Florence – Rucellai Sepulchre

The Rucellai Sepulchre is the tomb of Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai, located in a private chapel which is known as the Rucellai Chapel. It’s part of the San Pancrazio Church, which has now been decommissioned and is used as a museum. Tours to this private chapel have only been available for a few years and it’s a quiet and dignified chapel.

This is the altar of the chapel. Rucellai obtained his money from the wool trade, although he also became involved with politics and the arts within Florence. He lived from 1403 until 1481, when he was laid to rest in the tomb which he carefully planned and funded.

This is the sepulchre itself, standing proud within the chapel. The chapel dates to around 1417, with work on the sepulchre lasting from around 1458 until 1467. The sepulchre was designed by Leon Battista Alberti, who was responsible for many other buildings throughout Florence.

The front of the sepulchre.

Inside the sepulchre, through the little door. There are frescoes inside the tomb, although I didn’t know whether I was meant to be prodding my camera inside, so I didn’t investigate too far.

There’s something a little sad that the owner of this tomb had thought that he would remain within an active church for eternity. Instead the main part of the church became a tobacco factory in the nineteenth century, although is rather more dignified today as a museum. At least though this chapel has remained intact, it could have easily been demolished or remodelled when the church itself became used for different purposes.