Sassetti Chapel

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History of Sassetti Chapel

History of Sassetti Chapel


The Cappella Sassetti Chapel is the last of the left transept of the church of Santa Trinita in Florence. It preserves an important cycle of frescoes of the Stories of St. Francis of Assisi. The architecture and frescoes present in the Chapel are considered as the masterpiece of Domenico Ghirlandaio and among the most significant works of Humanism cultured, and elegant antiques period. The work stands, as a great refinement and is full of symbols and allusion, as well as precious split on the characters and the world at the time.

Francesco Sassetti, was a wealthy banker and the man of the Medici family, who headed the Bank for Doctors. In1478, the rich banker acquired the St. Francis Chapel, as his family also had a Chapel in Santa Maria Novella. Sassetti entrusted the decoration of the Chapel to the most famous artist of the moment in the city, Ghirlandaio, who realized the cycle of frescoes between1482 and 1485, however, the Chapel came under the restoration process in 2004 (Brown, 2003, pp.122). Ghirlandaio presented his thoughts of the contemporary Florentine society in his numerous portrayals in the Chapel.


The discussion is based on the frescos of the Sassetti Chapel; the narrative in this regard will present the rich and fertile vein of the chapel, which demonstrates craftwork with confined use of bright colors, serene, and peaceful atmosphere (Brown, 2003, pp.122).


The general view of the Sassetti chapel shows that the chapel is build with pointed arches and vaults, in typical Gothic style, as the whole church of Santa Trinita. However, the additions Renaissance merged well with the older structure. The two side walls in the chapel, on a pedestal near the altar, are the sarcophagi touchstone of Francesco Sassetti and his wife Nera Corsi, under an arch in stone decorated with carvings and gilding, by creating Giuliano da Sangallo.


The cycle of frescoes of the Sassetti Chapel makes its compositional structure of the Chapel, with different scenes divided into two overlapping planes and separated by fluted pilasters, with a strict application of perspective. The space, rational and civilized, often shows glimpses of daily life in Florence, harmonized with the religious scenes in the foreground. The contemporary characters, portrayed accurately in their dignity and refinement, they become the protagonists of the story lively. Among the various influences can be picked quotes archaeological, the minute details in the mold of the Flemish and Florentine tradition from Giotto onwards.


The fresco cycle unfolds on three walls framed by architectural elements fictitious. The theme of the decoration is essentially two-fold, but similar, then, ultimately, to the same reflection on life, death, and rebirth. The first theme is related to the life of St. Francis, the second cuts across the paintings on the arch outside the chapel, once the Sibyls, the altarpiece, the reliefs on the sarcophagi and tombs around the small monochrome, and concerns, the coming of Christ and his prophecy in the field of pay.

The Franciscan theme of course was linked to the ...