[Paper:] Laura Cirri (Florence): Sacred space and family representation in Florence during the Trecento and the Quattrocento

Heraldry_Medieval_CityIn the Florentine urban space, churches soon became the medium, where families left lasting signs in the history and topography of the city. This paper aims to highlight the rich heraldic heritage, still existing in the different family chapels of the Florentine churches, other then the historical and architectural reasons. Many families were from the contado and moving to the city, they usually settled in the the district that was closer to the original places and built their chapels near their residences. In this lecture such cases will be explained and how these functional choices had implications in the display of family coats of arms in the Florentine topography, both private and public. The lecture will then consider the reasons, why the building of private chapels was forbidden inside the Cathedral. The need for self-representation of Florentine families had a great role in defining the architectural development of the largest churches. The lecture will examine the case of the original project for the church of Santo Spirito, in which Brunelleschi had ruled out the family coats of arms and how he was forced to retrace his steps. Finally, emphasis will be given to the value of self-celebration of the Rucellai family, who managed to put their name and symbols on the facade of Santa Maria Novella.


Conference: Heraldry in the Medieval City: The Case of Italy in the European Context (Journées Héraldiques 5), Rome, 5th-7th May 2015


Heraldica Nova

This is the account of the Heraldica Nova editorial team.

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