a recent study of the Opera's income for the years 1333-1359, we now know a good deal more about how this worked.' Cutbacks were inevitable in time of civic emergency or strife, but even in the worst moments the guild could bail out the Opera with short-term loans while, Orvieto, ed., idem., Rome-Bari,1988, pp. 142-148; SOLDIRONDININI, Ioc. cit., (see note 2), pp. 55-59. 26 SMF 36. Although the revision of Opera accountsfor 1333-1359, entrusted to eight officials elected by the Signoria and colleges, constitutes a major ex- ception to this policy (ZERVAS,Ioc. cit. [see note 7] pp, 31ff), the norm, still lively in the following century, was that the books of each Opera treasurer were audited by syndics elected by the guild. 27 SMF 42. 28 See GROTE,op. cit. (see note 2), pp. 99ff; MUSTARI,op. cit. (see note 2), pp. 39ff. 29After 1333, petitions were normally presented by the Operai (SMF 51, 52, 61, 67, 77; cf. petitions by consuls in 1333: SMF 40, 41), who repeatedly played upon the Commune'sinterest and duty in the enterprise with rhetoric styled upon established formulations,e.g., SMF 52: "cum dicta cathedralis ec- clesia incepta fuerit tam formosa et pulcra, que cedit in honorem Dei et Matris sue et beate Reparate virginis, et in honorem ac decus comunis et civitatis Florentie; ad hoc ut tam pulcrum et honorabile opus iam inceptum melius per- fici et compleri possit, ed quod gratia iam facta per dictum Comune videatur fuisse et esse liberalis et gratiosa, prout in talibus esse debet; placeat vobis.." 30 ZERVAS, loc. cit. (see note 7). 96 1. Detail of the Misericordia fresco, dated 1342, (Florence, Bigallo) showing the cathedral complex. 4 :rW l-|----------- 2. Reconstruction of the Arnolfian plan for S. Maria del Fiore, superimposed on the outline of the plan of the existing cathedral (after Toker). A - rising masonry over foundations still in service today. B - rising masonry over abandoned foundations excavated 1965-1980. C - rising masonry reconstructed as probable extension of A and B. D - rising masonry reconstructed as possible extension of A, B and C. - 3' o Maria d a t .S I /\, 4 A -ea-X--=v" I ,~ sd p .1 2:.-. 3. Plan of S. Maria del Fiore (after Sgrilli). 4. Exteriorelevationof S. Mariadel Fiore (after Sgrilli). -- ' A t......-0 _-_ S l if/'.Jv. - ii/'. rah -~ Z,4 rn/i .diwn A ./4 . ft_ 5. Longitudinal section of S. Maria del Fiore (after Sgrilli). *o ; j s ut 17,~ ~~jj 6.S Mra e Foe,cpoasenfrmsoteat A.-A A. A A- dI - -_ -l.t't4'>...............d...........W...... 9- ................. ;rA!>-^^'-^ + ... .......... .&rrwc*..S at.2-"^ S. t r .. a - 8. Analytical bird's-eye view of the cupola of S. Maria del Fiore (after Sgrilli). A, -AF 4.. i 8.Pa,eevto the_ n scino lanter of S.Mrade ir .~~~~~~~a terS Sgili 9. Tomb of Filippo Brunelleschi S. Mariadel Fiore, portraitof the in architectcarvedby Andreadi LazzaroCavalcanti,1447. 10. Tombof FilippoBrunelleschi S. Mariadel Fiore,detail of the portrait. in AND BRUNELLESCHI BUREAUCRACY no doubt,lobbying support its petitions the government in of to in defense cathedral of funding. In sucha situation, fromabout 1332, it was at last possible gearup the workshop a long- to for termbuilding program. the Although lackof internal documention before1353 makes anygeneralization it perilous,3' seemslikelythatin the firstyears of its existence new Opera's the role was conditioned that by of its predecessors, defined,in the narrowest sense, simplyas the assuring honest,efficient of publicfundsfor the city's use cathedral. powers matters design artistic Its in of and supervision arenowhere and defined, it is noteworthy in 1334 the city that councils the authorized Signoria, the headsof the guildand over the Opera, appoint to Giottosupervisor all civic construction of projects including, on the list, the worksof S. Reparata.' first LikeArnolfodi Cambio, whomthe Commune rewarded had in 1300 with tax exemption his magnificent for of beginning the new cathedral which,it was hoped,wouldbe the mostbeautiful and honorable templein Tuscany," Giotto was cherished aas professional presence whose abilityto bringdistinction the to city was a matter publicconcern.Presumably decision of the to divertthe Opera's resources fromthe halting church effortto the less urgent"campanile Giotto"was connected di with his own preferences. DianeZervas' of analysis the Operaaccounts from 1333-1359indicates duringthoseyearsthe bell towerrose that and steadily largely, not entirely, the expense the church if at of itself.3 No documentation to survives relatehow Andrea Pisano, afterGiotto'sdeathin 1337, introduced in changes the master's plan,or exactly why andhow he was replaced Francesco by Ta- lenti, who, even in the absence scholarly of on agreement the of chronology the successive stages,is generally recognized as 31 We rely until that time primarily upon communal and guild records, supplementedby occasionalnotarial acts, chronicles,etc. 32 SMF 44. See the relative observationsof SAALMAN, op. cit. (see note 2), p. 179. 33 SMF 24: "comune et populus Florentie ex magnifico et visibili princi- pio dicti operis ecclesie iamdicte inchoacti per ipsum magistrum Arnolphum habere sperat venustius et honorabilius templum aliquo alio quod sit in par- tibus Tuscie". '4 ZERVAS, loc. cit. (see note 7), pp. 24-29. 97 HAINES MARGARET the designer behind the ever more open and ornate bifora and trifora stories.35 From the 1350s, when in-house documentation begins to be available in the notes of the Opera's provveditore, Filippo Marsili, we can observe occasional meetings of masons to advise on the final stages of the tower; these are normally pre- sented as routine affairs.6 When opinions are recorded, they either approve the work as proceeding or offer unanimous and uncontroversialadvice on technical problems. The same notebook of Marsili and that of his successor, which extends to early 1359, tell quite another story when, from 1355, the Opera's attention again focused on the project for the church. A well-known detail of the fresco of the Misericordia in the Bi- gallo, dated 1342, (Fig. 1) is generally believed to be a useful record of the state of the building: the faade breaks off at about the same height reached at that time by Pisano's part of the cam- panile, and the old S. Reparata rises behind that screen and that of the lower south wall. But recent archeologicaldiscoveries now tell us that there was more to the new S. Reparata than can be seen poking out of the medieval city in this view: the south 35 Contrastingviews of the building history of the campanile are polarized around the theses sustained by M. TRACHTENBERG, The Campanileof Florence Cathedral, "Giotto's Tower", New York, 1971, and by G. KREYTENBERG,"Der Campanile von Giotto," Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, XXII, 1978, pp. 147-184. Their divergent chronologies in turn depend on the parallel histories of the revetments of the cathedral's aisles sustained by H. SAALMAN, "Santa Maria del Fiore: 1294-1418", Art Bulletin, XLVI, 1964, pp. 471-500 (reprinted, except pp. 493-500, in idem, op. cit. [see note 2], pp. 32-57), on the one hand, and on the other by G. KIESOW, "Zur Baugeschichte des Florentiner Domes", Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, X, 1961, pp. 1-22, and by G. KREYTENBERG, Der Dom zu Florenz, Berlin, 1974. ZERVAS' study (loc. cit. [see note 7]) brings new evidence in favor of the Saalman-Trachtenberg theses. 36 The Ricordanze of Marsili, 18 March 1353/4-23 March 1357/8 (SMF 70, pp. 72-117) consist in briefly noted points in agenda, normally followed by the annotation of decisions handed down. It is not always stated whether the numerous "consigli" mentioned concerned the campanile or the design problems of the church, to be discussed shortly, but the following can be safely ascribed to the tower: p. 82, 8 June 1355 - "consiglio usato del campanile"; p. 85, 5 Feb. 1355/6 - "consiglio de' maestri sul campanile" (4 masons approve work and give technical advice); p. 86, 9 Mar. 1355/6 - "consiglio usato del campanile"; p. 88, 10 June 1356 - "consiglio della ruota"; p. 89, 28 Nov. 1356 - "consigli usati del campanile"; pp. 90-91, 12-31 May 1357 - "consigli usati del campanile" (use of hoists for tower); p. 92, 10 June 1357 - "consigli usati"; p. 113, 7 Dec. 1357 - "consigli usati del campanile". 98 AND BRUNELLESCHI BUREAUCRACY in wall, withoutany provision its foundations vaulting, for had to been extended a crossing areawherefoundations some and for risingmasonry been executed a laterally had dilatedoctagon flanked vaulted by Theseremains chapels.37 the permit hypothesis, in Toker's of reconstruction, a smaller-scale,Arnolfian prototype of the dometriconch that was eventuallybuilt.' (Fig. 2) Al- thoughthe areawithinthe foundations' perimeter still lit- was teredin the 1350s with the pre-existingurbanfabric,therewas visibleprogress the of towards realization a new cathedral which corresponds neither the articulation its navenorin the scale in of andextension its eastendto the finalmodelapproved 1367, of in according which,as we know, the familiar to building was ac- tuallyexecuted. (Figs. 3, 4, 5) From1355, when the Operai their ordered capomaestro Francesco Talenti makea woodmod- to el demostrating the east chapels how oughtto be and how to a dozenyearsof heated correct defectin the navefenestraticn,39 a discussionswould bring the Operaback face to face with its as exposed it was to disapproval the waste civicresponsibility, for of publicmoniesif existingwork were to be undone,criticism 37 An early formulationof the data from the excavationsconductedin 1965- 1974 (F. TOKER,"Florence Cathedral: The Design Stage", Art Bulletin, LX, 1978, pp. 214-231) is supersededby a fuller study incorporatingthe results of a 1980 excavation at the area of the joining of the Arnolfian south transept and crossing: idem, "Arnolfo's S. Maria del Fiore: A Working Hypothesis", Journalof the Society of Architectural Historians,XLII, 1983, pp. 101-120. 