Diocesan Museum

In the rooms adjacent to the papal apartment salt, it is placed the Diocesan Museum, where are exposed works from the churches of the Diocese of Pistoia; They can admire liturgical vestments and furnishings as well as paintings of the Pistoia school.

The sacred art objects are irreplaceable testimonies of civilizations particularly vulnerable to degradation and theft. For this the most significant and valuable objects and those at greatest risk were collected in one place, so that you can make visible to the general public, even in the knowledge that the museum display of religious objects, removed from their original context, lose their the historical identity and sacredness that are the connotative aspects.


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At the objects collected by the churches was given a first system in 1968, the year that the Diocesan Museum, in several rooms of the Episcopal Palace in via Puccini. A more suitable seat, for usability and exhibition area, was then found in the current spaces where together with a stable core of objects, if they alternate other according to the needs of the moment. The museum then shows not only the finest pieces of diocesan property, significant evidence of the high artistic quality of the work that is in Pistoia, but also offers the possibility to follow the style changing through the centuries in different objects for the needs of the user, of worship and decorum of the ecclesial community.

Example of this development you can have watching the precious crosses, the oldest of Umbria and Tuscany are coveted, gilded bronze and date from the twelfth or thirteenth century; one comes from St. Michael's in Cioncio town church, is engraved on both sides, on the front there was applied the Christ, the four corners are carved the figures of God the Father (top), Madonna (left) and St. John (right), at the bottom is the symbolic representation of the Resurrection; on the other side are engraved the figure of the dead Christ and, in terminations, the four Evangelists. The other cross comes from S. Pietro in Albiano (Montemurlo), it is preserved in the figure in the round of the Christ represented with remarkable expressiveness, according to the iconography of Christus Triunphans ?? ??, i.e. living, triumphant over death; also in this case the terminations are decorated with the figures of Mary and of the Evangelists, according to the decorative pattern which will persist for centuries in processional crosses. Tied to the production of Limoges, the second half of ?? 200 is the cross of S. Michele in Baggio, in bronze with traces of the original enamels, also here the Christ is applied, it represented living and crowned. Dating back to the 1370-1380 is the silver processional cross of the church of SS. Maria and Biagio in Piuvica, whose shape recalls the style of the goldsmith Piero d'Arrigo German that in the following decade he also worked at the altar of St. James. In the fifteenth century date back the silver crosses the parishes of Vinacciano (1420) and Valdibure as well as Faltognano (Vinci) and Serra Pistoiese (Marliana). While the first half of ?? 500 is given the beautiful silver cross golden partially Masiano that the modeling connects to more elaborate forms typical of Florentine Mannerism.

Other liturgical furnishings that deserve special attention for the changing of the type of decoration in time are the censers, in them the stylized shapes evoking architectures, the fourteenth and fifteenth century, are increasingly being characterized by the sinuous pattern, with plant motifs. A shaped part hemispherical lobata resting on a conical shank and a vaguely pyramidal top with facets that follow the lobate section of the lower characterize the censer of the fourteenth century coming from the church Crespole (Piteglio). Same dating have also the censers that come from Faltognano, gilded copper, shaped like a Gothic temple cuspidato, with openings trifore, trefoils and monofore, and that of Vitolini (Win), perforated with geometric patterns and terminating with a cusp. Most processed are the censers of ?? 400, like that of S. Maria in Colle, in the form of Gothic shrine in which to open three lights alternate engraved tabernacles; with even more complex structure is the one coming from Spazzavento, reminiscent of a small fortress, the upper part is in fact polygonal and on two floors has angular towers and openings quadrifore and trifore. Already anticipates the typical forms of the following century the censer of 1596 Masiano, hence the body becomes curved and perforated part is decorated with palms and leaves. The oldest wine glasses are in the Museum of the fifteenth century, still tied to the Gothic type, gold-plated copper; have the polilobato foot and the hexagonal shank, the most decorated element is the node that, slightly flattened, bears enamels or incisions. See example and those from Pian of the Alders (Cutigliano), from S. Maria a Colle (Quarrata) and Collegonzi (Win) in which the use of enamels enriches the stem decoration and the node.

In the following centuries forms become more rounded and sinuous, the decoration of the foot, which tends to become round, of the node, which becomes piriformis, and the saucer progressively increase of exuberance coming to assume sculptural character, see the three examples of the eighteenth century goldsmiths represented by silver chalices thrown from the church of St. John Fuorcivitas with festoons, scrolls and swirls. Unusual for the Tuscan territory is instead the cup, the eighteenth century, silver filigree and colored crystals.

The Diocesan Museum houses many of the Pistoia School paintings including the Madonna, the work on the table of the first half of the fourteenth century, and some of Faltognano Sacred Conversations including those of the Signoraccio Bernardino (1460-after 1532) from S. Felice from Saturnana and Porciano, a certain net design and bright colors. Also interesting is the standard two faces with the image of the Madonna dell'Umiltà, the work of Sollazzino (1460 c.-1543), on one side and that of St. Joseph realized by Scalabrino (1489-1561) on the other. Among the other objects of the Museum are also reported in the casket with gilded copper quadrilobes with translucent enamels, the church of S. Stefano in Serravalle, the work of high artistic level related to the field of the fourteenth century Sienese, and another box, much smaller with relief figures of ivory made by Embriachi workshop in the first half of the fourteenth century: born to profane use successivamnte was adapted to contain santi.Vi oils are also two terracotta sculptures, a painting, the 1460-1670, depicts a sweet Virgin praying, the other is S. Rocco and is a typical example of the art robbiana sixteenth.

The exhibition also includes examples of tissues and sacred wallpaper, in particular two planets, a rose and a blue, have bizarre decoration (union of abstract decorations and plant motifs) of the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Completing the museum works of wooden crafts religious like the reliquary busts of St. Alexis Church in Bigiano, curiosities such as the copper plates for printing holy cards of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and then carteglorias, nacelles, ostensories and silver hanging lamps, reliquaries, pyxes, missals, as well as an architectural fragment in marble with decoration in amber enamels forming a labyrinth reason refer back to Gothic and make it an interesting example of this technique Decorative.