Pazzi chapel

Cappella Pazzi Filippo Brunelleschi built the Pazzi chapel as a perfect space with harmonious proportions. He could achieve this result by including in his project-plan the knowledge gained during his stay in Rome when he focused primarily on measuring ancient buildings, for instance the Pantheon.

The chapel was commissioned to Brunelleschi by Andrea de’ Pazzi in 1429 but the works went on also after the death of the architect in 1446 and were never finished because the family suffered the consequences of the conspiracy organized by Jacopo and Francesco de’ Pazzi, together with the archbishop of Pisa Francesco Salviati, against the Medici family. Lorenzo The Magnificent fell in the ambush on April 26th 1478 while he was attending Mass inside the Cathedral together with the brother Giuliano who was killed.


Soffitto della Cappella Pazzi The chapel, used as the chapter house by Santa Croce friars, is proceeded by an atrium, a sort of entrance hall, supported by six Corinthian columns placed next to the central arch. It is a rectangular layout containing one square room, covered by an umbrella-shaped dome, and two sides of the remaining space, each covered by a barrel vault with round windows.

The wall opens on a small square apse called scarsella covered by a dome decorated with a fresco painting reproducing the sky over Florence on July 4th 1442. A similar work still open to interpretation adorns the inside of the Old Sacristy in San Lorenzo church.

Cupoletta centrale della Cappella Pazzi

The attribution to Brunelleschi of this part of the structure is still a subject of discussion among the scholars, some attributing the chapel to Michelozzo, Rossellino or Giuliano da Maiano.

The central dome is decorated with round sculptures and the coat of arms of Pazzi Family (two paired dolphins) made of glazed terracotta, works by Luca della Robbia.



Numerous artists contributed to the conclusion of the decoration works of the Pazzi chapel: Giuliano da Maiano made the frame and the door; Luca della Robbia made the relief representing Saint Andrews on the throne above the portal and glazed terracotta rounds with Apostles.

The four Evangelists have been attributed to Brunelleschi, the cherubs on the medals of the external frieze to Desiderio da Settignano and his brother Geri. Alesso Baldovinetti drew the pattern of the stained glass window with the figure of Saint Andrew.