38 In proposing this reconstruction,whose main purpose is to demonstrate the existence of a coherent and compellingArnolfianproject which, though -mo- dified and expanded, constituted the basic concept of S. Maria del Fiore as it was constructed,TOKER ("Hypothesis"cit. [siee note 37]) accuratelydistinguishes amongst types of evidence: archeological, documentary, iconographical,and com- parative. The archeologicalevidence alone proves that the early construction presupposed a five-bayed, timber roofed nave, a vaulted octagon, and lateral transeptsbeginningwith a vaulted sacristyor chapel oriented longitudinally. The belief that there is documentaryevidence to support the elaboration of this chapel fragment into the prototype for the Duomo's characteristicradial tri- conch (ibid., p. 109) is, however, apparentlyunfounded, since the 1366 text, cited (SMF 141) as referring to the Arnolfian remains as a /"croce", in fact regardsone of the new projectsunder considerationat that time. This attractive feature of the proposed reconstruction rests then primarilyon visual evidence - above all the representation a similar structurein Taddeo Gaddi's frescoes in of the Baroncelli Chapel (S. Croce, ca. 1330) - and on the argument ex silentio that the documentsof the 1360's do not describe the radical transformation of some other scheme into that eventually approvedfor the east end. 39SMF 70, p. 81. 99 MARGARETHAINES if the edifice were not as beautiful and perfect as hoped, disgrace if it were not structurallysound.' The variations in the design of the Florentine Duomo ap- proved between 1355 and 1357 involved the transformationof the nave from an exposed-timberstructure, articulatedin five double- windowed bays, (Fig. 2) to a much more modern arrangement of three giant vaulted bays leaping down the same space. Since only the perimeter walls of the new cathedral had been begun, this revolution could feasibly have been introduced within the existing scale. The major drawback to the otherwise magnificent scheme was, however, that in the first bays, at least, the aisle walls had reached a height that already incorporated the fenes- tration according to the former plan, in conflict both with the axes and increased height of the vaulted scheme. Thus even this design change, which was to take place within the limits of all existing foundations, presented the first dilemma between imper- fection and demolition the Opera is known to have faced.4" It proceeded cautiously at first, obtaining for the vaulted pro- posal illustrated in Talenti's model the unanimous approval of enlargedconsultationsof master masons, both secular and religious, with strong representationfrom the seasoned vaulting experts of 40 The timid would not have been encouraged by the example of the audacious project for the Duomo Nuovo in Siena. In the years around 1355 two Florentine protagonists in the discussion on S. Maria del Fiore, the capo- maestro Talenti and the master builder, Benci di Cione, answered the summons for opinions on the statics of the defective new Sienese structure, and their opinions must have sealed the fate of the ill-advised enterprise, already inter- rupted for economic difficulties after the Black Death: V. LUSINI, II Duomo di Siena, I, Siena, 1911, pp. 179ff; E. CARLI, II Duomo di Siena, Siena, 1979, pp. 20-24. 41 On the problem of the windows see SAALMAN, Ioc. cit. (see note 35), pp. 475-476, 480-481. The stylistic considerations of the controversy over whether the marble incrustation over the raw masonry was in place by 1355 need not be recapitulated in the present context (sources cited in note 35 and continuing debate by M. TRACHTENBERG, review article of KREYTENBERG, op. cit. [ see note 35], in Art Bulletin, LXI, 1979, pp. 112-131; and by G. KREYTENBERG, Letter to the editor: "The Cathedral of Florence", Art Bulletin, LXII, 1980, pp. 340-341). My perception of the Opera's dilemma is however based upon full agreement with SAALMAN'S affirmations (loc. cit. [see note 35], pp. 476, 496) that the alteration or demolition of even the raw masonry to adapt it to the new vaulted program would have been considered a drastic undertaking whose singularity and expense, we might add, would have placed the Opera in the position of having to justify the decision to its sources of income. 100 AND BRUNELLESCHI BUREAUCRACY S. MariaNovella.42A hundred citizensand ecclesiastics were but that alsocalledto confer, it is significant the Operai, con- in sultationwith the guildconsuls,decided againstproceeding with a meeting be held in the Palazzo Priori,presumably to dei pro- posedto obtainthe official governmental stampof approval for the variantplan.43Whileworkon the trifora zoneof the campa- nile proceeded consultations peacefully, with expertscontinued, in culminating no less thanthirty-eight meetings before19 June 1357, whenthe new bays'dimensions were at last fixedand,to and the soundof bells, organs song,ground broken the was for foundation the firstgreatpier.44By this time, however, of the Opera doorswereopento experts. Bencidi Cione,for example, was heardout on a matter the pierfoundations,45 for the of and actualdesignof the piers,both the capomaestro Talentiand the distinguished Orcagna outsider executed drawings gessomodels and in competition.' Sincein this case evaluating councilsshowed a divisions opinion,the Operaiordered new composite of pro- posalwhichwas to not submitted the scrutiny only of invited but experts of anyone who wishedto comment the publicly on displayedmodels.47 42 SMF 70, pp. 83-84 (15, 16, 17 June 1355), 84 (5, 7, 31 Aug. 1355). SAALMAN, loc. cit. (see note 35), p. 477, note 25, proposes the likelihood of a "prior and unrecorded consensus" around the desire for vaulted nave bays. 43 SMF 70, pp. 84 (7 Aug. 1355), 85 (Jan. 1355/6), 86 (9 Mar. 1355/6). 44 SMF 70, pp. 88 (7, 10 June 1356: subject not stated), 92 (10, 13 June 1357), 93 (15 June 1357), 94-95 (19 June 1357), 96 (21 June 1357: "Metti a uscita per salario dato a' frati e a' maestri, per 38 volte che si sono raunatial consiglio della chiesa, in piu volte lire 19"). 45 SMF, 70, pp. 97 (3 July 1357), 98 (7 July 1357). 16 SMF, 70, pp. 100-101 (17, 19 July 1357). Only the judgments of experts are recorded,but both the cathedralcanons and a few of many invited citizens were present at the 17 July meeting. 47 SMF 70, pp. 102-103 (28 July, 3 Aug. 1357). The third model was executed by Talenti together with Giovanni Ghini, who, as vaulting expert, would soon join his colleague, the standing capomaestro,in the supervision of the pier construction: SMF 70, p. 110 (26 Oct. 1357). Both men would in turn contributedesigns for the pier capitals: SMF 70, pp. 111 (17 Nov. 1357), 116 (30 Jan. 1357/8). The Operai went so far as to order that the two capomaestri's proposals for the piers and the capitals be frescoed in full scale on the premises of the Servites of the SS. Annunziatafor final selection: SMF 70, pp. 116 (16 Feb. 1357/8) 117 (23 Mar. 1357/8). The final decision appa- rently took place in the interval (23 Mar. 1357/8 - 28 Sept. 1358) between the recordsof the provveditore, Marsili,and those of his successor,CambinoSignorini. 101 HAINES MARGARET The old fenestration problem remained however an embarrass- ment to the Opera. In 1358 its consultants continued to favor the ideal solution, which involved demolition, in order to have a single window, "bela e grande" in each bay; the Operai, on the other hand, could not be insensitive to the urgency of building up both side walls to the definitive height in order to vault at least the first bay which, it was said, would be "a great con- solation for all the citizens".48 This conflict between the con- sultants' advice and the Opera's responsibilityto its public finances and the populace was apparently resolved at this time in favor of the latter. (Figs. 4, 5) It is therefore perhaps not a coincidence that in the same period the Opera was continually involved in attempts to improve its public funding.49A petition of early 1357 to triple its standing percentage of communal finances, revised to postulate instead its doubling, eventually found the s-upport of the Priors in office in the last two months of that year.' Their legislative proposal was passed by the councils in December al- though its application probably awaited the new, corrected for- mulation of April 1358.51 In this text the familiar motivations, the honor of God and the decorum of the city, are corroborated by the observation that the renewed vigor of construction activity demanded such funding, and more. Work apparently proceeded uneventfully on the new vaulted scheme in the following years.52From late 1364, however, a new 48 SMF 72, p. 120 (13 Nov. 1358), 123 (10 Jan. 1358/9); SAALMAN, Ioc. cit. (see note 35), p. 481. 49 SMF 70, pp. 74 (3 May 1353), 75 (June 1353), 77 (12 July - 4 Oct. 1353), 79 (15 Dec. 1354), 81 (8 June 1355), 84 (31 Aug. 1355), 85 (Jan. 1355/6), 89 (28 Nov. 1356), 90 (11 Jan. 1356/7 - 12 May 1357), 91 (10 June 1357), 98 (7 July 1357), 110 (26 Oct. - 6 Nov. 1357), 112 (7 Dec. 1357). The recovery of the repeatedly mentioned 950 lire, one sixth of the Opera's income diverted to military expenses in 1352, was still pending in 1359: ZERVAS,loc. cit. (see note 7), p. 10. 50 The original proposal (SMF 70, p. 90) predicted that with a cut of six denari per lira the church could be completed in four years at a total cost of 40,000 florins, while at the existing rate of two denari, 'si penera XX anni, e costera 70000". Cf. ZERVAS, loc. cit. (see note 7), p. 29. 51 SMF 77. 