During the Italian Renaissance, Florentine design and architecture became widely respected throughout Europe and prominent Florentine architects like Filippo Brunelleschi became known for their strong influence on the wider movement of Renaissance architecture. The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Flower or the Florence Cathedral, is perhaps the most well-known example of high Renaissance Florentine architecture and Brunelleschi’s work. Its iconic dome was revolutionary at the time for its sheer size and came to be known as “Brunelleschi’s dome” or “il duomo.” Santa Maria del Fiore inspired many Renaissance architects, but perhaps the most famous design that took
inspiration from it was the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. The dome was designed by Michelangelo, whose work both embodied and twisted Renaissance design conventions. His use of classical forms and motifs in new, subversive ways reflected his Mannerist tendency of reworking traditional designs and gave many of his works a sense of illusory, artificial beauty. For his design of Saint Peter’s dome, Michelangelo mimicked elements of Brunelleschi’s dome because it provided a prototypical base for his Mannerist refashioning of classical Renaissance architecture.