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They were financed through the generosity of the most important Florentine families, who ensured themselves of funerary chapels on consecrated ground.This church was called Novella (New) because it was built on the site of the 9th-century oratory of Santa Maria delle Vigne.Santa Maria Novella is a church in Florence, Italy, situated just across from the main railway station which shares its name.
This same design continues in the adjoining wall around the old churchyard. On a commission from Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai, a local textile merchant, Leone Battista Alberti designed the upper part of the inlaid green marble of Prato, also called "serpentino" and white marble facade of the church (1456–1470).
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He was already famous as the architect of the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini, but even more for his seminal treatise on architecture De Re Aedificatoria, based on the book De Architectura of the classical Roman writer Vitruvius.
The church, the adjoining cloister, and chapterhouse contain a store of art treasures and funerary monuments.Especially famous are frescoes by masters of Gothic and early Renaissance.