52 The Ricordanze of Signorini (SMF 72) terminate with 30 January 1358/9, and Opera documentation resumes only in 1362 with the first extant book of deliberations (SMF 85ff). A third book of ricordanze regarding the interval was 102 BRUNELLESCHI BUREAUCRACY AND round consultative of meetings lay andreligious of buildingmas- ters,artists, citizens and examined important matters the nave of design(clerestory fenestration) structure, closeattention and with beingpaidto thatof the firsttwo largenavevaultsfinally be to built in 1365 and 1366.53But whatwas to comebeyondthese bayswas already matter discussion.The finaldesign,as we a of know, extended nave througha fourthbay, displaced the and enlarged crossing the the octagon elevated cupola and overa drum. (Figs. 3, 4, 5) This was, unlikethe 1357 project,incompatible with the existing east-end foundations, vastlymoreexpensive be- causeof its sheersize andstructurally frighteningbecause the of increased weightand spanabovethe crossing. How was such a relativelywild scheme reconciled the Opera's with obligationsto economy, sobriety, publicresponsibility? and I believethat we can observea seriesof consummately diplomaticmaneuvers on the partof the Operawhichgenerated consensus a around what mighthavefirstseemed little morethana designer's fantasy. Giovanni While wvithin Opera ranks the co-capomaestro, the the Ghini,was constructing new modelof the church, Operai a sent out for furtheradvicealongtraditionalrepublican by lines turning the guildswhose rolls included to artists:Seta for the goldsmiths,Medicie Speziali the painters, for Pietrae Legname for the masons.54Theirrespective complied nominating consuls by consultants the Opera,whose proposals for coalesced arounda single,alternativeplan, knownin the documents the design as e of the "maestri pittori" which,followingSaalman, shallcall I the committee project.Compared Ghini's to modelit was,in the lost during the last century (SMF, pp. LXXV-LXXVI). See the interpretation of progress during this hiatus in SAALMAN, Ioc. cit. (see note 35), pp. 481-482. 53 SMF 119 (27 Sept. 1364), 120 (4 Oct. 1364) 121 (22 Nov. 1364), 125 (20 Dec. 1364: decision to hold monthly meetings), 126 (20 Dec. 1364), 128 (23 May 1365: expenses for consultation with lunch in the residence of Wool Guild on previous 22 March), 131 (18 July 1365). In October 1365 the Com- mune decreed that the affluent societies of Orsanmichele and the Misericordia loan 2000 florins to the Opera for the construction of the two great vaults (SMF 133); the second was completed in March 1365/6 (SA'IF 135). 54 The invitation of 12 July 1366 (SMF 140) mentions only the first two, but the presentation of representatives from all three (SMF 141, 142) suggests that the masons' participation, if not solicited, was at least welcome. Ghini's "chiesa pichola" was said to be completed by 29 July (SMF 146), but further work on it was interrupted on 3 August (SMF 148). 103 MARGARET HAINES early stages, a paper project, apparently little more than a plan, which certainly contained the four-bay nave and presumably the triconch crossing.55Within just a month from when, in July 1366 the artists had begun to work on their plan, a first semblance of consensus chose it hands down. This approval derived from a mass meeting of over eighty citizens convoked with the consuls, the Operai, the capomaestri, and the professional consultants, where it was advised that the matter, together with the vaulting problems, be referred to a board of eight citizens, elected two each from the quarters of the city.' The board members, imme- diately named by the consuls and Operai,57having interrogated 55 In SAALMAN'S analysis (loc. cit. [see note 35], pp. 485ff) the principal innovation of the committee project was the introductionof the drum between the body of the crossingand the cupola. His argumentsare carefullyconsidered, but are expressly based on the assumption that earliet and alternative plans included a similar arrangementof the chapels and sacristies in the east end. The much discussed ideal representationof the Duomo frescoed in the chapter house of S. Maria Novella precisely in this period (commissioned30 Dec. 1365 to be completed within two years) by one of the leading committee members. Andrea Bonaiuti, would, however, seem to favor the hypothesis that the com- pelling feature of the new proposal was the externally articulatedtriconch itself. Although the main dome has been demonstratedto be an Arnolfian heritage, there seems as yet to be no absolute proof that a multi-domedcrossing characte- rized the first plan (cf. note 38, above), the Talentian model of 1355-1357, nor Ghini's "chiesa piccola". Bonaiuti's fresco already shows a four-bayednave (with wishfully idealized fenestration) as well as a triconch which differs from that eventually approvedby its smaller scale and the absence of the drum. The result is remarkably harmonious,and it seems that the desirabilityof the drum could only have been generated by the accompanyingproposal to inflate the scale of the crossing area, whose dating, without Saalman'sassumption of the fundamentalsimilarity of competing projects, is problematic.Although the de- finitive maximumdiameter of the octagon was fixed only in August 1367 (SMF 178), the matter of east-end dimensions was under considerationa year before (SMF150). The examinationof the implicationsof this problem goes beyond the intent of the present study, in whose context it will be sufficientto bear in mind that the committee proposal was perceived as strongly characterizedand extremelyattractive,but riddled with structuraldifficulties. `6 SMF 146 (29 July 1366). The most precise suggestion to this effect was that of Andrea Rondinelli. All five opinions recorded suggested that the citizens work together with a committee of masons. 57 SMF 147 (29 July 1366), listing the names. It is not possible to re- print such lists in the confines of this essay, whose focus is institutions rather than individuals. Nevertheless the question of the social and political identity and of the architectural competenceof the cathedral'scitizen advisors is a pro- mising area of study which deserves attention. Of this genre for the time being we have only the pioneering analysis of D. FINIELLO ZERVAS, The Parte 104 BRUNELLESCHI BUREAUCRACY AND the design committee, expressed preference for its project with some reservations, particularlywith regard to its stability, a mat- ter in which they took the word of the masons. That very day the consuls and Operai jointly decreed, for the honor of God and the city, that construction henceforth follow the committee plan, and the consuls proceeded to the Palazzo dei Priori to inform (but not consult) the city's highest office. They were commended and offered support in their endeavors." Although the committee plan was now a fait accompli, the elevation to be built upon it was not. During the following year not only its authors, but the capomaestri and others prepared schemes for the undefined triconch area, and when the committee's elevation came up for evaluation before a new, mixed consulta- tive board of thirteen, it was approved only on the condition that it have great strength.59 Tempers flared, and the Wool consuls had to pass a special act to protect the honor of the capomaestro Ghini, as an extension of their own, from threats and insults.'" He in fact, together with Talenti, was author of an alternative elevation based on the new plan. In July another board of eight citizens and a further group of twelve savi, having been advised by the capomaestri that the committee project was not structur- ally sound, withheld their approval and expressed the desire to see the elevation proposed by Ghini and Talenti executed as a model.61 When four expert churchmen also declared the com- mittee project impossible,62 the Operai scrambled back up their delegative ladder for advice from the consuls. The answer, though sibylline, was intelligible to them: " build what is most pleasing Guelfa, Brunelleschi and Donatello, Locust Valley, N.Y., 1987, pp. 87ff and 327ff, of the administrative 'elite' of institutions concerned with artistic super- vision including the Wool Guild and the Opera, from the 1390s into the first decades of the quattrocento. -8 SMF 150 (13 Aug. 1366). 59 SMF 170 (31 May 1367). 60 SMF 173 (9 July 1367). At the same time the consuls decreed that the competent governing of the Opera was so much a matter of guild honor that the designated Operai could not renounce the office for any other except the priorate. 61 SMF 174 (24 July 1367), 175 (25 July 1367). b2 SMF 176 (31 July 1367). 105 MARGARET HAINES to the citizens and yet fitting, beautiful, strong, and honorable for the Commune".63 The Operai in fact went back to the ecclesiastical consultants requesting modificationof the committee scheme in order to for- tify it without vilifying its attractions.'4 They also installed three of these churchmen as permanent advisors and paid a custodian to keep the building site and Opera open on Sundays so that the people could see the alternative designs.65 By October 1367 two scale models were available for viewing in separate houses near the church: that of Ghini (apparently the new alternative) and that of the committee, which, fortified as advised, had been exe- cuted by Ghini and Talenti; work could proceed no further with- out a decision. The leading citizens were summoned in groups by invitation, and all but one found the committee model unequiv- ocally more beautiful, magnificent and honorable for the city. The doors were then thrown open to the whole populace, con- voked by crier, and in the space of two days over four hundred individuals of all classes and trades had their names recorded as favoring the irresistible committee model. The notary, ser Bru- nellesco Lippi, father of Filippo, was among them.' For their confirming decree the Operai were now probably awaiting one final step, which is particularly interesting in the present context because it recalls how their relationship with the people had originated. Three weeks later the Signoria summoned the Opera to the city hall in the presence of yet another advisory council, a group of seventeen appointed by the Priors themselves and composed of eminent Florentine citizens judiciously larded with a few artisans.67This board proceeded to the building site, where it solemnly examined and approved the committee model as having all the advantages: it was more beautiful, fitting, hono- 63 SMF 177 (3 Aug. 1367): "inveniant et invenire debeant omnem modum quod fiat illud laborerium dicte ecclesie, de quo putent quod la citadinanza plus contentetur, et quod sit utile pulcrum et forte et honorabile pro comuni Flo- rentie ". 