Overview of Museo dell' Opera del Duomo
The “Museum of the Cathedral” was former located nearby the Palazzo delle Magistrature.
Since the 15th century it has its seat behind the Cathedral, in Piazza del Duomo.
The museum was originally a storage area to keep the materials, objects and tools to be going to the Cathedral. It was founded as a Museum in the last decade of the19th century to host many art works and several masterpieces from the Duomo, the Bell Tower and the Baptistery, as well as Etruscan and Roman urns and relieves and also the original machines, objects and tools which were utilized by the workmen who conducted by Brunelleschi constructed the Cathedral.
The old museum was entirely modernized between 1998 and 2000.
The undoubtedly masterpieces kept in it indoors are: “The Deposition” (also known as the “Florentine Pietà”) by Michelangelo (1550 ca.); the original “Gates of Paradise”, the Eastern Door of the Baptistery by Lorenzo Ghiberti (made between 1425 and 1452 ca.); the “Sala delle Cantorie” from the Cathedral by Lucca Della Robbia and Donatello, engraved in white marble and ornamented with coloured glass and mosaic (1430); the impressing polychrome wooden sculpture of “Maria Maddalena” by Donatello (1445) and the Prophets busts, also by Donatello, from the Bell Tower. Among them maybe the most dramatic expressions are carved in the faces representing Jeremiah and Habakkuk; the stunning “Altar of San Giovanni” from the Baptistery, which took more than 100 years and was made up with 400 k. of silver; the Gothic “Madonna of the Glass Eyes” and the sculpture to Pope Bonifacio VIII both of them by Arnolfo di Cambio; the sculptures to “St. John” by Donatello and to “San Luke” by Nanni di Banco, all of them from the Cathedral.
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