Giovanni di Bicci, forefather of the Medici family, entrusted Filippo Brunelleschi with the reconstruction of the San Lorenzo basilica. He managed the huge construction site until his death in 1446.
In 1461 the project was completed by Brunelleschi’s biographer and heir, Antonio Manetti. Despite some interventions in the 18th and 19th century, the San Lorenzo Basilica preserves to this day the harmonious vastness and the sense of perfect integrity with which Brunelleschi had endowed it by virtue of the exact proportions that govern its structure.
According to the desires of Pope Leo X, son of Lorenzo the Magnificent (Lorenzo il Magnifico), the basilica was to be adequately completed by a marble façade. In 1518 the Pope entrusted this work to Michelangelo. Many drawings and a wooden model now on display in the Casa Buonarroti Museum give us an idea of the vastness of Michelangelo’s never realized project.