Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art Arezzo

The Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art (MuDAS) is located in the small square behind the bell tower of the San Donato Cathedral in Arezzo. The museum exhibits spiritual art. The collection covers the period from the 12th to the 19th century.

Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art Arezzo

Useful information

Address: Piazza del Duomo, 1 – Arezzo. Telephone: 0575 4027268. Opening times: From 10.00 till 18.00 (Sundays and holidays from 13.30 till 18.00). Entrance fee: 6 Euros; disabled, children between 6 and 18 years old and families with at least four paying visitors:4 Euros; children under 6: Free. The ticket includes a visit to the Palazzo Vescovile.

History and description

Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art Arezzo
Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art

The museum was inaugurated in 1963, with the intention of highlighting ecclesiastical art in the Diocese of Arezzo.

The rooms on the second floor house a pinacotheque, sixteenth-century frescoes by local artist Teofilo Torri, and the papal apartment where Pope John Paul II stayed during his visit to Arezzo in 1992.

The museum’s complete collection consists of paintings, frescoes , statues, jewelry and sacred documents, all from a period ranging between the 12th and late 19th centuries. It also has a collection of prestigious gold jewelry and sacred vestments.

The core of the collection is formed by a number of objects collected for the historical exhibition of sacred art held in the city in 1950 on the occasion of the 900th anniversary of the death of Guido Monaco. Guido Monaco, who is better known as Guido of Arezzo, was a monk, who, however, is most famous as the inventor of today’s musical notation.

Most of the artwork comes from the city’s Cathedral and other churches in the area.

Represented artists include Luca Signorelli, Bartolomeo della Gatta and Vasari.

What to see

Peace of Siena

On of the sacred vestments is the famous “Peace of Siena” (Pace di Siena). One side of this vestment depicts a dead Christ carried by angels, while the other side shows the Madonna Addolorata (“Our Lady of Sorrows”). It is a French work from the 15th century, decorated with gold, enamel, precious stones and pearls. The vestment was a gift from Pope Pius II Piccolomini to the Cathedral of Siena, which in turn donated it to the Cathedral of Arezzo in 1799, during the anti-French uprisings.

Crucifixes

Another highlight is formed by three 12th and 13th century crucifixes whose original colors are still partly visible. The oldest of the three dates back to 1179.

Vasari

Of course there are also several works by Vasari. There is a large banner from 1549 that was made for the Compagnia dei Peducci and consists of two canvases. The first depicts the “Sermon of John the Baptist” and the second the “Baptism of Jesus.” There is also a round silk tondo depicting the ┬░Mother of God of Grace” which originally belonged to a canopy. The predella with “Events from the Life of David” comes from the no longer existing San Rocco Church. The table that the predella was part of is on display in the Medieval and Modern Art Museum.

More highlights

Of particular interest is the freestanding fresco, painted in 1480, depicting “Saint Jerome” and painted by Bartolomeo della Gatta.

Other local artists represented are Andrea di Nerio and the better known Spinello Aretino. A number of works by the neoclassical painter Pietro Benvenuti are also on display.

There is a strikingly large terracotta from 1432, attributed to Bernardo Rossellino.

The “Christ in the House of Marta” was produced around 1575 by Santi di Tito, an important painter during the Counter-Reformation.

Finally, some paintings on wood by Domenico Pecori, a predella by Signorelli and four glazed terracotta figurines by Della Robbia need to be mentioned.

Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art – Piazza del Duomo 1, Arezzo

Medieval and Modern Art Museum Arezzo

The State Museum of Medieval and Modern Art (Museo Nazionale d’Arte Medievale e Moderna) is housed in the Palazzo Bruni Ciocchi in Arezzo. The collection ranges from the 8th (tombstones) to the 20th century. Many works of art once hung or stood in the churches of Arezzo.

Continue reading “Medieval and Modern Art Museum Arezzo”

Other attractions Arezzo

Of the attractions in Arezzo that are not easily categorized, the Piazza Grande and the old city gates are the most interesting. The Prato Park is next to what is left of the Medicea Castle and the Roman Amphitheater now houses the Archaeological Museum.

Other attractions Arezzo

Piazza Grande

Other attractions Arezzo - Piazza Grande

The central square of Arezzo is called Piazza Grande. It has a distinct shape and is surrounded by some of the city’s most beautiful churches and palaces. It is therefore the best starting point for exploring the city. It is also known as Piazza Vasari.

City gates

There are still seven city gates in the ancient protective wall around Arezzo. Not all of them are accessible anymore.

Fortezza Medicea

Other attractions - Fortezza Medicea Arezzo

The Fortezza Medicea is located at the top of the Colle di San Donato, on the edge of the city center. Thanks to its high position, one has a beautiful view of the city from the fortress. It was built in the 16th century. Napoleon had it partially destroyed three centuries later.

Romeins Amphitheater

Roman Amphitheater - Other attractions Arezzo

The Roman Amphitheater of Arezzo is located in the southern part of the walled part of the city. Today the Archaeological Museum of the city sits on the ruins of the monument. Only some aisles and part of the grandstand can be seen.

Prato Park

The Prato is the name of the park that stretches out between the Cathedral of Arezzo and the medieval Fortezza Medicea. In the middle of the park is a sculpture group dedicated to the poet Petrarch.