Church of San Lorenzo

Church of San Lorenzo

Architect Filippo Brunelleschi

Date ca. 1421-69

Movement Italian Renaissance

Located at Florence, Italy


Giovanni di Bicci de’Medici commissioned Brunelleschi to design and construct the Old Sacristy of the Church of San Lorenzo. The architect again relies upon Classical standards and proportions and marks crucial points with bold stone, contrasting with the light walls.


Having been so impressed with the Old Sacristy, the Medici family commissioned Brunelleschi to redesign the entire church of San Lorenzo. Brunelleschi was somewhat limited due to the preexisting structure and new additions—however, we can still see Classical devices, such as Corinthian columns instead of piers that allow for greater visibility, along with strict adherence to balance and symmetry. Simplistic and accessible proportions take the place of the dizzying elevations of Gothic counterparts.


The existing square end of the church prohibited any circular apse or radiating apsidioles; however, it does set a good foundation for Brunelleschi’s strict adherence to “right” proportions and use of squares.