64 SMF 178 (9 Aug. 1367). 65 SMF 179 (12 Aug. 1367), 186 (30 Aug. 1367). 66 SMF 189 (25 Oct. 1367), 190 (26-27 Oct. 1367). 67 SMF 192 (19 Nov. 1367). 106 AND BUREAUCRACY BRUNELLESCHI rable,and strong.'6 Somepractical advicewas also proffered: the buildit up in stone,leaving marble revetments later,and- for musicto the Opera's - the Priorsshouldsupport by in- ears it creasing the publicfunding. With this authoritative opinionthe consultations closed, and the Operaiimmediately decreedthat henceforth construction shouldfollow this modelalone. What the lengthy had process constructing consensus signified of a to the Operaand Wool Guild was expressed with only a little exaggeration yearlaterwhen new guildlegislation a forbade all Opera officials deviate to fromthe approved project. The pream- ble to the act statedthat the decisionhad been madeby the Priors,theiradvisory colleges, the consulsof all the guilds, and as well as a multitude lay and religious of citizens,"suchthat had it couldbe saidthatthe entireCommune passed judgment".69 Throughout restof the century the earlyyearsof the the and quattrocento, construction in consisted the gradual basically rea- lization the approved of design;but whenever, of because doubt or error,new difficulties arose,consultationonce againassured consensus. For example, 1404 it was discovered the 70 in that capomnaestro Giovanni d'Ambrogio pitched of the tribune had one buttresses (Fig. 4, partB) too high, invading areadestined the for the parapet according the model.Its correction, to however, of eitherbecause accumulated erroror ambiguity the model, in 68 The adjectives,"piiubello e pituutile e onorevole e forte", echo the pre- scriptionsdictated by the consuls in July (see note 63). 69 SMF 214 (15 Dec. 1368): "pe gli singnori Priori e collegi e consoli di tutte l'Arti, che allotta (sic in Guasti) crano, e grande numero di cittadini re- ligiosi e secolari,che si puo dire e reputareessere istato tutto il comune di Fi- renze..." John Najemy has pointed out the similarity of this passage with the advice offered to the Signoria in 1378 to discuss legislative proposals with the consuls of all the guilds so that, if passed, they could be said to have the consent of the whole city (J. NAJEMY, "Guild Republicanismin Trecento Flo- rence: The Successesand Ultimate Failure of CorporatePolitics", The American Historical Review, 84, 1979, pp. 53-71: 66). Although the circumstancesand the procedures are different, in both cases there is an attempt to claim the strength of universal approval for measures which had passed the scrutiny of representational bodies. In the case of the cathedralthis process was far from systematic; but even if the representationof quarters was arbitrary and of guilds selective, and if the referendumrecords the opinions of a fraction of the city's politically enfranchisedpopulation, the intent was to legitimize a monu- mentally expensive decision as truly representative the will of the city. of 70 SAALMAN, loc. cit. (see note 35), p. 492. 107 MARGARET HAINES had implications for the clerestory windows and related revet- ments. The Operai duly convened the Wool consuls together with a group of nineteen citizen and artists.7" Amongst the goldsmiths represented were Brunelleschi and Ghiberti, the proverbial rivals, who knew something about corporate patronage themselves, hav- ing both competed three years before in the contest for the Bap- tistery doors. Like the Opera of the cathedral, that of San Giovanni, re- sponsible for the Baptistery, derived from the Commune via the delegation to a guild, in this case the ancient establishment of cloth merchants known as Calimala. Since the original records are lost, our knowledge of the competition derives from two po- tentially very biased sources: 7 Lorenzo Ghiberti's own Commen- tari 7 and the celebratory Life of Filippo Brunelleschi written by Antonio Manetti; the latter, although composed only about 1480 as a gigantic footnote to the same author's version of the No- vella del Grasso Legnaiuolo, was based on information obtained years before from the protagonist and on the same sort of dili- gent researchthat went into the most detailed extant reconstruction of Filippo's burla.74 Ghiberti gives the fuller account of the juridical data of the contest: seven competitors; thirty-four con- sulting judges, all of whom ultimately gave written opinions in his favor, seconded by the Opera, the consuls and the entire Ca- limala guild. Manetti, on the other hand, concentrates, presu- mably for narrative purposes, on the rivalry between Brunelleschi and Ghiberti alone, the leading contestants, but he gives a behind- the-scenes account which is extremely interesting in the light of what we have observed so far on corporate patronage. Brunel- 71 SMF 425 (10 Nov. 1404). 72 For the available documents and sources as well as a full discussion of the competition see R. KRAUTHEIMER, Lorenzo Ghiberti, 2 vols., 2nd ed., Prin- ceton, 1970: I, pp. 34ff; II, pp. 360ff. 73 L. Gi-IBERTI, I Commentari,ed. 0. MORISANI, Naples, 1947, p. 42. 7 A. MANETTI, Vita di Filippo Brunelleschipreceduta da La Novella del Grasso, ed. D. DE ROBERTIS - G. TANTURLI, Milan, 1976, pp. 60-64. For the basis in truth, even when distorted by partisansentiments, of Manetti's account, see U. PROCACCI,"Chi era Filippo di ser Brunellesco?"in Filippo Brunelleschi. La sua opera e il suo tempo (Acts of the Convegno Internazionalein Florence, 16-22 October 1977), Florence, 1980, I, pp. 37-64: 38. 108 AND BUREAUCRACY BRUNELLESCHI leschi,he says,quicklyexecuted trialpieceandquietly his awaited the moment confrontation. of on Ghiberti, the otherhand,cun- ninglyraced aboutthe city asking of advice all thosehe expected mightbe namedjudges,repeatedly amending wax modelto his incorporate bestsuggestions the his beforecasting panelin bronze. The judgeseventually nominated were in fact the sameLoren- zo had supposed, and manyof them had already openly ex- pressed theirsupport his entry. Confronted, for however, with Filippo'sonlyat the moment judging, wereastounded of they by the mastery displayed.Unableto recant it entirely theirformer position,they conferred, the voted,and advised Operaithat the commission should conferred be on jointly the two sculptors. The Operaisummoned two contestants, the the offering contract as but advised.Ghiberti not flinch, Brunelleschi inflexible: did was all or nothing. As one unwittingly for destined "bigger things", he stoodfirmwhenthe Operai to the threatened award commis- sionfor the doorsto his rival;andwhenthis in fact took place, presumably the finalwrittenacts cited in Ghibertis with Com- mentari, departed Rome,leavingbehindhim a divided he for City.75 Although Manettipatently and Brunelleschi denigrates glorifies Ghiberti, severalaspects his account of ringtrue in the context A of publicadministration. work must not only be beautiful, but mustalsomeetthe approval the consultative of processes in- tended guarantee to fairness the publicinterest. Whenmore and thanone competitor something had to valuable offer,the ideal the wasto obtain best of both: by creating modified, a composite modelin the caseof architectural the design, sharing contract by in the caseof autographworks. It seemsentirely likelythat the by Operaandguildhad attempted gaina consensus the joint to 75 MANETTI, op. cit. (see note 74), p. 64: "e rimasenenello oppenione del vulgo la citta tutta divisa". There seems little need to ascribethe sharp division of opinion in the city describedby Manetti to later gossip (cf. KRAUTHEIMER, op. cit. in note 72, I, pp. 41-2). The very scale, importance,and duration of the competition (to early 1403), as well as the likelihood that the selection was narroweddown to two contestants before the final decisions (ibid., pp. 42-43) would justify a lively public interest in its outcome. 109 HAINES MARGARET conferralof this costly and prestigiouscommissionbut were thwarted in their aim by the intransigenceof a hot-headed young Filippo.6 The "maggiorecosa" for which Brunelleschi'stalents were des- tined was of course the cupola of the Florentine Duomo, in 1412 officially rededicated to S. Maria del Fiore.' As the work on the church at last proceeded up through the drum level, the time had come to confront the great riddle contained in the 1367 model: how to construct the enormous octagonal cloister vault which it had mandated. (Fig. 6) If a few cracks in the nave vaults in the 1360s had sent the Operai off in a flurry of consultations, it is easy to imagine the tensions and fear of disaster gathering over the Opera and the guild at this time. The rich and intensely studied documentation of both institutions is a precious source for the study of Brunelleschi's relationship with these patrons in the years of his remarkableachievement. Manetti himself was the first to study and quote the Opera records, weaving them into his account of the events, which also benefitted from the oral tradition of Filippo and his circle as well as from a still lively understandingof republican institutions and attitudes. With due allowance for his narrativelicense, we can use Manetti as a knowl- edgeable guide and subtle informer for the interpretation of the cupola documents in the context of established Opera practices. Manetti's tale of the cupola opens with a reference to the honorarium of ten florins paid to Brunelleschi for a first, inten- sive round of consultations with the Opera personnel.78 Medieval 76 This interpretation is not necessarily incompatible with the observations of A. MIDDELDORF KOSEGARTEN ("The Origins of Artistic Competitions in Ita- ly" in Lorenzo Ghiberti nel suo tempo, Acts of the Convegno Internazionale in Florence, 18-21 October 1978, Florence, 1980, I, pp. 167-186: 186) that the Baptistery competition involved the "grafting on to the competitive practice of medieval communes the Antique concept of the contest as agon between great masters". My emphasis is, however, on the strength and tenacity of re- publican ideals, an ethic which was enthusiastically defended by the new 'civic humanism.' 