Museum of the Collegiate Church of Sant'Andrea

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Lorenzo Monaco, Madonna dell'Umiltà tra i Santi Donnino e Giovanni Battista, Pietro e Antonio Abate. 1404, tavolaFounded in 1859, it is one of the oldest ecclesiastical museums. Located in the ancient Provostship building, next to the Collegiate Church of Sant'Andrea, it contains several works of art dating back to a period between the 13th and 17th centuries: as well as a triptych by Lorenzo Monaco and Filippo Lippi's Maestà, there is also a baptismal font created by Bernardo Rossellino, a collection of glazed terracotta and terracotta works by Buglioni. There is an entire room dedicated to Botticini, near that containing the painting entitled L'incredulità di San Tommaso (The Incredulity of Saint Thomas) by Jacopo da Empoli.Masolino da Panicale, Cristo in pietà. 1424, affresco staccato

Alongside some detached frescoes, there is the Cristo in Pietà, one of the most significant works by Masolino da Panicale, who, as well as this extraordinary work of art, also created frescoes for Empoli's Chapel of Sant'Elena in the nearby church of Santo Stefano degli Agostiniani.

After the visit to the Museum of the Collegiate Church has come to an end, you can use the same ticket to continue on the itinerary and enter this church. This church is an integral part of the Agostiniani Convent complex, the remaining rooms of which are currently the Communal Library.

History and museum set-up
Lorenzo Monaco, Madonna dell'Umiltà tra i Santi Donnino e Giovanni Battista, Pietro e Antonio Abate. 1404, tavolaThe Museum of the Collegiate Church of Empoli is one of the most ancient ecclesiastical museums and was created during the Risorgimento uprisings, the aim of which was the unification of Italy. The first donation of 5,040 lire was given to the Opera di Sant'Andrea in 1859 by the Provisional Government of Tuscany, whose Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs was Vincenzo Salvagnoli from Empoli.
Lorenzo Monaco, Madonna dell'Umiltà tra i Santi Donnino e Giovanni Battista, Pietro e Antonio Abate. 1404, tavolaThe first location of the Museum, which had already been built the following year, was in the Chapel of San Lorenzo, next to the church. There were fifty-four works listed, coming from the Collegiate Church, from suppressed churches and private donations. At the end of the 1880s, the painter, Vincenzo Lami, succeeded in acquiring another place in which works of art could be placed and put on display for the public. The first person to arrange the collection scientifically, was the inspector of the Superintendence, Guido Carocci. He organized the paintings in chronological order, creating a special section for sculptures and terracotta works, with a large glass display for illuminated manuscripts. The increase in the number of works of art at the end of the 1930s led to the transfer of the collections to the Provostship and the new museum project was entrusted to Piero Sampaolesi. The war not only interrupted the fulfilment of this project, but it also caused significant damage to the Collegiate Church and to several works of art. Post-war reconstruction was intense. Rebuilt by Guido Morozzi and organized by Umberto Baldini, the Museum was reopened in 1956. The inspiration for the new set-up was based on aesthetic criteria, highlighting the artistic value of the works on display. In the same period, the Museum's collection grew, thanks to the addition of several masterpieces, such as two Saints by Pontormo and the Annunciation by Bernardo Rossellino. The Museum was reorganized for the last time in 1990, by the Superintendence for Artistic and Historical Heritage of Florence. As well as eliminating any climate-related stress that would harm the works of art and leaving the architectural structure of the Museum unchanged, the new set-up sought to respect the historical heart of the collection by relocating the more recently acquired works, such as the Saints by Pontormo and the masterpieces of the Church of Santo Stefano degli Agostiniani, to their original places.

The current exhibition
Francesco e Raffaello Botticini, Tabernacolo del sacramentoThe works of art are ordered according to a didactic-scientific system. In the suggestive Baptistery, all the Museum's frescoes are grouped together (among which the masterpiece depicting Christ, entitled Cristo in Pietà by Masolino). The impressive baptismal font attributed to Bernardo Rossellino was
sculpted for the Baptistery and, from here, we reach the second room where the sculptures are situated. In the Art Gallery, on the floor above, the paintings are organized in chronological order. The third room groups together the most ancient works of art, from the polyptych by an anonymous artist from Pistoia, named Master of 1336, to the interesting works produced in the Florentine workshops, which were active between the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th centuries. In the fourth room, works of art created in the fifteenth century are on display, with authentic masterpieces like the two triptychs by Lorenzo Monaco and the small Maestà by Filippo Lippi. In the fifth room, next to the Tabernacle of San Sebastiano by Francisco Botticini and Antonio Rossellino, all the works of art by Botticini are grouped together. His workshop was active until the first decades of the sixteenth century. Lastly, the hall dominated by the Tabernacle of the Sacrament by Francesco and Raffaello Botticini, contains other works dating back to the late fifteenth, sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries. The tour of the Museum comes to an end in the upper part of the cloister, where several glazed terracotta works, which were already exhibited in the Museum in 1956, are on show.
The exhibition in the Museum of the Collegiate Church of Sant'Andrea continues on into the Church of Santo Stefano degli Agostiniani.

Piazza della Propositura. 3
Tel. 0571 76284
Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday 9:00 - 12:00 and 16:00 - 19:00. Closed on Mondays.
Services and activities (guided tours, didactic workshops for schools and for families, exhibition activities, cultural initiatives: ApritiCentro calendar)

Full price                                                             € 3,10

Reduced price for groups (min. 15 people)              € 1,60
Reduced price for under-18s and over-65s              € 1,10
Reduced price for children aged under 8 years           free
Edumusei                                                               free
Disabled people and escorts                                   
Classes from schools in Empoli                               free
Classes from other institutes                                € 1,10
Get to know the Museum: Learning activities
Families at the Museum                                      € 15,00

For guided tours of the Collegiate Church Museum
contact the Inter-municipal Tourist Office of Vinci
Via della Torre, 11 - 50059 Vinci (Fi)
tel. 0571 568012 - fax 0571 567930