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Museo di Arte Sacra - Volterra

Museo d'arte sacraThe Museum of Sacred Art is housed in the ancient canon’s house, today known as the Bishop’s Palace, Palazzo Vescovile. The exhibition presents works of art from the cathedral and other churches of the diocese. The Museum has a noteworthy collection of paintings, sculptures and sacred vestments.

Of great interest are the only marble sculptures surviving from 14th century monuments erected in the cathedral. The Pisan influence during the 13th century
is apparent in the elegant form and detail of fragments from the presbytery screen and in the panels from the original high altar of the cathedral. Six of them are displayed in the museum together with the plaster casts of the other eight which are arranged as an altar under the Incontri Monument in the cathedral.
The most important of the 14th century work in marble are the seven rectangular forms in relief which illustrate episodes from the lives of Saints Ottaviano and Vittore, attributed to Agostino di Giovanni and Agnolo della Ventura. The four circular medallions with the bas-relief busts of Saints Giusto, Clemente, Ottaviano and Vittore, are attributed to the great artist Tino da Camaino. The Roman Sarcophagus from the 1st century B.C., is one of the earliest examples of reutilisation of classical artefacts used as Bishop Goffredo’s sepulchre in 1037.

An interesting painting is the painted wooden Crucifixion by an artist who was a follower of Giunta Pisano. There is an altar piece created by Daniele Ricciarelli in 1545. From Villamagna there is an altar piece by Rosso Fiorentino from 1521, the same year in which he painted the famous Deposition now in the City Art Gallery.

In the display cabinets many objects are exhibited such as leather boxes, caskets, crosses and thuribles. Important reliquaries of note are the silver and gold
plated copper bust of Saint Ottaviano by Antonio del Pollaiolo, the beautiful double-sided silver cross with engraved floral patterns and 12 enamel figures.
The alabaster ciborium (1575) and the holy water font (1567) are exquisite objects which testify to the revival of alabaster craftsmanship which had been abandoned after the Middle Ages. A collection of religious tapestries (15th-19th centuries), two coral parchment books of musical manuscripts with Gregorian scores and the miniatures painted by Frate Agostino in 1299, conclude the small but interesting collection of the museum.

Opening hours: Open every day
Mar 16 -  Nov 1: 9am-1pm and 3pm-6pm
Nov 2 - Mar 15: 9am-1pm

For further information: +39 0586 85449

Via Roma 1, 56048 Volterra (PI)
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