Inaugurated on May 3,1891 to house the monumental singing galleries by Luca della Robbia and Donatello, b occupies the ancient seat of this institution founded by the city of Florence in 1296 to oversee construction of the Cathedral and ensure its conservation and upkeep through the centuries.
The scope of the museum was to gather the works of art removed, for various reasons, from the church, the Bell Tower and the Baptistery and make them available again to the public.
The rooms dedicated to this purpose are full of sculptures, paintings, illuminated manuscripts, wooden models, tapestries and hangings, reliquaries and furnishings that resulted from continuous renewal of the fittings and decorations of the three monuments.
‘OPERA Dl SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE
Enlarged and restructured many times in the past, with the latest refurbishment the museum now occupies a vast area that was once a theatre (Teatro degli Intrepidi), practically doubling the exposition area with respect to the past, and has a new, rational and engaging arrangement, accompanied by the most up-to-date instruments to enhance the experience for all types of visitors.
The Museum is undoubtedly the most representative of the period that is universally considered to be the golden age of art in Florence – with particular reference to sculpture: Arnolfo di Cambio, Andrea Pisano, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Antonio del Potlaiolo, Verrocchio and down to Michelangelo, represented by a masterpiece of his last years of activity, the Pieta. The Museum also houses memories, materials and documents of Brunelleschi’s greatest work, the soaring Dome that has characterised the urban space of the city for centuries.
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