Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici in Arezzo
Museum and Palace in Arezzo
Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici is a historic palace located in the picturesque Piazza Grande of Arezzo, Italy. This 14th-century palace is not only a remarkable architectural gem but also houses the Fraternita dei Laici, an institution founded in 1262 that continues to be active today and is engaged in various social and cultural projects.
The construction of Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici began in 1375 and was only completed during the latter part of the 16th century. The facade of the palace was finished between 1550 and 1560, featuring a balcony and an Aristotelian-Ptolemaic clock with lunar phases, constructed in 1552 by Felice di Salvatore Vannucci. Another section of the palace, facing the apse of the Church of Santa Maria della Pieve, was completed in the second half of the 16th century following a design by the renowned architect Giorgio Vasari. In 1781, the palace underwent renovation, sponsored by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena, which led to the opening of the library to the public.
Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici is adorned with a wealth of artistic treasures. The original painting of Christ located in the external lunette of the central portal, created by Spinello Aretino, was replaced by a copy in the late 1970s and is now housed in the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art of Arezzo.
One of the notable sculptures within the palace is the group featuring the Madonna della Misericordia, Saints Lorentino and Pergentino (the patrons of the Fraternity), along with Saint Donatus and Pope Gregory X (the protectors of the city of Arezzo). This sculptural ensemble is the work of the talented sculptor Bernardo Rossellino.
Fraternita Palace Museum
Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici, in addition to its historical and architectural significance, serves as the home of the museum. The museum’s collection has a rich history dating back to the 14th to 19th centuries, consisting of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and antique furniture. These items were acquired through donations, testamentary bequests, and public commissions.
The collection, which was initially intended to form the nucleus of a library and civic museums, remains housed within the palace to this day. This diverse and valuable collection provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate the cultural and artistic heritage of Arezzo and the surrounding regions. The palace, therefore, not only stands as a testament to the city’s history but also serves as a repository of its artistic and cultural legacy.
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Visiting Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici in Arezzo
Every day / 10.30am – 6.00pm