Bartolommeo Berrecci Noah Tonnesen

Bartolommeo Berrecci

Basic Information

Bartolommeo Berrecci was an Italian Renaissance architect who was born in 1480 in Florence, Italy, and died in 1537 in Kraków, Poland, at the age of 57. Although he was born in Italy, he spent most of his successful career in Poland. Berrecci learned most of his architectural skills when he was a young boy from his father in Florence. His father’s close friend and co-worker, Andrea Ferrucci also taught him architecture.


Bartolommeo Berrecci was born into architecture. He was constantly surrounded by it, because his father was an architect as well. When he turned 36, he moved to Poland to pursue architectural opportunities. There, he was commissioned by the King to rebuild a chapel. After that, his name became known, and he began to work on other buildings. He became very rich, and bought many houses around Poland. Although Berrecci is considered an Italian Renaissance artist, his best works remain outside of Italy.

Famous Works

Bartolommeo Berrecci was an Italian Renaissance architect. Three of his most popular works consist of Sigismund's Chapel, the rebuilding of the Wawel Royal Castle, and the extension of the Niepolomice Castle.

Sigismund's Chapel

Wawel Royal Castle

Niepolomice Castle


Sigismund I of Poland is Berrecci’s most important patron. He commissioned Berrecci to reconstruct the Sigismund Chapel in Kraków, Poland after it had burned down.

Sigismund I

Sigismund's Chapel

Basic Information

Bartolommeo Berrecci’s most famous construction is Sigismund’s Chapel. The Chapel was built from 1519-1533 in Kraków, Poland. Sigismund's Chapel is important because it was build as a funerary chapel for the last Jagiellons, the dynastic family of Poland. In general, average people and architects alike simply think that it is beautiful because of it’s fine attention to detail and perfect symmetry.

A side view of Sigismund's Chapel.

Renaissance "isms"

Classicism: The golden tome on the chapel’s roof is a perfect demonstrations of Classicism. They were clearly inspired by the Rome’s Pantheon, a religious building that had a massive dome for a roof.

Idealism: Berrecci’s chapel is clearly an ideal building, because of it’s perfect symmetry, as well as it’s elegant colors and tall stature.

Secularism: The meaning behind the chapel is to honor the Jagiellons, the old dynastic family in Poland. One of secularism’s features is a focus on important political figures. Because this chapel is to commemorate a line of rulers, it is definitely secular.

Personal Opinion

I find this piece interesting because it does not really look like a normal chapel. It is rather small, in my opinion, and its square base is an odd shape for a chapel. When I think of a chapel, I think of a long building with steep slanted roofs and tall rectangular spires. Berrecci decides to put a dome on the top of his chapel, and make its base a square instead of a rectangle. Also, I think the colors that were used are interesting. The gold on the outside of the church shimmers in the sunlight and really catches my eye. All in all, I like Sigismund’s Chapel because of it’s interesting yet unorthodox appearance.

Created By
Noah Tonnesen


Created with images by Jorge Lascar - "Corpus Christi Basilica" • tomaszd - "Mutiple Parts" • jarekgrafik - "kraków wawel old" • Andrzej Karoń - "The courtyard of Niepolomice Castle" • Stifts- och landsbiblioteket i Skara - "Sigismvndvs I" • tomaszd - "Mutiple Parts"

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