The Chapel of S. Felice in the southern transept of the Basilica of S. Antonio in Padua was commissioned by the condottiere, Bonifazio de' Lupi in 1372. Its principal designers were the architect and sculptor Andriolo de' Santi, and the painter Altichiero. In transforming the pre-existing transept of the Basilica into the chapel, Andriolo solved many problems. He converted a large, unfocused space into an intimate one; he regularized an irregular ground plan; he resolved a potential conflict of longitudinal and lateral axes; and he established the means to focus the viewer's attention on both the altar and the tombs of the chapel's patron and his kinsmen. Altichiero tailored his frescoes to Andriolo's architectural container to make of the chapel a compelling gesamtkunstwerk. He accentuated the powerful cross axes by pictorial means; he established cogent iconographical and formal interrelationships between the frescoes and other components of the chapel; and, finally, he integrated sunlight and compass orientations with the decorative scheme. By these means the artists fashioned a Trecento masterpiece which heralds the chapels of the Baroque era in which all three media are synchronized with one another and with their setting.
- Copyright 1988 The Society of Architectural Historians