7' SMF 464, 465 (29 Mar. - 29 Apr. 1412). The provvisione of the Con- siglio del Popolo recalls that the church had been so dedicated at the time of its foundation, and thus also Giovanni Villani (SMF 5: 1294). The acts of 1412 revitalized this tradition and, among other things, ordered the use of the new name where habit had kept alive, even in public documents, the dedica- tion of the earlier church to S. Reparata. 78 MANETTI, op. cit. (see note 74), p. 78; he cites a lost uscita or cassa 110 AND BUREAUCRACY BRUNELLESCHI vaultswerebuilton centering; the construction a wooden but of armature the vastandloftycupola for seemed the headmasons to not just difficult, outright but impossible, according the bio- to grapher, the acutereasoning Filippopointedout to them as of the full rangeof problems involved. The documents show the Operaand guild behaving the time-honored in manner the in face of the dilemma. In 1418 the Operai sent out publicbans inviting kindof modelor designregarding cupola's any the cen- tering,offering expenses audience all participants a and to and prizeof two hundred florins the winner.79 two mostex- to The pensive responses this callwereGhiberti's to modelof smallun- bakedbricksand Brunelleschi's, whichwas a surprisingly large mock-up cupola, constructed ordinary with bricks finished and with detailsexecuted collaboration Nannidi Bancoand Do- in with natello.' A firstgreatconsultation, whoseproceedings un- are fortunately not recorded, examined the entries,8' in the all and following the responsible year institutions geared for the final up decision process. In November 1419, the Wool consulslegislated intensify to supervision the difficult by creating new magistracy of task a com- prisedof four expressly electedguild members who, with the consent the consuls Operai, of and wouldsolicitandconduct the affairsrelating the cupola. The motivation this provision to for leavesno doubtaboutthe importance attached the matter to by the guild:"theadministration the cathedral beenentrusted of has to us by the peopleand the Commune, bringing the greatest us honor and perpetual fame, above all if it is properly run".82 book (26 May 1417) which corresponds to the two extant stanziamenti published by Guasti: Cup. 16 (19 May 1417). 79Cup. 11 (19 Aug. 1418). 80This analysis of the documents follows SAALMAN, Op. Cit. (see note 2), pp. 61-62, who sets straight the results of Manetti's incomplete archival research. MANETTI, op. cit. (see note 74), p. 91, scandalized by the waste of money, states that Ghiberti's "useless" model cost 300 lire and Brunelleschi's only 50, but the expenses in several entries for the latter in fact total 310 lire. 81 Cup. 15 (7 Dec. 1418). 82 Cup. 1 (15 Nov. 1419): "per populum et Commune Florentie gubernatio et cura Opere Sancte Marie del Fiore, cathedralis ecclesie florentine, est univer- sitati Artis lane conmissa; quod cedit in honorem maximum et famam perpetuam 111. HAINES MARGARET In the spring of 1420 these new officials apparentlycommissioned not a new compromise model, as was once thought, but further elaborationof the Brunelleschimodel to test whether its continuous fabric allowed adequate lighting into the crossing.' New public proclamationsinvited all to come and discuss the work, and further payments were made for consultations and designs.' Manetti conflates these and the meetings of 1418 into a single dramatic narrative portraying Brunelleschi's behavior in the face of the doubts of his interlocutors."5Only Filippo, having proved physically and economically unfeasible all others' attempts to de- vise a supporting structure over which to build the vault, main- tained that the cupola could and must be erected without this traditional crutch. His proposal, derived from the intensely mo- tivated contemplation of classical architecture, was so eccentric that it initially provoked the ridicule of the Operai and their peers as well as of the experts convened. To Filippo's great embarrass- ment, the Operai, in the presence of the consuls, literally had him carried out of two meetings, presumablywhen his passionate (lefense of his idea exceeded all the bounds of protocol. But the rash youth of 1401 was now a very determined man in his Artis prefate, maxime si dicta fabrica suo recto ordine gubernabitur, convenit ut honori Communiset dicte Artis". 83 This is the interpretation of SAALMAN, op. cit. (see note 2), pp. 63-69, who demonstratesthat materialsacquiredfor the "novo et ultimo modello" from 8 March to 22 April 1420 (ibid., doc. 95; cf. extracts from the Italian version in Cup. 50) would correspondto a model of the drum alone, executed in the same 1: 8 scale as Brunelleschi'sbrick model. The case for this hypothesis is strong, but it cannot be supported, as Saalman proposed, by his doc. 164 of 3 Oct. 1421 ("s.5 s.6 per fare dipigniere il tanburo"), which almost cer- tainly regards the box for denunciations ordered to be placed in the church (Archivio dell'Opera del Duomo, henceforth AOD, II-1-79, c. 25v, 15 Sept. 1421: "unum tamburumin quod scribatur quod tamburaripossit... quicum- que de pecunia et rebus dicte opere habuisset indebite... et similiter qui- cumque delinquens dicte opere..."). The same reservationsare applicable to his docs. 169 and 213.3 (the latter doc. of 21 July 1425 again follows the deliberationof 14 April 1425 to reinstate the "tamburo"for the Opera's em- ployees and masons: AOD, II-1-86, c. 10v). On the theft of the denunciation box in March 1421 see BRUCKER, Civic World, cit. (see note 4), p. 309. 84 Cup. 44 (27 Mar. 1420), 45 (3 Apr. 1420), 46 (1 Apr. 1420), 47 (1 Apr. 1420), 48, 49 (24 Apr. 1420). 85 MANETTI, op. cit. (see note 74), pp. 80-85. 112 AND BRUNELLESCHI BUREAUCRACY forties, able to bend his characterto the politics of the situation'. While patiently seeking allies amongst the other consultants by extolling any possible praiseworthy detail in their proposals, he also set to work to remedy his lack of concrete experience as an architect and his still insufficient connections with the influential wool merchants responsible for the final decision. One coup exemplifies his adroit diplomacy: asked whether he could demon- strate his methods on a smaller scale, he convinced the prominent guild member, Schiatta Ridolfi, to allow him to vault his private chapel (now lost) in S. Jacopo sopr'Arno without centering. Still according to Manetti, further demonstrations and persistent per- suasion eventually won the day for Filippo. His methods were at length judged valid, and he agreed to put them in writing in a summary document, which was eventually approved and re- corded by a joint meeting of the consuls, Operai and four cupola officials in July 1420.' But already these three magistracies had elected Brunelleschi and Ghiberti, together with the Opera capomaestroBattista d'An- tonio, to the new office of provveditori della cupola.' Battista, a trusted in-house presence, would receive a bonus over his ordi- nary daily wage, while Filippo and Lorenzo were salaried at thirty- six florins each per year. Ghiberti in his Commentari proudly declares that he and Brunelleschiwere colleagues in this office for eighteen years at the same salary.88 Manetti, on the other hand, affirms that Ghiberti's presence was a useless waste of public money and that it was eventually terminated.' We shall see that 86 Ibid., pp. 85-88, and Cup. 51, from a lost registration in the Opera archives;anotherversion of the report is conservedin the archivesof the Wool Guild and was published by A. DOREN, "Zum Bau der FlorentinerDomkuppel", Repertorium fur Kunstwissenschaft, XXI, 1898, pp. 249-262: 258-261. SAALMAN (op. cit. [see note 2], p. 79) believes that the report was already composed in connection with the model of 1418, executed by Brunelleschiin collaboration with Donatello and Nanni. The three would constitute the first person plural subject of its incipit, "Qui appresso faremo memoria/menzione...". Cf. the interpretationof TANTURLI (in MANETTI, op. cit. [ see note 74], p. 85 note 2), who considers the plural a linguistic convention of the substantiallyanonymous technicaldocument,whose subject, if any, could only be the four cupola officials. 87 Cup. 71 (16 Apr. 1420) and DOREN, Ioc. cit. (see note 86), pp. 261-262. 8 GHIBERTI, op. cit. (see note 73), p. 47. 8 MANETTI, op. cit. (see note 74), pp. 91, 95. 