The Salvatore Romano
Foundation

FLORENCE

The Augustinian complex of Santo Spirito, which houses the art collection of Salvatore Romano , is one of the great religious and artistic monuments of Florence, acquired by the Muncipality in 1868.

The Museum is located in the ancient Refectory of the Convent, decorated with a magnificent fresco by Andrea Orcagna depicting the Crucifixion and the Last Supper (1365 ca). In this vast setting are displayed the sculptures donated to the Municipality of Florence in 1946 by the above- mentioned Neapolitan antiquarian, a small but selected collection that goes from pre-Romanesque to the 15th century.

An inscription placed by the donor explains the motives for his gesture: “In order to honor the memory/of my father Francesco Romano/and my native village/ Meta di Sorrento/I donate the Municipality of Florence/these works I have gathered with patience and love/grateful for the long hospitality/ granted to me/Salvatore Romano/a.d.mcm.xlvi.”

Salvatore Romano was born in Meta di Sorrento in 1875 and died in Florence in 1955, Although he had no background in humanistic studies, he was greatly interested in collecting antiques, a passion to which he dedicated himself, guided both by his innate passion for art, and particularly for sculpture, and by a real talent in selection.

Over the course of his life, he selected in particular works of plastic art and sculpture of various styles and chronology. The group of Romanesque sculpture of his collection constitutes one of the very few examples of works in Florence which date back to that period.

Among the most significant works are the Caryatid and the Adoring Angel by Tino di Camaino, the Madonna with Child by Jacopo della Quercia and two bas-reliefs depicting Saint Prosdocimus and Saint Maximus by Donatello, which are from the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua.

Short Bibliography

Fondazione Salvatore Romano. Guida alla visita del Museo. A cura di Serena Pini. Firenze, Polistampa 2011

I Cenacoli – Museo di Firenze
Trkulja Meloni S., Firenze, Editore: Becocci/Scala, 2002

Il Crocifisso di Santo Spirito
AA.VV., Firenze, Editore: Comune Assessorato alla Cultura, 2000

L’altare Segni
Silla C. (a cura di), Firenze, Editore: Musei Fiorentini, 1999

Il complesso di Santo Spirito
Capretti E., Firenze, Editore: Becocci, 1998

La Chiesa e il Convento di Santo Spirito a Firenze
Acidini Luchinat C. (a cura di), Firenze, Editore: Giunti, 1996

Il museo di Santo Spirito a Firenze
Becherucci L. (a cura di), Milano, Editore: Electa, 1995

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Adoring Angel

Date: first decades of the 14th century
Technique and Materials: high relief in white marble
Size: 43 cm. x 63.5 cm.
Artist: Tino di Camaino, Siena ca. 1270/75 – 1337/38
Provenance: Palazzo Tempi, then Bargagli Petrucci

It was probably part of a funeral monument. The style recalls Tino’s Florentine monuments.

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Madonna and Child

Date: 15th century
Technique and Materials: bas-relief in painted terracotta
Size: 70 cm. x 95 cm.
Artist: Follower of Jacopo della Quercia

In Pope-Hennessy’s opinion, this relief, together with a similar one from the Bardini collection, is part of a series of madonnas that critics have tried to assemble according to their stylistic features into different groups influenced by either Ghiberti or Della Quercia.

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View of the wall with the Crucifixion

Technique and Materials: wall fresco
Artist: Andrea Orcagna (Florence 1320-1368) and Nardo di Cione (Florence ?-1366)

One of the most important frescoes of the Florentine 14th century, the attribution of this large fresco to Andrea Orcagna was made by Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455) in his “Second Commentary”.

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Crucifixion

Technique and Materials: fresco
Size: 185 cm. x 177 cm.
Artist: Unknown artist, perhaps from Veneto, with Bolognese influences
Provenance: Bishop’s palace on the Montello (Treviso)

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Madonna of Mercy

Technique and Materials: high relief in polychrome stone
Size: 117 cm. x 174 cm.
Artist: Unknown artist from the first half of the 15th century
Provenance: Val di Chiana

It was probably carried out for a Franciscan church or convent, as suggested by Saints Francis and Clare kneeling among the worshippers.

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View of the Refectory

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Frieze with Flagellation, fragment of an architectural decoration

Date: 11th century
Technique and Materials: stone
Artist: Lombard stonecutters
Provenance: Parish Church of San Pietro in Porto near Legnano (Verona)

According to A. Venturi (“Storia dell’Arte Italiana”, vol. III, 1904, p. 122), it is either Saint Peter’s Martyrdom or the Flagellation of Christ.

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Saint Prosdocimus

Date: ca. 1450
Technique and Materials: fragmentary bas-reliefs inside architectural frames with stone, gold, and glass-paste decorations
Size: 200 cm. x 31 cm.
Artist: Donatello, Florence 1386-1466

Address

Salvatore Romano Foundation
Piazza Santo Spirito, 29
Firenze
Phone: 055 287043
Website | Email

How to get there:
By car: once in Florence, follow the signs towards Porta Romana or Palazzo Pitti
By bus: ATAF B/C/D Lines

Services

Accessible to the differently-abled | Bookshop | Café | Educational section | Guided Visits

One enters the Refectory directly from the Piazza Santo Spirito, to the left of the church’s façade. The museum is housed entirely within the large refectory.

The museum is entirely accessible for differently-abled visitors with locomotor disabilities.

Opening hours

Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Closed from Tuesday to Friday and on New Year’s Day, Easter Day, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December.

The ticket office closes 30 minutes before the museum’s closing time.

Useful Links

Tickets

Full ticket: € 3,00

Reduced ticket: € 2,00 (18-25 years of age and over 65, university students)

Free ticket:
Up to 18 years of age
Student groups and their teachers
Tourist guides and interpreters
Differently abled and their escorts
ICOM, ICOMOS e ICCROM members

School groups: it is compulsory to present the list of names on a sheet of school letterhead.