Frescoes in the Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence (1365)
by GIOVANNI DA MILANO

The Rinuccini Chapel adjoins the sacristy of Santa Croce to the east. It belonged originally to the Guidalotti family, the The Rinuccini became the patron of the chapel in about 1371. The decoration of the chapel was commissioned some twenty years earlier by Lapo di Lizio Guidalotti. Vasari incorrectly identified the artist as Taddeo Gaddi. However, documents in 1365 related to the payments for the frescoes prove that the painter was Giovanni da Milano, a Lombard painter active in Florence. However, Giovanni broke off work on the frescoes prematurely, and they were completed only around 1370-71. This later phase of the decoration included the two lower scenes on the north and south walls.

The Rinuccini Chapel is dedicated to the birth of the Virgin and to St Mary Magdalen. The pictorial program takes this double dedication into account. The north wall, starting from the top, has the Expulsion of Joachim from the Temple, Joachim's Dream and the Meeting of Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate as well as the Birth of the Virgin, the Presentation of the Virgin, and the Marriage of the Virgin. The south wall has the Feast in the House of Simon the Pharisee, Christ in the House of Mary and Martha, the Raising of Lazarus, Noli me tangere, and the Recovery of the Child and the Raising of the Wife of the Ruler of Marseilles through the Intercession of the Saint.

The scenes on the walls can be considered as variants of the cycles in the Baroncelli Chapel in the Santa Croce (by Taddeo Gaddi) and in the Magdalene Chapel in the Lower Church of the San Francesco in Assisi (by Giotto's circle).

The main decoration of the vault consists of trefoils with half-length figures of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, and a tondo surrounded by a halo with a bust of Christ blessing painted on wood. In the jamb of the entrance arch there are half-length figures of the twelve apostles. The pilasters on the left have saints Francis and Anthony, on the right are saints Louis of Toulouse and Andrew of Anagni.

Preview Picture Data Info
View from the northwest
1365
Fresco
Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence


North wall
1365
Fresco
Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence


Expulsion of Joachim from the Temple (north wall, detail)
1365
Fresco
Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence


Expulsion of Joachim from the Temple (north wall, detail)
1365
Fresco
Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence


Birth of the Virgin (north wall, detail)
1365
Fresco
Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence


Birth of the Virgin (north wall, detail)
1365
Fresco
Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence


Meeting of Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate (north wall, detail)
1365
Fresco
Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence


South wall
1365
Fresco
Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence


Feast in the House of Simon the Pharisee (south wall, detail)
1365
Fresco
Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence


Raising of Lazarus (south wall, detail)
1365
Fresco
Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence


Prophets (vault fresco)
1365
Fresco
Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence



Paintings by GIOVANNI DA MILANO
Panel paintings
Frescoes in the Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce (1365)



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