Anyone who arrives in Florence should not miss a visit to one of Leon Battista Alberti's masterpieces, the tomb of the Holy Sepulcher, built (1457 - 1467) for the Rucellai family, rich merchants of Florentine fabrics. To safeguard the Rucellai chapel, a wall was erected that closed the Albertian passage. For 200 years it was only accessible from an exterior door at one side of the building. At the center of the chapel you'll find the rare sacellum, it's external walls are decorated with thirty geometric marble inlay motifs in white, green and red. Among these panels, four represent heraldic coats of arms. There are the three entwined rings of Lorenzo the Magnificent (east apse), the mazzocchio 'headband with three feathers' of Cosimo the Elder (north wall) and the diamond ring with two feathers of Piero de'Medici (west wall - entrance). The coat of arms of Giovanni Rucellai is found on the south wall and represents a sail swollen by the wind, with loose shrouds.
It is curious to note that three of the four heraldic coats of arms are of the Medici family, being the burial place of Giovanni Rucellai. One meaning remains to be known and discovered. This wonder that Alberti created is a few steps away from Santa Maria Novella, behind the Rucellai family palace and can now be visited in the museum itinerary of the Marino Marini Museum.
Saturday - Monday | 10.00am - 7.00pm
Tuesday - Friday closed
Rucellai Chapell | Museo Marino Marini
Piazza San Pancrazio, 37 | 50123 Firenze