This museum, dedicated to sacred art, was born from an agreement between the Town and the Foraneo vicariate of Montespertoli, with the co-operation of the archdiocese of Florence, the Tuscan Regional Government, the government of Florence Province, the government Service for Environmental and Architectural Assets, the government Service for Artistic and Historical Assets of Florence, and the Cassa di Risparmio of Florence. The museum is housed in the beautiful and spacious parish house of San Piero in Mercato that has been embellished with religious paintings, silver and vestments that testify to Montespertoli’s historical importance and consequent artistic vitality. The display criteria focus on grouping objects from a single church, and from the churches in a single parish. The first room or “Salone” contains paintings and silver from the church of San Piero in Mercato. Items from the mother church include a panel by Neri di Bicci, that was originally in the church of San Michele a Mogliano, and an intense sixteenth century painting of the Virgin and Child with Saint Peter and Paul, and a fine Saint Jerome in the Wilderness by Della Robbia. A considerable number of paintings are from the churches of Santa Maria a Mensola, San Giusto, San Giorgio and San Lorenzo a Montalbino: the Triptych by Cenni di Francesco dated 1400; the small Madonna by Andrea di Giusto, the eclectic early XV century painter influenced by Masaccio and Beato Angelico, and the two panels, by as yet unidentified painters from the Sienese and Florentine schools, the fourteenth century Saint Lawrence, and the mysterious XVI century Virgin and Child with saint George and Nicola of Bari. The fine panel painting of the Virgin and Child that has been attributed to Lippo di Benivieni’s entourage and the rare gemellion (a pair of bowls used for washing hands), XIII century Limoges ware, evidence of how French culture was indeed disseminated in the Valdelsa region, both come from the Church of San Lorenzo a Montegufoni, which is near the castle of the Acciaioli family who were also its patrons. The second room, entirely dedicated to the churches of Santa Maria a Torre and of San Bartolomeo a Tresanti, both from the same parish, contains some later works (paintings by Frilli Croci, Lupicini, Curradi’s atelier, etc.), and eighteenth century canvases such as the Adoration of the Magi by Niccolò Bambini. The third room contains art works from the churches in the parishes of Coeli Aula and San Pancrazio. The most valuable of all is the Virgin and Child that has been attributed to the latter part of Filippo Lippi’s career. The painting, set in a Renaissance niche, emanates the artist’s subtle melancholy. The Triptych that has been attributed to Bicci di Lorenzo comes from the church of Sant’Andrea a Botinaccio, although it was originally in the church of San Michele a Quarantola. An antique marble baptismal font from Santo Stefano a Lucignano, along with eighteenth century paintings and silver from the respective churches complete the display in this room. And finally, there is a section dedicated to paraments and paper materials. These items are extremely sensitive to light and humidity. In a dimly lit, yet striking room there are chasubles, altar-facings, and sashes along missals, antiphonaries and, bulls that all serve to further our understanding of this area history.
1st October-29th March: Saturdays 15.30-18.30 Holidays 10.30-12.30 and 15.30-18.30
30th March-3Oth September: Saturday and Holidays 10.30-12.30 and 16.30-19.30
Closed on: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, 1st May, 15th August