The State Museum of Medieval and Modern Art is housed in the Bruni-Ciocchi del Monte Palace, which Donato, son of humanist Leonardo Bruni, had built during the middle of the 15th century.
The courtyard in early renaissance style is both charming and severe; the wide baroque grand staircase is pompous. The collections there offer a good panorama of art in the Arezzo territory during medieval and modern times.
Of particular importance are the collections of ancient arms and maiolicas, the latter having been donated to the Commune by Vincenzo Funghini, as well as the collections of seals, mercantile tesseras and coins.
As it is impossible to list all the prominent works, we shall limit ourselves to brief annotations. The St Francis by Margarito d'Arezzo was painted around 1260, a generation after the death of the Saint (in 1226): it is, therefore, one of the oldest pictures, perhaps the closter one to his physical features, even is, for this period, we cannot consider it a portrait as we mean it today. The two paintings of St Roch by Bartolomeo della Gatta were done in 1479 and 1480, and propose interesting views of the city and of Piazza Grande.
In the latter will be noted the houses on the upper side, demolished by the loggias, and the facade of Palazzo di Fraternità, wider and without the small wall-belfry. Over the view of the city, above the bell tower of the parish church, an imposing building stood out with a slender red-brick tower that had a crowning of white travertine, very similar to the Torre del Mangia di Siena: this was the Palazzo del Popolo with its red tower, which were both then demolished. Among the maiolicas, the rarest and most precious piece is a small porcelain flask from the chinese workshop of Jingdezhen, Yuan dynasty (ca. 1335); the hand-basin with St Matthew made of Medici porcelain is very valuable: an extremely limited production realised by Francesco I de' Medici who, in 1575-80, attempted to imitate Chinese porcelain. The hand-basin is part of a series with the Evangelists of which there remain another exsample with St Mark at the Bargello and one with St John in Lisbon.
The copper helmet made in the shape of a dragon, of the third quarter of the 15th century, is uniqhe: behind the wings can be seen the small holes for insertion of the heraldic plumes. The convexity at the base of the neck was due to the sallet hitting it against it when this was raised.
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2 euros: from 18 years old to 25, and from 60 years old 65
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