Visit to the Brancacci Chapel in the church Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence

The chapel in the right-hand arm of the transpt in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine is consacrated to the Madonna del Popolo, and a painting of the Virgin stands on the altar. The patrons of the chapel was the Brancacci family, from the second half of the 14th century until 1780. Felice Brancacci was the patron of the chapel from 1422 till 1436. He was a rich and powerful man and he commissioned the fresco decoration of the chapel in 1423 shortly after he returned from Cairo where he had been sent as Florentine Ambassador.

It is assumed that work on the frescoes began in 1424, at a time when Masaccio and Masolino were working together, and that it continued until 1427 or 1428, when Masaccio set off for Rome, leaving the fresco cycle unfinished.

The appearence of the chapel today is the result of alterations begun immediately after Felice Brancacci fell out of favour; he was exiled in 1435 and declared a rebel in 1458. Further changes were carried out in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 23 minutes):
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Missa Brevis (Tu es Petrus)

Continue to the description of the frescoes.

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