Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence

   Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, the Ospedale degli Innocenti was a foundling hospital financed by the architect's own Guild of Silk Merchants and Goldsmiths. Only the outside loggia faithfully follows Brunelleschi's design, as the rest of the structure was completed by his pupils. The loggia consists of a series of round arches supported by Corinthian columns, each containing a small dome. Along the hospital's walls, corbels lend further support while heavy pilasters at either end of the loggia provide a sense of completion. On the spandrels (the triangular spaces between the arches) are roundels filled with glazed terracotta reliefs, a common Brunelleschian feature. The second story includes pedimented windows, each centered above its corresponding arch below. Brunelleschi's design called for pilasters between the windows, yet these were omitted by his pupils. The Ospedale degli Innocenti shows the impact of ancient Roman architecture on Brunelleschi. Not only is the vocabulary he utilized classic but so are the principles of construction he applied to the commission. The emphasis on rationality, balance, symmetry, and rhythmic repetitions all derive from his careful study of ancient prototypes.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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