(b. 1377, Firenze, d. 1446, Firenze)

View of the interior

begun 1441
Cappella dei Pazzi, Santa Croce, Florence

Brunelleschi's design for the chapter house in the cloister of Santa Croce was part of an extensive scheme of rebuilding following a dormitory fire in 1423. Patronage was assumed in 1429 by Andrea di Guglielmo Pazzi (1372–1445), whose family tombs were to be located in a crypt beneath the altar room; the building, generally known as the Pazzi Chapel, was intended to emulate the Old Sacristy at San Lorenzo. It has many features in common with the Sacristy, including the character of the articulation, although the basic shape of the chamber is rectangular rather than square. There is, in fact, a square here, formed by the central bay of the building beneath a twelve-part umbrella dome, and it is flanked by narrow 'transeptal' bays marked off by Corinthian pilasters.

The dome is supported on pendentives with roundels, like that in the Sacristy, resulting in deep curves in the upper parts of the walls and narrow, coffered barrel vaults over the flanking bays. As at the Sacristy, the east wall is opened up in the centre to reveal a square altar room roofed by a frescoed dome and lit by a large stained-glass window in its far wall. The chapter hall itself is evenly lit by small round windows at the base of the dome, by its lantern-covered oculus and by four tall arched windows in the entrance wall; the latter are echoed in corresponding round-headed panels on the bays of the walls inside.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.