Lorenzo Bartolini, “Tomba monumentale di Zofia z Czartoryskich Zamoyska”, particolare, 1837-1844, marmo. Firenze, Santa Croce, transetto sinistro, cappella Salviati

Salviati Chapel

The chapel, situated in the north transept, consists of a single rectangular space with a cross-vaulted ceiling. Founded by Alamanno Salviati between 1446 and 1447, its decoration was completed by his brother Averardo in 1478.

After a period of relative neglect, Lorenzo Salviati's wife Maria Maddalena Strozzi was authorised to restructure the chapel in 1611. The campaign was entrusted to Gherardo Silvani, who was also responsible for work carried out in the Calderini (now Riccardi) Chapel.

The eye is drawn in dramatic fashion to the back wall, which is dominated by a monumental painted wooden tabernacle framing a large altarpiece by Veronese artist Jacopo Ligozzi depicting the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence (1611) and a semi-precious stone altar beneath it.

Interior of the Salviati Chapel. Basilica of Santa Croce, north transept

Paintings of the Stations of the Cross by Luigi Ademollo were added in the first half of the 19th century, while the numerous funerary monuments on the walls were also added at around this time. Some of them were brought here as a result of work in other parts of the basilica, for instance the two tombstones of Giuseppe Salvetti (1811–12) and Gaspero Maria Paoletti (1818), both of them carved by Stefano Ricci for the Bardi Chapel but both removed in 1853 so that Giotto's frescoes could be restored.

On the left, two monuments highlight the cosmopolitan character of Florence in the 19th century. The first belongs to a leading member of the Polish aristocracy, Zofia z Czartoryskich Zamoyska (1837–44) and is one of the masterpieces of Lorenzo Bartolini's art.

Lorenzo Bartolini, Monumental Tomb of Zofia z Czartoryskich Zamoyska, 1837–44. Basilica of Santa Croce, north transept, Salviati Chapel.

The second was commissioned by the celebrated Polish philosopher August Cieszkowski in memory of his mother, Zofia z Kickich Cieszkowska. Carved by Teofil Aleksander Lenartowicz in collaboration with Giuseppe Pellas, it was erected in 1874.

Teofil Aleksander Lenartowicz e Giuseppe Pellas, "Tomba di Zofia z Kickich Cieszkowska", 1874, marmo e bronzo. Firenze, Santa Croce, transetto sinistro, cappella Machiavelli Salviati

Teofil Aleksander Lenartowicz and Giuseppe Pellas, Tomb of Zofia z Kickich Cieszkowska, 1874, marble and bronze. Florence, Santa Croce, north transept, Machiavelli Salviati Chapel

Perpetuating Santa Croce's international character on into the 20th century, a stele in memory of Corsican patriot Pasquale Paoli (1752–1807) carved by Antonio Maraini was placed here in 1936.

Patronage rights over the chapel passed by inheritance in 1794 to the Caprara and the Borghese Aldobrandini who held them until 1845, when they were granted to the Opera di Santa Croce.

Originally dedicated to the Holy Stigmata of St. Francis, the chapel was subsequently rededicated to the Most Holy Sacrament and, around the middle of the 19th century, to St. Lawrence the Martyr.