Pazzi Chapel At Santa Croce: Architectural Analysis

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Brunelleschi’s Pazzi Chapel at Santa Croce, begun in 1441 in Florence furthers the application of geometric ideals in a chapter house for clergymen. Although not exactly centrally planned due to the additional breadth from flanking barrel vaults, the ordered designs of the primary space and central dome demonstrate Brunelleschi’s ordered design. The chapel’s dome “rests above the center of a rectangular structure,” similar to Hagia Sophia. Its dome is unique from the Old Sacristy in its application of light, with circular windows around the base of the dome further showing its connection to Hagia Sophia, as well as with a central oculus similar to the one found in the Pantheon. The shape of the windows continues the circular motif, and also creates a rim of light that suggests a separation of the dome from earthly space, compounds the feeling of lightness that the pendentives of the Old Sacristy communicated. Taking advantage of this contradiction of perception and physicality, Brunelleschi placed roundels depicting images of Apostles on the pendentives that appear to float. This association places the images of the roundels closer to the dome and thus closer to …show more content…
The facade is nearly square in proportion with an entablature, on which the frieze is evenly divided into smaller squares with pilasters. The cross shape of the pilasters serve not only to amplify the symmetry of the structure but also represents the cross itself, a meaningful connection to the church to which the chapel is attached, the Basilica of the Holy Cross. The Pazzi Chapel’s Christian iconographic application of Roman design themes originally associated with pagan worship shows how Brunelleschi and later Italian Renaissance architects such as Bramante adopted the techniques and appeal of antiquity to serve the needs of Christian

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