The museum is housed in the former convent of the Benedictine nuns of the order of St. Matthew, which in 1949 became the seat of Pisa’s National Museum.
The collection is largely made up of works originating from religious edifices in Pisa from mediaeval times up to the nineteenth century and of donations from the most important Pisan collectors.
In the museum, a wide range of works of considerable artistic value document the origins of mediaeval painting, an important phase of which was centred around Pisa between the twelfth and the thirteenth centuries.
It has also on exhibit the richest collection in existence of mediaeval Islamic ceramic basins; these were used as decorative features on the outside walls of the Pisan churches of the period. They were made in Mediterranean countries of Islamic culture, and bear witness to the refined production techniques in use from the tenth to the fourteenth century. From the beginning of the thirteenth century they also began to be produced locally.
The Pisan painting of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries is represented by numerous crucifixes and by the works of Berlinghiero Berlinghieri, Giunta di Capitino, known as Pisano, the Tedice family and the Maestro di San Martino, all originating from the oldest churches in the city. The Bible from the Monastery of San Vito, known as the Calci Bible, and the numerous illuminated manuscripts from the beginning of the fourteenth century highlight the central importance of the miniature.
The Pisan sculpture of the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries is amply represented by the Carlo Lasinio collection, with works by sculptors that operated in the circle of Guglielmo and Biduino, by the Madonna and Child by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, by the slab portraying the Nativity by Tino di Camaino, and by numerous sculptures in wood and marble such as the Madonna del Latte by Andrea and Nino Pisano.
Painting of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is represented by the works of Simone Martini, including the polyptychfrom the church of Santa Caterina, splendidly restored recently, Francesco di Traino, Lippi Menni, Buonamico Butfalmacco, Spinello Aretino, Taddeo di Bartolo and other great painters of the time. The fifteenth-century collection includes works by famous artists such as Masaccio, with his St. Paul, Gentile da Fabriano, Giovanni da Fiesole, better known as Beato Angelico, Benozzo di Lese, known as Gozzoli, and Domenico Ghirlandaio. This section also includes glazed terracotta works by Andrea Della Robbia, a stucco Madonna and Child by Michelozzo and the extraordinary reliquary-bust of San Lussorio by Donatello.
The galleries exhibiting paintings from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries include, among others, works by Santo di Tito, Passignano, Sodoma, Rutilio Manetti, Curradi and Rosselli, as well as the Pisan works of Aurelio Lomi, the Melani brothers and Giovambattista Tempesti.
Tel + 39 050 541865/9711395
Weekdays 8:30 to 19:30,
Holidays 8:30 to 13:30;
Closed on Monday, 1/1, 1/5, 15/8, 25/12
Full price: € 5.00
Reduced: € 2.50 (young people aged 18 to 25 and teachers of Government Schools)
Free: students and teachers of the Faculty of Arts and Architecture, under 18 and over 65 (if coming from EU countries or from countries with which Italy has signed treaties of reciprocity)
Combined ticket: adults € 8, reduced ticket € 4 (allows the visit is the National Museum of San Matteo National Museum of the Royal Palace and is valid for 3 days)
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