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

Interior of the Cappella dei Principi

begun 1604
San Lorenzo, Florence

Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici's ambitions were focused on the lavish design of a monumental chapel-museum, with a secular appearance, which served to commemorate and celebrate all the princes of the Medici dynasty. It was to be erected behind the chancel of the church of San Lorenzo, to be the majestic conclusion of a temple that was identified with the lives of the Medici House. It was envisaged that the mausoleum - later called the Cappella dei Principi - was to have its inside walls entirely encrusted in precious marble. The grand duke employed his stepbrother Prince Don Giovanni, a soldier and dilettante-architect for the planning of the building. The design was implemented by Matteo Nigetti. For the execution of the astonishing revetment of marbles inlaid with coloured marbles and semi-precious stone, the Grand Ducal hardstone workshop, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure was established.

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