113 MARGARETHAINES neither of these accounts is exact. The contrast between them has prompted scholars to speculate on the personal rivalry and/or friendship of the two masters and their relative roles in the cu- pola. Manetti's polemics and scrambledchronologieshave exposed his version to general scepticism, prompting a number of writers to re-evaluateGhiberti's contribution to the design and execution of the dome.9' Nevertheless, a critical reading of his text, seen against the background of patronage practices so far observed at the Opera del Duomo, supplies a remarkablyplausible key for the interpretationof documented events. According to Manetti, in 1420 the city was again divided as at the time of the competition for the Baptistery doors.9' The consuls and Operai had determined to offer the principal super- vision of the cupola to Filippo at the unprecedentedlymeager rate of thirty-six florins per year. Motivated more by desire for honor than for profit, he surprised the Ghiberti faction by accepting. But Lorenzo's supporters pressed the Opera with scarcely veiled threats, pointing out that it would be prudent to give Brunelle- schi a companion in such a risky and publicly exposed enterprise, and so Ghiberti was also instated at the same salary. Filippo and his advocates were disappointed by the final outcome, but had to accept it. Two observations are possible regarding this account. First, the election and subsequent documents describe Brunelleschi and Ghiberti as "provveditori della cupola" and not "capomaestri". In the past there had been no guarantee that the author of a winning design would also be employed in its execution, and the offices of capomaestri had continued, for example, undisturbed 90 P. SANPAOLESI, concorso del 1418-20 per la Cupola di S. Maria del "I1 Fiore", Rivista d'Arte, XVIII, 1936, pp. 321-344; R. BONELLI,"Antonio Ma- netti, 'tendenzioso fino a travisarei fatti"' in Filippo Brunelleschi. La sua opera e il suo tempo, cit. (see note 74), II, pp. 923-932; F. BORSI, 'E specialmente nella edificazionedella tribuna fummo concorrentiFilippo e io anni diciotto a un medesimo salario..." in Lorenzo Ghiberti nel suo tempo, cit. (see note 76), II, pp. 541-552; A. BOVE-S.BRICCOLI BATI-S. Di PASQUALE-B. LEGGERI, "Que- stioni marginali concernenti il rapporto Ghiberti-Brunelleschi nella costruzione della cupola di Santa Maria del Fiore", ibid., pp. 553-560. 91 MANETTI, op. cit. (see note 74), pp. 88-90. On the significanceof this division see PROCACCI, cit. (see note 74), p. 42. loc. 114 BRUNELLESCHI AND BUREAUCRACY afterthe approval the committee of model. In the case of the cupola,however, whoseself-supporting principle depended upon innovative construction it techniques, must have seemedadvis- ableto institutionalize bondbetween the invention execution and a through new supervisory office. The actingcapomaestro was alsoincluded the roll of threeprovveditori a suitable in as finan- cial arrangement his working above wages,'but the role of Bru- and nelleschi Ghiberti musthavebeenconceived part-time as su- pervisory consultation, whoserecompense therefore dis- was not proportionate. the of Furthermore, presence Ghiberti thiscapa-in city cannothavebeen astonishing.Plurality supervision in and responsibility a long-established was in tradition the Opera:we can recallthe not always harmonious of co-existence Talentiand Ghiniin the 1360s, as well as the advisory boardswhichhad neverceasedto exist. In the face of a dividedcity, the Ope- ra, a civic delegate spending publicfundsfor the realization of the city'smostprominent monument, neededto involveany or- ganized in opposition a strongmajority consensus.Wide appro- val for the fundamentally Brunelleschian modeland start-up pro- gramwas beingsought,andone of the best waysto accomplish this was to offer supervisory to representation other strongly backed The contestants. consuls Operaiand desired plurality this at anycost,with or withoutGhiberti, the electiondocument for namestwo alternates, both of whomhad produced modelsand designs:the painter, Pesello,andthe dabbling scholar, Giovanni di Gherardo Prato. da Manettidescribes Brunelleschi first grudgingly as accepting, but soonchafing the against unwelcome partnership Ghiberti. with Eventually Filippocouldnot resistforcingthe situation with a verypointedpractical joke,his feignedillnessand absence from the worksite its calculated and devastating consequences Lo- for renzo,a tale told with the samewit and psychological acumen that pervade Novelladel Grasso.93 the Brunelleschi successfully 92His name appears added as an afterthought at the end of the text conserved in the guild records, while it directly follows that of the other two in the Opera rendition (respectivelyDOREN, Ioc. cit. [see note 86], p. 262, and Cup. 71). Subsequently,however, his office is usually describedsimply as "capo. maestro dell'Opera". 93 MANETTI, op. cit. (see note 74), pp. 92-95. 115 MARGARETHAINES exposed his rival, who was trapped into taking on and inevitably botching the design of one of the cupola's internal chain systems. But if the challenger was gratified in the records with the addi- tional epithet of "inventor" of the cupola, his partner's support- ing faction was still strong enough to maintain him in office.' As the dome rose, inclining its self-bonded masonry over the great void of the crossing, (Fig. 7) the risks, the perils, the sheer vertigo of the situation nagged all those concerned, from the lowliest manovale to the loftiest merchant statesman. Under this tension the semblance of equality between the two provveditori finally crumbled. There is in fact an interruption of Ghiberti's salary from July 1425 through February 1425/6.'5 Now, he had more lucrative projects to attend to, such as the third set of Baptistery doors recently commissioned from him at the annual salary of two hundred florins.' Brunelleschi, on the other hand, had of necessity behaved very much like a full-time employee of the Opera, closely following every step of the work, checking con- struction materials,devising the myriadsecuritymeasuresembedded in the fabric of the cupola: the success of his invention depended on these details. From the summer of 1425 to early 1426, a gen- 94 MANETTI (ibid., p. 95) dates this episode - which he certainly learned by word of mouth, probably Brunelleschi's - to 1423 on the basis of his research, which turned up an uscita document of 31 August of that year re- warding Filippo, "inventoree governatoredella muragliadella maggiorecupola", for invention, particularly new model for the great wood chain ("catenagrande a del legname della detta cupola"). This correspondsto the two versions of the stanziamentoin Guasti (Cup. 177): in the former, however, "chatenammagniam ligaminis" should read "chatenammagniamligniaminis".(AOD, II-1-83, c. 68). This was the first and only wood chain installed. Since the story also says that Ghiberti hoped to copy his chain from that around the Baptistery vault, which is in wood, the dating is probably correct. Manetti does not treat the amendments to the 1420 program approved after consultation in early 1422 (SAALMAN, op. cit. [see note 2], p. 74; Cup. 52). 95 Cup. 74, 28 June 1425. Payments of his salary are lacking not only through 1425, but through the first two months of the following year (AOD, II-4-9 and II-4-12). 96 KRAUTHEIMER, op. cit. (see note 72), II, p. 370, doc. 36 (2 Jan. 1424/5). The contract included an exclusive clause, "che finche non sara finita, non possa pigliare a fare altro lavoro". Its intent was certainly that the artist take on no new commissions,but it might also have been interpreted as being incompatiblewith his position at the Opera del Duomo. Nevertheless, he remained active in the context of the cupola, producing five bronze bosses for the hoist, paid to him in October 1425 (Cup. 141). 116 BRUNELLESCHI BUREAUCRACY AND eralreview plans thecompletion thevault's of for of upper reaches involved new roundof extensive a consultation citizens with and experts over a seriesof modelsanddesigns.'7 Clearly, guild the andthe Opera the needof outside felt support the last,breath- in taking leap,andonce againthey drummed a consensus a up for new,detailed program for the remaining of the dome,com- parts missioned Brunelleschi, from Ghiberti,Battista and d'Antonio one of the four cupolaofficials.98 to The decision proceed according to these specifications takenjointlyby the consuls,Operai, was and cupola officials,who technically assumed for responsibility the text theirappointees submitted.If this is the juridical had content theirdeliberation, practical of its significance never- was thelessclearto the Opera's notary,who succinctly indicatedin the relative thatthe cupola title wouldproceed "according the to designof Filippodi ser Brunellescho".9 sameact returned The to the matter the cupola's of provveditori: 1 March from 1425/6 Brunelleschi, whose laborand diligence was praised, would be raisedto one hundred florinsper year for full time; Ghiberti, whosediligence aloneis cited,was reinstated a salary thirty- at of six florinswiththeobligation putin onehoureachworking to day. Manetti attributes partial this victoryto the good officesof Filippo's friends,10 it is well to bearin mindthat the archi- and tect'sown little politicalcareer was at its apex in this period. 97 SAALMAN, op. cit. (see note 2), P. 119 and docs. 213.4-8; Cup. 58-60. 98 Cup. 75: deliberation of 4 Feb. 1425/6 containing and sanctioning the report dated 24 Jan. 1425/6. 99 "Quod laborerium cupole magne sequatur secundum designum Filippi ser Brunelleschi" (AOD, II-2-1, c. 170v). This important phrase, omitted by Guasti who systematically excluded such marginalia from his transcriptions, was published in my entry on the document in Filippo Brunelleschi: l'uomo e l'artista, catalogue of the documentary exhibition at the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana. Florence, 28 May-31 December 1977 (Ministero per i Beni culturali e ambientali, pubblicazioni degli Archivi di Stato, XCIV), Florence, 1977, pp. 46-47. It must have been common knowledge that the cupola's design and execution were es- sentially Brunelleschi's. Cf. the registration in the Priorista of Paolo di Matteo Fastelli Petriboni for July-August 1420, published by U. PROCACCI, "Sulla cro- nologia delle opere di Masaccio e di Masolino tra il 1425 e il 1428", Rivista d'Arte, XXVIII, 1953, pp. 3-55: 33, note 46, and the context provided for it by G. TANTURLI, "Rapporti del Brunelleschi con gli ambienti letterari fiorentini" in Filippo Brunelleschi. La sua opera e il suo tempo, cit. (see note 74), I, pp. 125-144: 133. 