Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
St. Augustine, Florida
October 19, 2009
From journal A Visit to the Museums of Florence
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
August 10, 2008
From journal Florence, Birth-Place of the Renaissance
August 26, 2007
From journal 3 Nights in Fabulous Florence
by Ed Hahn
Hong Kong, China
August 30, 2005
It contains a good collection of Italian sculptures and a large number of works taken from the Duomo, the Baptistery, and the bell tower in order to save them from pollution. For instance, it has the restored original panels of Ghiberti's Baptistry door.
The museum also contains the finger of John the Baptist, and if you believe that, I have a number of fingers of historical figures I'd like to offer for sale. In addition, there are numerous exhibits devoted to the tools and equipment used to build the Duomo Dome, including some of the original block and tackle pieces, along with architectural drawings and other historically fascinating artifacts.
Among many other masterpieces is the "Pieta" by Michelangelo, one of his last works, believed by many to be destined for his own tomb in Rome. There is much sculpture to see, including Donatello's carving of the suffering Mary Magdalene, a late work in polychrome wood, emaciated and dripping with penitence, a statue people either love or hate. I love it
Half of one floor of the museum houses statues of the Prophets carved for the bell tower, many by Donatello. Mounted on the walls above are choir lofts, one by Luca Della Robbia and one by Donatello. Nearby, along one of the corridors, we see some of the machines used to build the cathedral dome as well as its architect Brunelleschi's death mask. A small room contains wooden model proposals for the facade. The original Gothic facade was destroyed in 1587 and wasn’t replaced until the 18th century.
One of the pieces that really grab our attention is the Altar of San Giovanni, which was intended for the Baptistery interior: composed of 400 kilos of silver, it took 114 years to complete and cost 40,000 gold florins. Compare that with the 4,000 Florins Ghiberti was paid for his 17-year work on the Baptistry door panels. In the same room we find illuminated manuscripts, goldsmiths’ work, liturgical vestments, and illuminated choir books.
My deepest impression comes from the realization that thousands of people: artists, craftsmen, laborers, clerics, and nobles spent hundreds of years creating something they hoped would have no equal anywhere. I’m not sure they succeeded; however, they did create something quite incredible.
Open 7 days a week. Pictures are allowed. The entry fee is reasonable at about 7€.
From journal Fabulous, Fantastic Florence
January 27, 2002
The history behind the Duomo's construction is also presented with models and charts. It's all quite informative and a must for art history buffs.
From journal Four days in Florence and Siena
New York, New York
July 11, 2001
Much of the cathedral artwork is now located here, including the original Ghiberti door panels, Donatello's Mary Magdalen and St. John and Michelangelo's Pieta. There are two rooms devoted to Brunelleschi and the Duomo's construction.
From journal Florence and a bit of Tuscany