Collegiata Museum
Empoli

Founded in 1859, the museum is an annex of the Collegiata di Sant'Andrea, and is one of Italy’s oldest ecclesiastical museums.


Empoli, Collegiata Museum

The museum

One of the oldest ecclesiastical museums in Italy, it was founded in 1859 to preserve artworks no longer displayed by the Collegiata di Sant’Andrea.
Over time, these works were joined by others from churches and convents around the city and the surrounding area, as well as private donations.
Today the Museum has a collection of around 90 paintings and sculptures, with an important nucleus from the 14th and 15th centuries. The collection documents over 6 centuries of art history.
The Museum is located in the historic Palazzo della Propositura (Rectory), and includes the ground-floor Baptistery and Sacristy.
This small but treasured Museum tells the story of art in Empoli.

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Works by great masters, multimedia reconstructions with voices and stories from the territory and the communities it hosts, archaeological finds and historical arts and crafts: every museum in the area offers great little stories to discover.

Art

Vir dolorum (ca. 1424), detached fresco

Masolino da Panicale (Panicale, 1383? - Florence, ca. 1440)

The painting was created for the little church of St. John the Baptist located next to the parish church; it was connected to the parish church in 1464 and used as a Baptistery.
Masolino most likely painted the work in 1424, a year in which documentation attests to his presence in Empoli, where he painted the cycle of the Legend of the Cross in the chapel of St. Helen in the nearby church of Santo Stefano degli Agostiniani.
The Imago Pietatis is a Byzantine iconography commonly found in central Italy starting from the second half of the 15th century; Masolino takes it as a reference, emulating tradition but at the same time profoundly innovating, interpreting it in a Renaissance spirit.

Art

Madonna with Child (ca. 1270), sculpted marble

Giovanni Pisano (Pisa, 1248 ca. – Siena, ante 1319)

This small tondo is the oldest evidence of sculptural decoration from the parish church of Sant’Andrea, moved to the Museo della Collegiata. The piece is now attributed to Giovanni Pisano and recognized as one of the earliest examples of the young sculptor’s autonomous efforts.
The Madonna with Child stands on the cusp between two worlds: on one hand is a reinterpretation of antique tradition, which Giovanni had inherited from his father Nicola, and on the other an openness to Gothic-style naturalism, of which Giovanni was an early interpreter.
The piece’s perfect state of conservation highlights how the two figures emerge from the recess, which is left unfinished.

Art

Madonna of Humility between Saints Domninus and John the Baptist, Peter and Anthony Abbot (1404), tempera on panel

Lorenzo Monaco (Florence, ca. 1370 – 1425)

The triptych is a fundamental work for understanding early 15th-century Florentine painting. The title refers to the image of Mary seated on a cushion on the ground, a theme of Sienese origin that accentuates the devotional, domestic tone of this sacred image. Along the base runs an inscription with the Angel’s greeting and the names of the saints. The vivid colors, fluidly-drawn figures, decorations, elegant lines and flowing folds of cloth are elements typical of International Gothic style.

The land

Set between two rivers, the Arno to the north and the Elsa to the west, and thanks to its privileged position in the heart of Tuscany, Empoli has for centuries been an ideal crossroads for commerce and trade.

The Arno River to the north and the Elsa to the west are still today the natural boundaries of the municipal area, with its gentle landscape alternating plains and picturesque hills. The city boasts of ancient origins evidence by its centuries-old traditions and the rich artistic heritage conserved in its museums and churches.

The historic center, which took shape during the Middle Ages, revolves around the picturesque Piazza Farinata degli Uberti, overlooked by the city’s oldest buildings, Palazzo Ghibellino and Palazzo Pretorio, and the Collegiata di Sant’Andrea which, with its white-and-green-marble façade typical of Florentine Romanesque architecture, is the most tangible sign of the close relations between Empoli and nearby Florence.

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Useful information

Contacts

Museo della Collegiata
(Collegiata Museum)

Piazzetta della Propositura
50053 – Empoli (Firenze)
tel. +39 0571 767067
e-mail: empolimusei@comune.empoli.fi.it

Opening hours

Tuesday – Sunday
10 am –  6 pm

Tickets

Individual ticket

Regular: 5,00 €
Reduced: 3,00 €

Information on other types of tickets available HERE

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