1'X MANETTI, op. cit. (see note 74), p. 95. 117 MARGARET HAINES Having repeatedly sat on several city councils, he served his one term as Prior in May-June 1425.101 If politics were a factor, then temporaryreduction of Brunelleschi's wage in the spring of 1431 may be related to the decline of his appearancesin civic elective offices, a circumstance which, it has been in turn sug- gested, may have depended on his ill-fated attempt to flood Lucca in support of the beseiging Florentine troops a year earlier." With this exception, however, the pacts of 1426 remained in force until the completion of the dome in 1436. Filippo was de facto in charge, but never alone; he was legally bound to the execution of a program which, though widely underwritten, was essentially his own, pushed and prodded through, and perhaps refined by, the traditional consultative processes of the Opera. Even his own corrections to his calculations for the diameter of 101 D. FINIELLOZERVAS, "Brunelleschi's Political Career", Burlington Magazine, CXXI, 1979, pp. 630-639, where it is also suggestedthat the architect'srepeated appearances civic councils from 1418 may have won him status and credibility on in the cupola competition. Recent historical studies have emphasized the im- portance of both personal and political connections in the partisan society of quattrocentoFlorence. See, for example, D. KENT, The Rise of the Medici: Faction in Florence, 1426-1434, Oxford, 1978. As a curiosity it may be noted that during Brunelleschi's priorate,when he could not have been present on the constructionsite, his salarywas neverthelesspaid in full (AOD, II-1-86, c. 51v); the full-time clause, however, took effect only on 1 March 1425/6. 102 For an analysis of Brunelleschi's remarkable military strategy which exonerateshis calculationsfrom the responsibilityof its failure see P. BENIGNI- P. RUSCHI, "Il contributodi Filippo Brunelleschiall'assediodi Lucca"in Filippo Brunelleschi. La sua opera e il suo tempo, cit. (see note 74), II, pp. 517- 533. Nevertheless the debacle may have influenced his subsequent political fortunes, as first suggested by N. RUBINSTEIN, "Palazzi pubblici e palazzi pri- vati al tempo di Brunelleschi",ibid., I, pp. 27-36: 36, note 67, and further elaboratedby ZERVAS, lOc. cit. (see note 101), pp. 635-636. His Duomo wages were withheld not only for the period of his presence in Lucca (20 March-12 June 1430), but through 15 September 1430, when the Operai had to send for him in Figline (Cup. 101 and AOD, II-4-12, c. 130; II-4-13, cc. 2v, 5v). On 16 Feb. 1430/1 the Operai "pro bona et iusta causa" reduced his wage to 50 florins per year (Cup. 82). Although the deliberationstates that it is to be effective from 1 April 1430, hence retroactively,the year is probablyan error for 1431, since paymentsare recordedat the 100 florin rate from 15 September 1430 to 13 March 1430/1 (AOD, II-4-13, cc. 5v, 10v), while the 50 florin rate applies from then to 30 June 1431 (ibid., c. 13v). Ghiberti had meanwhilebeen entirelyoff the payrollfrom 1 July 1430 through30 June 1431. From 1 July 1431 both provveditoriwere reinstatedaccordingto the pacts of 1426, and they remain- ed in their positions throughJune 1436 (Cup. 83, 84, and "Correzioni", 188). p. 118 AND BUREAUCRACY BRUNELLESCHI bureau- oculushadto be approved the prescribed the cupola's by craticprocedures."03 From 1420 to 1436, then, Brunelleschi was co-provveditore of the cupola, with no official mandate or role for the rest of the church. Nevertheless he was always there and, as work pro- gressed, ever more respected. It was therefore perfectly natural that he figure as a frequent and authoritative consultant of the Opera on other matters. The space of this essay does not permit examination of these many concerns, ranging from the interior decorations of the church to the fortification of outlying towns, entrusted by the Commune in times of emergencyto the seasoned personnel of the cathedral. Limiting our inquiry to the archi- tecture of S. Maria del Fiore, we can observe how already, during the years of his mandate for the cupola, Brunelleschi was drawn into the discussion of broader questions of priority for the com- pletion of the church. In 1429 the Operai ordered Brunelleschi and Ghiberti to exe- cute a model of the whole church, including of course the cupola and the new east end, but also the new fasade and chapels off the nave aisles proposed as buttressing in response to new cracks that had opened in the nave, presumablyunder the thrust of dis- placement from the rising dome."' The Operai reported to the consuls about this in 1430.105 But with all efforts directed towards the cupola, there can be little surprise that the Operai, having repeatedly conferred about these grave dangers with the provve- ditori, Battista d'Antonio, and numerous other experts, opted for the less elegant solution of a new system of tie rods which was 103 The consuls had delegated the power to modify the 1426 program to the Operai and the cupola officials (Cup. 75). Since the latter office was fused with that of the sacristy officials a year later (Cup. 10), the Operai alone were competent to approve adjustments proposed jointly by Brunelleschi, Ghiberti and Battista d'Antonio in 1432 (Cup. 247-8 and SAALMAN, op. cit. [see note 2], pp. 132, 138). Since a new reduction of the diameter from 10 to 9 2/3 brac- cia proposed by Filippo and Battista the following year (Cup. 251) implied the reversal of the Operai's previous deliberation, it had to be enacted by them jointly with the consuls. 104 Cup. 61 (22 Sept. 1429). Payments to the carpenters who executed the model are recorded from 29 November 1429 to 2 May 1430: Cup. 62-66. The interpretation of the documentation follows the analysis of SAALMAN, op. cit. (see note 2), pp. 128-131. 105 Cup. 67 (2 May 1430). 119 MARGARET HAINES in fact installed to Brunelleschi'sspecificationsfrom 1431.'1? Still, the architect preferred the more radical chapel solution, and in 1434 the Operai directed him to complete the ideal model so that the whole "veritas" could be known of the dome, the lantern, the rest of the church, and the proposed chapels."0 This truth exceeded the Opera's immediate resources. Seve- ral matters pressed as the closing of the cupola approached.The lantern would of course be required for the perfection of the dome. Under the cupola, the whole east end, which had served as long as most people could remember as a busy, unpaved, clut- tered construction yard set off from the officiated nave by rough partitions, now presented itself as the biggest and barest imagin- able ecclesiastical container. With Brunelleschi's completed mod- els before them, the consuls and Operai sat down in August of 1434 to work out their priorities. Nothing was underratedin im- portance; but the preference of the populace, said to be crying out for the entire church to be opened, was clear."0 Having as usual solicited counsel from many quarters, the officials could only conclude that the chapel scheme was not a popular priority. After the cupola, the next effort would be to finish the interior of the east end so that divine offices could take place there as soon as possible. After that, the lantern would be begun, and only when it was finished could other structuralmatters be taken in hand. The convenient, if pressing, deadline for the rushed preparationof the east end was provided by Pope Eugenius IV, who had agreed to preside at the consecration of the new cathe- dral on 25 March 1436 before departing from his first Florentine sojourn."? When the event took place, some work was still pend- ing on the cupola, which received its finishing touches and the benediction of the bishop of Fiesole only in August of that year.'10 106 The fullest body of transcriptions concerning these catene is now avail- able in G. POGGI, Duomo di Firenze, II, posthumousedition, ed. M. HAINES, II Florence, 1988, pp. 173-181. Additional references in SAALMAN, cit. (see op. note 2), docs. 253.9-10, 253.16, 253.20-22. 107 Cup. 70 (17 June 1434). 108 Cup. 259 (12 Aug. 1434): "totum populum clamare magno desiderio, quod detur modus ad habitandumtotum templum". '09 POGGI,op. cit. (see note 106), II, pp. 195-201. 110Cup. 261 (31 Aug. 1436). 120 BRUNELLESCHI BUREAUCRACY AND it to Technically, was now possible proceed with the lantern. (Fig. 8) Although already 1432 the Operaihad incitedBru- in nelleschi makea modelof it,"'in 1436 the Opera to once again paidnot only for another modelby him, but also for those of othercontenders, notably of his inevitable that rival,Ghiberti, and no less thanthreeentries submitted a new challenger, car- by the penterand aspiring architect,Antoniodi ManettoCiaccheri."2 In thesummer consuls already the had cometo the Opera exam- to ine Filippo's modelover lunch,but the othercontestants could scarcely satisfied be with an insidedecision. The Operai fact in proceeded through remarkable seriesof consultations a new be- fore the last day of 1436, when they finallyapproved Brunelle- schi'smodel,statingtheirwish to beginthe lantern desiredby the wholeFlorentine populace invoking powersconceded and the themby the councils, people,andCommune Florence by of and the Wool Guild."3Firsttherehad been a greatcouncilof the- ologians, learned men, architects, goldsmiths, otherartisans, and Florentine citizens.Thenthreerounds votingby separate of com- missions, eachcomprising architects, painters, gold- two two two smiths, mathematician, two capable one and citizens, handed had downopinions in writing. Finally, committee eightpromi- a of nent citizens,including Cosimode' Medici,draftedthe report thatwas sanctioned the finalact of the Operai. The lantern by shouldbe constructed according Filippo's to model- described as the strongest, lightest,best lit, andmostwater-resistentand- underhis personal supervision. But the Operaishouldconvoke andexhorthim to put aside"omnes rancores" to consent and to incorporate his work any improvements, into howeversmall,to 111 Cup. 250 and 264 (30 Oct. 1432). This act emerged in the context of the decisions over the span of the opening to be allowed at the summit of the dome. 112 Cup. 265-272 (19 Mar. 1435/6-19 Apr. 1437), including delayed pay- ments for the models submitted by Antonio, who is of course not to be confused with the biographer of Brunelleschi. I have attempted a fuller analysis of the documents and their relationship to Manetti's Life in The "Sacrestia delle Messe" of the Florentine Cathedral, Florence, 1983, pp. 64-66. In the same period the Operai had called for models for a new hoist to lift the lantern materials above the cupola (Cup. 129: 7 Sept. 1436). 