Castiglion Fiorentino
Municipal Picture Gallery

VALDICHIANA

Climbing from Piazza del Municipio and continuing uphill, on the left we come to the entrance of the Municipal Picture Gallery, which is also the entrance to the Church of Sant’Angelo. In fact, the Picture Gallery incorporates the Church of Sant’Angelo as well as the Choir of the Nuns of Saint Jerome.

The first mention of a picture gallery in Castiglion Fiorentino was in an 1899 catalog found in the town archives. Luca Signorelli’s fresco with the Lamentation is found on the list of the works located in the Parish Church of San Giuliano. The arrangement of the works in the parish church remained unchanged until 1919 when Alessandro Del Vita, an inspector appointed by the Superintendency of Florence to draw up a catalog of cultural assets in the Castiglione area, proposed an exhibitin of the works at the Umbro-Tuscan Exhibition that was held in Castiglion Fiorentino.

After the exhibition, civil and ecclesiastical institutions agreed to exhibit the works in a more suitable place that could become home to a town museum. It was decided that the new venue would be the Council Chamber, in the town hall. Once the site was chosen, a cataloging and restoration campaign was undertaken.

Some of the works were returned to the parish church, while most remained to become part of the new municipal museum, where the works remained until the present picture gallery was opened in 1990.

Since 1979, the complex of the church and Choir of the Nuns of Saint Jerome, as well as the adjoining Palazzo Pretorio and the Piazzale del Cassero have undergone major restorations by the Superintendency for the Architectural, Landscape, Artistic, Historical, and Ethno-Anthropological Heritage of Arezzo, the Regional Archaeological Superintendency, and the City of Castiglion Fiorentino in order to renovate the ancient buildings chosen for the museum.

The architect Maurizio Cappelletti designed the layout of the museum which was inaugurated in 1991. The Church of Sant’Angelo is still a museum and is furnished exactly as it was before the renovation. In addition, it is also used for such cultural events as conferences, exhibitions, and book presentations.

Through the adjoining warden’s room, one enters the old sacristy and from there, the crypt. A metal, glass, and stone staircase leads to the large upper room, known as the “the Nuns’ Choir”. The works exhibited there are on plaster-finished panels or in display cabinets. On the top floor, the Tower Room houses a collection of medieval stone works that includes an assortment of coats-of-arms and plaques found in the keep during the course of various restorations.

The works on display have assorted provenances. Some, as we have seen, were in the hall of the Parish Church of San Giuliano. The largest group belongs to the city and comes from the Church of San Francesco. Other works are the property of the Ente Serristori, with still others coming from the ancient Hospital of Santa Maria della Misericordia as well as from churches in the historical center.

Short Bibliography

Pinacoteca Comunale di Castiglion Fiorentino. D. Galoppi, Grafica L’Etruria, Cortona 1991.

A patron for Bartolomeo della Gatta’s Stigmatization of Saint Francis. R. Reed, in «Apollo», cxlix (1999), 447, pp. 24-26.

Pinacoteca Comunale di Castiglion Fiorentino. D. Galoppi, Le Balze, Montepulciano, 2000.

Sacra Mirabilia. Tesori da Castiglion Fiorentino. Catalogo della mostra (Roma, Museo nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo 18 febbraio-11 aprile 2010), a cura di P. Torriti, Edifir, Firenze, 2010.

sanfrancesco-stimmati

Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata

Date: 1486-1487
Technique and Materials:
tempera and oil on a wooden panel
Size:
186 × 162 cm
Author:
Pietro di Antonio Dei known as Bartolomeo della Gatta (Florence 1448-1502)
Provenance:
Church of San Francesco

In 1479, Giovan Battista di Niccolò Beroardi left a sum of money to the local Confraternita della Misericordia. This money was to be used after his death to commission a painting that would adorn the family’s altar dedicated to the Sacred Stigmata, located in the church of the Convent of San Francesco. Seven years later, in 1486, the Confraternita commissioned the painting to Bartolomeo della Gatta, who delivered it in August 1487. The painting was originally fitted with a gilded wooden frame and a predella illustrating the Pietà, which were probably removed in 1804 when the painting was readapted as a door for a cupboard to hold the convent’s precious reliquaries, which included the Holy Cross that is now in the picture gallery.

croce

Painted cross

Dating: 13th century
Technique and Materials:
tempera on a wooden panel
Size:
250 cm (height) × 178
Author:
Master from Arezzo
Provenance:
Parish Church of San Giuliano

This Crucifix is one of the oldest examples in the Arezzo area. Still in line with the Byzantine iconography, it depicts the Christus Triumphans. At the bottom, below the feet of Christ, a scene with Peter’s denial can be seen. This cross is considered the work of an Arezzo master who was active during the early decades of the 13th century.

sanmichele

Saint Michael the Archangel

Date: ca. 1480
Technique and Materials:
tempera on a wooden panel
Size:
166 × 86 cm
Author:
Pietro di Antonio Dei known as Bartolomeo della Gatta (Florence 1448-1502)
Provenance:
Parish Church of San Giuliano

The image shows the Archangel, Castiglion Fiorentino’s patron, in a benedictory pose as victor over a dragon. The roughly sketched landscape in the background vaguely resembles the Chio Valley in Castiglion Fiorentino. The writing and the Visconti family coat-of-arms indicate that the painting was commissioned by Lorenza di Lorenzo Guiducci, the wife of Paolino Visconti. Inscription: LAURENTIA FIERI FECIT.

busto

Bust of Saint Ursula

Date: Fourth-fifth decades of the 14th century
Technique and Materials:
embossed, chased, painted, and gilded silver; enamels, pearls, stones, glass pastes
Size:
42.5 × 32.2 × 16 cm
Provenance:
Church of the Santucce

The reliquary is supported by four small gargoyles in gilded silver. The head is adorned with a crown of gilded silver, along the base is a band of twelve silver plates decorated with translucent enamels depicting nineteen saints and a scene from Saint Ursula’s life when she, together with eleven thousand virgins, went by boat towards Cologne.

sanfrancesco

Saint Francis

Date: second half of the 13th century
Technique and Materials:
tempera on a wooden panel
Size:
100 m (height) × 39
Author:
Margarito d’Arezzo (documented in Arezzo in 1262)
Provenance:
Church of San Francesco

This is one of the many images of the saint that, with slight variations, are found throughout Tuscany, replicas made in Margarito’s workshop. Inscription: MARGARITO DE ARITIO ME FE.

chiesa-interno

Church of Sant’Angelo, interior

Address

Castiglion Fiorentino Municipal Picture Gallery
Via del Cassero, 6
52043 – Castiglion Fiorentino (Arezzo)
Phone: 0575.657466
Website | E-mail

Opening hours

The picture gallery is open by appointment (0575.659457).

Tickets

€ 3.00 full-price ticket;
€ 2.00 reduced price;
€ 0.50 for elementary and middle school students

Cumulative ticket with the Archaeological Museum:
€ 5.00 full price;
€ 3.00 reduced price;
€ 1.00 for elementary and middle school students