Rucellai Chapel - Holy Sepulcher by Leon Battista Alberti

Much more than a museum!

Overview

Marino Marini Museum hosts the Rucellai Chapel with the Holy Sepulcher by Leon Battista Alberti, a jewel of the Florentine Renaissance, which can be visited exclusively on a guided visit upon reservation.

It is possible to book the cumultative ticket Rucellai Chapel + Temporary Exhibition "Museum Effect. Instantaneous intrusions in places of art" clicking here.

Visit to the Rucellai Chapel - Holy Sepulcher by Leon Battista Alberti

Visits are available, upon reservation, on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11am, 12noon, 3pm and 4pm.
Languages: English and Italian.
Duration: 1 hour.
Maximum 25 persons per each entrance slot.
Reduced price ticket up to 14 years old.

Read and approve the reservation conditions

The reserved hour may be subject to changes due to variations in the opening hours of the museum. Always consult the updated hours online. No refunds will be given on the purchase of reserved bookings and tickets for any reason (including inability to use such).

Notes:

  • Attention! The reservation for entry to the Rucellai Chapel is mandatory and not able to be modified. Any errors in the selection of the date and/or time cannot be refunded.
  • No reduced tickets are available online.
  • Free tickets are available ONLY at the museum TICKET WINDOW:
    • Children under 6 years of age
    • 1 free ticket for the companion of each disabled visitor
    • Military/Police/Fire ecc., provided that access takes place for a specific reason of service.
    • Journalists is possession of a press pass by the foreign press in Italy, or the national association of journalists in Italy
    • Members of ICOM, EDUMUSEI with membership card.

The Museo Marino Marini

The Museo Marino Marini in Florence is situated inside the ex-church of San Pancrazio. It holds a permanent collection of 183 works, including sculpture, paintings, engravings, and drawings by Marino Marini. These are exhibited in a museum designed by the artist himself and developed together with the architects, Bruno Sacchi and Lorenzo Papi.

On the inside of the museum, one can find the Rucellai Chapel with the Holy Sepulcher by Leon Battista Alberti, a jewel of the Florentine Renaissance.

Open to the public: Saturday to Monday, from 10am-7pm. During this time the visit to the permanent collection is free, while the visit to the temporary exhibit is subject to an entrance fee.

Access to the Rucellai Chapel is only possible through guided visits by reservation.

Cappella Rucellai

The Holy Sepulcher of the Rucellai Chapel, formerly part of the Church of San Pancrazio, was built in 1467 as a scale copy of the one in Jerusalem. The chapel was separated from the church in 1808, following a Napoleonic edict that resulted in the deconsecration of the church and its transformation into a hall for the Imperial Lottery of France. At that time, the connection between the chapel and the church was walled in; and the chapel, being still consecrated within the faith, gained a new entrance in via della Spada.

The Rucellai Chapel, or Holy Sepulcher, situated in the left nave of the church of San Pancrazio, was constructed in several phases; and the intervention by Alberti for Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai represented the conclusion that attested to his contribution, and gave his paternity to the project.

It was finished in a short time, concluding in 1467 as the latin inscription posted at the entry door testifies. The small temple was always considered by scholars to be a Jerusalem copy among many that were spread around the west during the middle ages and the renaissance, born from the memory and devotion of pilgrims returning from the homeland.

The marble decorations present on the surface of the temple and on the decorative motifs were in all likelihood realised by the sculptor, Giovanni da Berlino.

The ornamental designs of the 30 marble inlays inserted in the panels are different from one another, some are inspired by naturalistic forms such as the laurel and oak leaves, flower corollas and others with geometric shapes such as the octagonal star, the six-pointed star, and the book decoration.

At the center of each face, Alberti placed easily recognisable inlays, with shapes whose meaning indicated the personal exploits of Giovanni Rucellai, of Lorenzo il Magnifico and his father Piero dei Medici, and his paternal grandfather Cosimo il Vecchio.

The interior of the small shrine is composed of a single sepulchral chamber containing a marble slab resting on the south wall.

In 1471, the Sepulcher obtained sacramental status with a bull issued by Pope Paul II, granting five years of plenary indulgence to the faithful who visited it on Holy Friday and Easter Sunday.

The chapel first underwent changes in 1808 due to the transformation of the church into an extraction room for the Imperial Lottery of France. The two columns and some stone elements of the Albertian triforium were used to build a new entrance to the former church. The passage to the church from the chapel was walled in, and a new entrance was built in via della Spada.

In 2013, the Rucellai Chapel with the small temple inside was restored. Thanks to the opening of a passageway on the left side, inside the central nave of the museum, it has become part of the visit to the Museo Marino Marini.

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