National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art in Arezzo
Gallery, Museum and Palace in Arezzo
The Bruni Ciocchi Palace, a splendid Renaissance palace in Arezzo, serves as the home to the Municipal Picture Gallery and provides a captivating journey through art and history. Built in the mid-15th century on the initiative of Donato Bruni, son of the renowned humanist Leonardo and Chancellor of the Florentine Republic, this palace is an architectural gem. It features three floors surrounding an elegant porticoed courtyard, likely designed by architect Bernardo Rossellino. Visitors can ascend an elegant staircase to the first floor, which offers views of the rooftop garden and the grand ballroom.
The Municipal Picture Gallery is divided into twenty rooms, offering a chronological exploration from the early Middle Ages to the 19th century. The gallery’s extensive collection includes artworks from various sources, including the Municipal Picture Gallery itself, the collections of the Fraternita dei Laici (a city institution founded in 1262), churches, and city monasteries that were suppressed in the 19th century. Private collections from illustrious Arezzo families like the Fossombroni, Mario Salmi, and Vincenzo Funghini also contribute to the gallery’s richness.
Among the notable works on display are medieval sculptures, including St. Michael the Archangel and statues of the Madonna and Child, which were once placed to safeguard the city gates. The collection also features significant paintings from the 13th century, including panels by Margarito d’Arezzo, the city’s first significant artist. Additionally, the gallery boasts collections of ivories, plaques, small bronzes, and gold jewelry, providing insight into Arezzo’s longstanding tradition of goldsmithing. The collection extends to artworks from the 14th to the 19th century, with pieces by artists such as Spinello Aretino, Parri di Spinello, Pietro Lorenzetti, Luca Signorelli, Giorgio Vasari, Salvator Rosa, Carlo Dolci, Andrea Pozzo, Viviano Codazzi, Pietro Benvenuti, Raimondo Zaballi, Amos Cassioli, and small Macchiaioli paintings by Giovanni Fattori, Telemaco Signorini, Luigi Gioli, and Adriano Cecioni.
Lastly, the gallery houses one of Italy’s most significant maiolica collections, featuring a large glazed terracotta altarpiece by Andrea della Robbia and a portrait bust of Vittorio Fossombroni by Lorenzo Bartolini, adding to the gallery’s rich and diverse artistic heritage.
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Visiting National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art in Arezzo