Il Duomo - Brunelleschi & The Egg:
An early STAR Moment.
The story of
the egg has become Renaissance folklore. The tale is told that when Filippo was meeting with the wardens to convince
them he could be the capomaestro elite, they became somewhat impatient with his mysterious design representations. He did
not want to tell them of the specifics of his design, but they continued to insist that he reveal to them precisely how he
would build the dome.
He continued to exert his best marketing acumen to the impatient group to no avail. Realizing
that the closing of the deal likely was not imminent, he excused himself and retired to the kitchen. (Work with me on this,
not everyone carries an egg around in their pocket.)
He returned to the meeting and placed an egg on the stone table,
and he challenged the wardens to stand the egg on its end. They looked at him quizzically, but they assumed that a man with
such great talent had devised some way to accomplish this seemingly difficult task. They tried repeatedly to stand the egg
up with no success. Each time it fell over and rolled across the table. Finally, in exasperation, they challenged him to do
what he had demanded of them.
Filippo grasped the egg and slammed it firmly on the table, cracking the bottom, leaving
a slight indention. The egg stood upright, and he stepped back from the table with a mischievous look of achievement in his
eyes. The wardens reacted in surprise and indignation, protesting that they too could have done the same if they had only
known how he intended to do it. Filippo rose from his chair and smiled, and he explained that they would have had the same
reaction if he had revealed to them his plan for constructing the dome. Like the egg trick, they would have concluded that
anyone could do it.
The story goes that his egg trick won him the commission. It’s a gratifying and colorful tale,
but documentation of its authenticity is somewhat limited, and such stories about legendary heroes can take on a life of their