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Video transcript

[Music] one of the great Renaissance spaces is the Pazzi Chapel at Santa Croce and we're sitting in it and we're sitting on a bench that lines the wall because this was originally used as a chapter house meaning a meeting room for the monks of Santa Croce and so they would have sat right where we're sitting just off the cloister which is a traditional place for the chapter house so we're really looking at something that is a true early Renaissance work of architecture by Brunelleschi although it was completed after his death and where you see all of those elements that we come to expect of Brunelleschi the use of Petrus arena the grayish green stone that articulates the decorative elements on the walls but also articulates the walls themselves and the space and the dominance of a kind of perfect geometry so we immediately have a sense of rectangles and squares and circles and semicircles but my overwhelming feeling and walking in was that I was almost walking into an ancient Roman temple okay so this is very close to a central planned space that is to say something like the Pantheon and there is an attention to the kind of perfect geometries and centrality that we really do associate with the ancient world and so I think you're right I think he's working very hard to create this classicism this revival of the standards and the ideas of ancient Rome lovely fluted plasters long walls and the hemispherical dome with an oculus in the center and windows piercing its idea this really lovely light that comes into the chapel a dome on pendentives and in the pendentives this triangular spaces that the dome rests on we see roundels terracotta and these would have been made by Luca della robia who had recently perfected the ability to fire at a high enough temperature to vitrify or to use what we consider modern glazes really is that's of a centrally planned space wanting to create a space that wasn't a basilica this is a chapter house and not a church but still that desire to work with a centrally planned space that becomes even more important in the high Renaissance for artists like Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci you walk into the space and you have this overwhelming feeling that you are in a completely constructed ordered designed environment this is a space that is rational where everything is subservient to the overall design conception we've been talking about the space as if it were a central plan but it's not quite it is a little bit broader than it is long and when you look up at that central dome which is clearly dominant there are small barrel vaults on either side he took a rectangular space and made it as much as possible into it a square with a dome on top two little barrel vaulted spaces on either side and that's emphasized not only by the geometry of the vaulting but also of the geometry of the paving of the dome clearly constructs the space and does give it that overwhelming feeling of classicism [Music] you
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