This museum and gallery is located in what was San Pancrazio Church, primarily a fourteenth century structure, although there has been a church on this site since the tenth century. The Rucellai Sepulchre has been retained within the church and this is accessible through the museum, although there’s an extra charge for that. The staff member at the reception area was friendly and he explained what there was to see and how to access it.
The view of the gallery from the entrance desk. The church stopped being used for religious purposes in 1808 during the Napoleonic Suppression and the building was then was used by the city as a tribunal court and then as a tobacco factory. It was a sad fall from grace for such a beautiful building which was used by the Vallombrosan Congregation order of Benedictine monks from 1230 until 1808.
And looking down on the gallery from the first floor.
There are plenty of works, around two hundred, by Marini which are located around the gallery. The majority of works were given to the city by the artist during his lifetime, with many others given by his widow following his death. There’s no admission charge to visit the gallery, just to see the chapel and also the regularly changing exhibition in the crypt.
Although damaged, this fresco on the ceiling retains some beauty and it’s interesting to see how it looks in its unrestored versions. The church has lost much of its interior, although some decorative elements remain, primarily in the crypt.
Some of the sculptures which Marini created and I’ve also posted separately about the sculptures Bagnante, Miracolo and Giocoliere. The sculptures were all interesting to look at and the environment is pleasing, with the light and space being ideal for this project. However, I didn’t really understand anything that I was looking at and although every sculpture was named there was no more information provided. It’s an intriguing museum, but I would have liked more explanation of the messages that the artist sought to convey in these artworks.