113 Cup. 273 (31 Dec. 1436). 121 MARGARET HAINES be derived from his competitors' entries. Once again, the archi- tect's design had become a universal project. During the deliberations over the models for the lantern, Bru- nelleschi had not always been without a job. Already in October the Operai had found a formula to reinstate his salary by com- missioning from him the tile roofing of the vaults of the three tribunes at a fixed rate plus the personal recompense of one hundred florins per year."'4 The interim arrangementapparently remained in force for over a year after the approval of his lantern model. Finally, in February 1437/8 the Operai installed him officially, at the same pay and with the comprehensive title of provveditore of the cupola, its lantern, and the whole church; as required by statute, the consuls approved this provision and ex- tended it for another year in December."5 Although work on the lantern had started slowly with the search for the vast marble blocks required, Brunelleschi's stable position in the Opera would A not again be challenged."16 joint deliberation of the consuls and Operai in 1443 went so far as to authorize the extension of the traditional annual term to a permanent election for the rest of his life.117 No one else, according to the justification of this ex- ceptional act, could be found to take on the seemingly impossible task of devising how to hoist and position the great marble blocks for the lantern.'18But there was a hitch. Filippo was to provide 114 26 Oct. 1436, published in C. VON FABRICZY, "Brunelleschiana", Jahrbuch der Kdniglich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen, XXVIII, Beiheft, 1907, pp. 1-84: 38; cf. Filippo Brunelleschi: l'uomo e l'artista, cit. (see note 99), p. 54. 115 Cup. 85 (13 Feb. 1437/8), 87 (16 Dec. 1438). 116 Temporary reductions in 1439 and 1440, regarding all salaried employees, were dictated by the financial straits of the Opera: Cup. 88-91. For the marble supply, see Cup. 277ff and SAALMAN, op. cit. (see note 2), pp. 141ff. 117 Cup. 93 (12 Apr. 1443). The only precedent for this act was the consuls' and Operai's offer (26 Apr. 1439) of a life appointment to Battista d'Antonio if his son would agree to rescind the arrangement whereby he received his father's pay. This proposal was not enacted. The consuls finally appointed Battista d'Antonio as capomaestro of the Opera for life on 17 June 1450. He died on 11 December 1451. SAALMAN, op. cit. (see note 2), pp. 188-189 and docs. 240-a.14, 240a.24. 118 The new hoist was being devised in the spring of 1443 (ibid., p. 164). The text of the election authorization closely recalls Manetti's account of Bru- nelleschi's tactics when the vaulting of the dome was under discussion. The demonstrated difficulty or impossibility of the task in the hands of others made 122 AND BRUNELLESCHI BUREAUCRACY a full andclearexplanation the methods intended use. of he to Perhaps old man,with his notoriously the cageypersonality, de- murred this clause,for a similar at in offerwas repeated 1445 withoutthe provisoand with the addedjustification his that and had ingenuity inventions savedthe Operaand Comune an incalculable of amount money."9 There wouldhavebeenlittle timeto enjoythis unwonted job for died security, FilippoBrunelleschi on 15 April 1446.1w The following December guildconsuls the convened remember to him in an extraordinary way."2'Countless and colleagues citizens had reminded themof the architect's and achievements inventions and of all the expenses had thereby that been saved. It was fitting, not only for his personal honorand famebut also for that of that the Commune, the guild,at whosebehesthe had worked, demonstrate gratitude.The consulstherefore its decreedthat a site in or near the church designated his final resting be for The place."2 Opera a wouldsupply suitable amount marble of to be carved the expense Filippo's (his adopted at of heir son, the sculptor, di and Andrea Lazzero), an appropriate would inscription be composed. In early 1447, the Operai,togetherwith two consuls, willingly to for attended theirmandate the burial honors and eternal fameof the most "eloquent ingenious" and Brunel- leschi,who was saidto havebeen assisted onlyby God and the Virginin the realization of withoutarmature the greatdome." A marble withthe inscription slab "FILIPPUS ARCHITECTOR" him the winner by exclusion: "... intellecto quantum non tantum difficile creditur, sed difficilimum, conduci super dicta Cupola lapides et marmora... et quod nullus offert, nec reperitur qui predicta incipere et ad perfectionem conducere dicat..., et de periculis maximis dubitatur, prout per operarios Opere dicte ec- clesie ipsis consulibus relatum fuit: et auditis ipsis operariis referentibus, quod Filippus ser Brunelleschi infrascriptus obtulit eisdem perpluries dictum laborerium incipere et ad perfectionem deducere vere credit, et hoc experientia demostrare, si eidem de infrascripta provisione provideatur..." (Cup. 93). 119 Cup. 95 (7 Dec. 1445). His accomplishments "non solum cedunt ad ornatum et decus dicte ecclesie, sed etiam magnifici Comunis Florentie". 120 Cup. 96 and p. 201. 121 CUp. 119 (30 Dec. 1446). 122 Private burials in the church had long been subject to the approval of the consuls: cf. SMF 70, p. 94 (16 June 1357). 123 Cup. 120 (18 Feb. 1446/7). 123 HAINES MARGARET would mark the site of his tomb under the brick pavement, while nearby in the first righthand bay the wall monument would com- prise his portrait and verses commissioned from Carlo Marsup- pini.'24(Figs. 9, 10) The Florentine chancellor rose to the occa- sion with the familiar text which still greets the public entering S. Maria del Fiore: "Not only the marvellous dome of this cele- brated temple but also the many machines he invented with di- vine genius stand to prove how Filippo the architect excelled in the Daedalian art. Wherefore, because of the distinguished gifts and singular virtues of his mind, on the 15th of the Calends of May, 1446, a grateful fatherland decreed that his worthy body be buried in this grave". 15 A monument in the cathedral was the highest civic recog- nition, reserved for a rarified circle of public heroes, including Luigi Marsili, John Hawkwood, and Niccolo Tolentino, whose number the Commune had hoped to extend posthumously to such luminaries as Dante and Petrarch."2 An excellent example of how Brunelleschi's tomb was regarded by Florentines in the de- cades after his death is to be found at the very outset of his biography by Manetti. The Life is in fact addressed to Girolamo Benivieni, who, admiring the true story of the intricate practical joke excogitated at the expense of I1 Grasso, wants to know more 124 The slab was lost when the church was repaved in marble, but the tomb was found in 1972 during excavations under the cathedral: G. MOROZZI in S. Reparata. L'antica cattedrale fiorentina, Florence, 1974, pp. 14-15, Figs. 40-41. Its inscription reads "CORPUS MAGNI INGENII VIRI/PHILIPPI S. BRUNELLESCHI FLORENTINI". For the artist's death mask and further documentation regarding the execution of the tomb see G. POGGI, "La 'maschera' di Filippo Brunelleschi nel Museo dell'Opera del Duomo", Rivista d'Arte, XII, 1930, pp. 533-540. 125 "D. S. Quantum Philippus architectus arte daedalaea valuerit, cum huius celeberrimi templi mira testudo, tum plures machinae divino ingenio ab eo ad- inventae documento esse possunt. Quapropter ob eximias sui animi dotes singu- laresque virtutes, XV Kl. Maias anno MCCCCXLVI, eius b. m. corpus in hac humo supposita grata patria sepelliri iussit". The Operai had approved the inscription with an act of 19 May 1447, where the text appears with minor variants (Cup. 121 and POGGI, op. cit. [see note 106], II, p. 131). 126 See the summary of a program of patriotic tombs planned by the Commune between 1393 and 1396 with the suggestion that it was inspired by Coluccio Salutati in E. BORSOOK, Mural Painters of Tuscany from Cimabue The to Andrea del Sarto, 2nd ed., Oxford, 1980, p. 76; many of the relative docu- ments in PoGGI, op. cit. (see note 106), II, pp. 123ff. 124 AND BRUNELLESCHI BUREAUCRACY aboutits inventor why "he received and suchan honoras to be buriedin SantaMariadel Fiore,and his very likeness,as they in say, placedthere sculpted marblefor eternalmemory, with suchan epitaph With thesewordsManetti "." launches his into laudatoryaccount, whileourshas comefull circle. Although the geniusand individualism architect's might seem to have been constrained the conventions publicpatronage, by of theseproce- dures alonecouldultimately the provide highest formof individual a recognition, publicstatement.At the sametime the Opera del Duomo as emerges a remarkable institution. in Bound on all sides by its juridicalpositionand publicresponsibility, found in it to the theseveryties the strength promote mostdaring projects, and that constructing maintaining civic consensus which alone, with sustainedfinancialeffortoverdecades, could even centuries, permit theirrealization. '7 MANETTI, op. cit. (see note 74), p. 47. 125
"BRUNELLESCHI AND BUREAUCRACY"