Luogo - Library

Fondazione Spadolini Nuova Antologia

Where Via Pian dei Giullari, 139, Firenze

Located on the premises of the rectory of the collegiate church, the Museum of Casole d'Elsa is divided into two sections: an archaeological one and the other concerning the historical-artistic evidences. The first section, divided into three rooms, tells the story of the peopling of the territory in Etruscan Age starting from the earliest phases, evidenced by sets of the orientalizing shaft tombs found in locality “Le Gabbra”. Noteworthy are also the remains of the Bargagli collection, from the estate of Querceto; among them we note a ‘Head of a marble Statue’ of the VI century B.C. and two ‘Attic Craters’ that prove the economic and cultural vitality of this area in the Archaic period. This dynamism is also confirmed by two beautiful ‘Bronze Clasps’ of the VI century B.C., recovered in locality “La Senese” and decorated with one of the oldest representations of boxing in the Etruscan Age.

A large amount of funerary sets made of urns in tufa and black-glazed ceramics of the “Malacena” factory, document the development that this centre met during the Hellenistic age under the political and cultural influence of the city of Volterra.

The works in the historical-artistic section document the major cultural events that affected Casole d'Elsa since the beginning of the fourteenth century until the mid-seventeenth century, setting up the centre as a strategic castle of the Valdelsa, important territorial appendix of Sienese Art. Among the most significant works of the early fourteenth century are reported the ‘Head of a Prophet’ by Marco Romano, the one of the ‘Bishop Tommaso d’Andrea’ created by the sculptor Gano di Fazio and the ‘Virgin with Child’ by the duccesque “Master of the Cini Majesty”. Among the late medieval works we are reminded of the precious ‘Miniatures’ of a graduated painted by Lippo di Vanni, instead the Renaissance is represented by an impressive ‘Altarpiece’ painted by Andrea di Niccolò for an altar of the Collegiate church.
Some works document the activity of the native painter Alessandro Casolani (1552/1553-1607) and his large family workshop which saw active in Casole also the brother-in-law Vincenzo Rustici and the nephew Francesco. The artistic collection is completed by works of Augusto Bastianini, a protagonist of the Florentine painting of the early Nineteenth Century.

Essential appendix of the museum are the most important works located in the Collegiate church: from the tombs of ‘Messer Porrina’ and the ‘Bishop Tommaso d’Andrea’, sculpted respectively by Marco Romano, one of the most important sculptors of the Italian Gothic, and by Gano di Fazio, until the three canvases of the sienese caravaggesque Rutilio Manetti.

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