The Montespertoli Museum of Sacred Art was inaugurated in 1996. The museum’s patrimony of works comes from the parish church of San Pietro in Mercato, and from its suffragans as well as from the churches of the other two parishes.
The coincidence between a large part of the parishes’ territory and that of the current Commune of Montespertoli, has led to organizing the works on the basis of the individual parishes, considering the ancient ecclesiastical groupings as autonomous historical-cultural realities, thus displaying in the same place paintings, silver works, wooden furnishing coming from the same churches, but having set up for conservation reasons (light and climate) a special section for paraments and manuscripts. The first hall of the tour, the so-called Salone, is dedicated to the parish of San Pietro in Mercato. Here are displayed, next to the works coming from the parish church and tied to its ancient patrons, the Machiavellis, paintings, silver works and furnishings from San Lorenzo a Montegufoni, under the patronage of the Acciaioli family (the Madonna with Child by Lippo di Benivieni, a 13th century gemellion, Roman silverworks donated by Cardinal Niccolò Acciaioli), but also from now-vanished small churches.
The museum’s second room, called the “green room” because of its wall color, is devoted entirely to the churches of Santa Maria a Torre and of San Bartolomeo a Tresanti, with paintings, silver works and furnishings from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The third hall, called the “yellow room” for the color of the fake yellow tapestry, exhibits works from the parishes of Santa Maria a Coeli Aula and San Pancrazio, among which is noted the Madonna with Child by Filippo Lippi and a rare baptismal font in sculpted marble from the mid-12th century.
The hall of paraments and manuscripts is further evidence of this area’s wealth and also of the Museum’s vitality with a recent acquisition – in 2000 – of a 1456 manuscript, Rituale per la benedizione del fonte battesimale del sabato santo (Ritual for the Consecration of the Baptismal Font on Holy Saturday), linked to Francesco Machiavelli.
The Masterpiece “Madonna con Bambino”
This work comes from the Church of Sant’Andrea a Botinaccio, in the Commune of Montespertoli, and is dated from the early 1440’s. This panel deals with the well-known iconography of the Madonna with Child in a particular way.
It confers on the painting a great compositional simplicity and a sense of everyday domestic life without diminishing the sacredness of the image. The sacred quality is achieved by an exceptionally transparent rendering of the halos and the intensity of the figures’ gaze. Mary is framed by a niche with a marked geometric structure.
Her face, foreseeing the fate of her son, is pervaded by a sense of absorbed melancholy as she props her son’s head on a pillow of precious fabric. The Child is wrapped completely in swaddling clothes, according to the custom of the time.
1st of April to 31st of May : Saturdays and Public Holidays 10.30-12.30- 16.30-19.30
1st of June to 30th of September: Saturdays, Mondays and Public Holidays 10.30-12.30 16.30-19.30
1st of October to 31st March: Saturdays 15.30-18.30 Public Holidays 10.30-12.30 15.30-18.30
For further information:
Municipality of Montespertoli
Ph. +39 0571 600228
Associazione Turistica Pro Loco
Ph. +39 0571 609412