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A Monumental Price Tag: The Cost of Furnishing a Family Chapel in the Second Half of the Fifteenth Century

Citation: Duits, Rembrandt (2023) A Monumental Price Tag: The Cost of Furnishing a Family Chapel in the Second Half of the Fifteenth Century. In: Thomas Puttfarken Workshops I & II. University Studio Press, Thessaloniki, pp. 167-180. ISBN 978-960-12-2614-9


Creative Commons: Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

The artistic decoration of family chapels in the churches and private palaces of Renaissance Italy has received much scholarly attention over the years. Fresco cycles, altarpieces, and sculpted tomb monuments have been studied in great detail. What is lacking, however, is an overview of the complete ensemble of investments and commissions of which these art works were once a part, including the purchase of chapel rights, stained glass windows, vestments and liturgical array for the mass, and provisions to keep the chapel in operation in the long term. The present essay seeks to make a start at recreating this wider context of the surviving artwork by looking at the cost (absolute and relative) of the different elements involved in three prominent Florentine chapel projects of the second half of the fifteenth century: the Strozzi, Gianfigliazzi, and Tornabuoni chapels. There is a wealth of published
documentation for each of these projects, which will be compared systematically to give an impression of the scope and scale of the enterprise of furnishing a family chapel in the upper echelons of mercantile society at a time of increasing public projection of social prestige.

Creators: Duits, Rembrandt and
Subjects: Culture, Language & Literature
Keywords: Renaissance, Italy: Chapels, Families, Art, Expenditure, Frescoes, Stained Glass, Sculpture, Liturgical Array
Divisions: Warburg Institute
  • May 2023 (published)


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