(b. ca. 1565, Firenze, d. 1648, Firenze)


Italian architect and sculptor. He was a pupil and assistant of Bernardo Buontalenti, with whom he worked on the Palazzo Non Finito (1593). Nigetti's principal work, however, was the Cappella dei Principi, the funerary chapel of the Medici family in San Lorenzo, Florence, on which he spent over 40 years (1604-48) supervising the construction. This was a major enterprise for the Medici.

Projects for the chapel had started with Duke Cosimo I and continued under Duke Francesco I; Grand Duke Ferdinando I had commissioned 19 designs between 1592 and 1594. Ferdinando eventually accepted a design by Giovanni de' Medici (1597; Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale), a modest reinterpretation of Michelangelo's Medici Chapel (1519-34) in San Lorenzo, in the form of an octagonal space with a domical vault but with polychromatic marble interior decoration instead of pietra serena. This design was revised by Alessandro Pieroni (1602; Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale) to an octagon with such deep side chapels that it became almost square in plan, and work started on this scheme under Nigetti's supervision. Nigetti revised the internal elevations considerably, adding a drum and dome and an interior decorative scheme of vertical rectangular polychromatic marble; he also deployed an eclectic mixture of windows and niches. His decorative scheme was reduced by Buontalenti in 1604 (Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale) to a more modest version that retained in some degree the 15th-century pilaster grid abandoned by Nigetti. The final result was reminiscent of such decorative schemes by Buontalenti as the Cappella della Madonna del Soccorso (1601) in Santo Spirito, with a heavy and full Mannerist decoration supplanting the architectural framework. The Cappella dei Principi, the central monument of Medici patronage of the early 17th century, revealed Medici taste as rooted in early 16th-century Florentine Mannerism, and Nigetti became known as an exponent of this style at a time when the Baroque was more generally accepted elsewhere in Italy.