Pazzi chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

   Filippo Brunelleschi received the commission to build the Pazzi Chapel from Andrea Pazzi, the Medici's rival. It was to function as the chapter house for the convent attached to the Church of Santa Croce, Florence, as well as a place for the Pazzi to engage in private devotion. In 1433 part of Santa Croce's cloister was removed to make way for the new chapel. Some doubt whether the portico was built according to Brunelleschi's design, its Roman triumphal arch motif suitable for a religious structure as it speaks of the triumph of Christianity over paganism. The chapel's central plan is a more complex version of Brunelleschi's Old Sacristy at San Lorenzo (1421-1428). It consists of a central square capped by a dome and flanked at either side by rectangles that are half its width. A smaller square protrudes from the center to form the apse, a space that is also domed. This plan, completely based on geometric forms and a mathematical system of proportions, reflects Brunelleschi's rational approach to architecture. The domes are supported by pendentives, the largest pierced by a lantern and 12 oculi (rounded openings) that refer to the 12 apostles and the 12 gates of Jerusalem. When light enters the interior through these openings, it grants the illusion of a dome floating in midair as if supported by divine forces rather than actual architectural elements. Brunelleschi stuccoed the walls in white and trimmed them with pietra serena, a local tan-colored stone. As added ornamentation, Luca della Robbia created terracotta reliefs of the Evangelists for the pendentives and of saints for the roundels below the entablature. Brunelleschi purposely picked della Robbia for the execution of the reliefs since he found him better suited to the task than Donatello, who had contributed the reliefs in the Old Sacristy and that, in Brunelleschi's view, were too busy and infringed upon his architectural design. Considered one of the architectural masterpieces of the Renaissance, the Pazzi Chapel rejects the ornamentations of the Gothic style, instead embracing the ancient principles of harmony, balance, and symmetry.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Santa Croce, Florence — (beg. 1294; consecrated 1442)    Santa Croce is the Franciscan Church of Florence, its design commonly attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio. During the planning stages, the Franciscans were divided on whether to build a modest design that accorded… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence — Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence The Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce,… …   Wikipedia

  • Pazzi Chapel — The Pazzi Chapel (Italian: Cappella dei Pazzi ) in Florence is considered to be one of the masterpieces of Renaissance architecture. It is located in the “first cloister” of the Basilica di Santa Croce. Though funds for the chapel were assembled… …   Wikipedia

  • Santa Croce — ▪ church, Florence, Italy       church of the Franciscans in Florence, one of the finest examples of Italian Gothic architecture. It was begun in 1294, possibly designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, and was finished in 1442, with the exception of the… …   Universalium

  • Florence — • Located in the province of Tuscany (Central Italy) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Florence     Florence     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Florence — Firenze and Florentine redirect here. For other uses, see Florentin, Florentine (disambiguation), Florence (disambiguation) or Firenze (disambiguation). Florence Firenze   Comune   …   Wikipedia

  • Pazzi — Coat of arms of the Pazzi family The Pazzi family were an ancient, noble Tuscan family who had given up their titles so that members could be elected to public office. Their main trade, during the 15th century was banking. They are linked to the… …   Wikipedia

  • Florence — /flawr euhns, flor /, n. 1. Italian, Firenze. a city in central Italy, on the Arno River: capital of the former grand duchy of Tuscany. 464,425. 2. a city in NW Alabama, on the Tennessee River. 37,029. 3. a city in E South Carolina. 30,062. 4. a… …   Universalium

  • Florence Cathedral — Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Italian) Basilica Sanctae Mariae Floris (Latin) …   Wikipedia

  • Desiderio da Settignano — Christ Child (?), marble of c. 1460, in the National Gallery of Art Desiderio da Settignano, real name Desiderio de Bartolomeo di Francesco detto Ferro (c. 1430 – 1464) was an Italian sculptor active during the Renaissance. Biography He came from …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.