Volterra’s art for everyone
A collection that goes through and displays great art in Volterra
The art gallery Pinacoteca and the Civic Museum gather artworks of big historical and artistic value. They’re displayed in the rooms of the Palazzo Minucci – Solaini (Minucci-Solaini Palace),, a remarkable example of late-1400s-architecture attributed to Antonio da S. Gallo il Vecchio.
OPENING HOURS AND TICKETS
Opening times Pinacoteca and Museo Civico - Art gallery
from 25th January 2021:
daily from 10:00 a.m. until 04:30 p.m.
|Reduced (Boys 6-12, over 60, Coop and TCI):||6,00€|
|Adult groups (min 15 pax):||6,00€|
Volterra Card rates
|Family (up to 2 adults with a maximum of 3 minors):||20,00€|
|Reduced (university students with ID, boys 6-18, over 65, Coop members, FAI, TCI and groups of adults min 6 pax):||10,00€|
|Groups (min 10 pax - guide free):||10,00€|
|Children up to 6 years old, residents of the Municipality of Volterra, disabled and carers, teachers and companions of school groups, licensed tour guides, journalists, ICOM members||FREE|
|NEW OFFER: Discounts for families that book an accommodation in and around Volterra (within the Municipal district) Discounts valid for the whole calendar year)||10,00€|
The artworks of the Pinacoteca
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DEPOSITION FROM THE ALTACROSS - Rosso Fiorentino
Giambattista di Jacopo, also called Rosso Fiorentino
Florence 1494 – Fontainebleau 1540
Oil painting on arched panel, 341×201 cm
The work was painted by Rosso Fiorentino in 1521 for the chapel of the Croce di Giorno, annexed to the church of San Francesco in Volterra. The date coincides with that of the panel painted for the parish of Villamagna, today in the Museum of Holy Art, and this would indicate at least a short stay in Volterra by the artist. A rather restless painter, he combined the refined details of Andrea del Sarto and Fra Bartolomeo with great angular and faceted folds, harsh colours and hallucinated faces. The large Descent from the Cross, an entangled and bizarre composition, shows elements of various styles, including those of Michelangelo, Fra Bartolomeo, Andrea del Sarto, Piero di Cosimo and Dürer; the latter, known through prints, inspired the figure of the old Nicodemus, leaning over the horizontal arm of the Cross.
The agitated movement of the figures, who move like acrobats on equipment in the upper part following the principles of a serpentine, is counterbalanced by the constant rhythm of the steps of the ladders. On the right a weeping St. John, in a similar position to that of Eve expelled from the Garden of Eden in the Sistine Chapel, woman on the left whose face is illuminated by the light. The idea of space is taken from the Descent from the Cross by Filippino Lippi dated 1501, but the figure of Christ is clearly inspired by the Piety by Michelangelo in St. Peter’s in the Vatican, while the figure with a girdle on the stairs is a copy of the nude in the foreground of the cartoon of the Battle of Cascina.
ANNUNCIATION - Luca Signorelli
Cortona 1450 – 1523
mixed technique on arched panel, 282×205 cm
From the chapel of the Disciplinanti in the Duomo of Volterra, the panel was painted in 1491 .
An open gallery in perspective forms the central division of the scene where the sudden arrival of the angel is counterbalanced by the gesture of the Virgin in the act of withdrawing; all the other elements harmonize with the upward movement of the composition.
Of Signorelli’s works done in Volterra, there remain the Circumcision in the National Gallery of London, from the Oratory of the Santissimo Nome in the grounds of San Francesco, and the fresco of St. Jerome in the Palazzo dei Priori.
Other works are now lost, such as the predella of the Annunciation, that of the Sacred Conversation, a Crucifixion from the church of Sant’Andrea in Posterla, the predella of the Circumcision,
and two panels with St. John and St. Paul, documented in the church of San Francesco.
CHRIST IN GLORY WITH FOUR SAINTS AND A DONOR - Ghirlandaio
Domenico Bigordi, also called Domenico Ghirlandaio
Florence 1449 – 1494
tempera on arched panel, 294×190 cm
The perspective of a luminous, imaginary landscape, rich in details in the Flemish manner, creates the background for the clever architectonic positioning of the figures in the foreground: Saints Attinea and Greciniana and Saints Benedict and Romualdo.
The panel painted in 1492 for the church of the abbey of San Giusto. Is considered the last great work from the workshop of Ghirlandaio. One of the most famous and most active of the late-15th century in Florence. A refined illustrator of the serene and civilized life in Florence under Lorenzo the Magnificent, Ghirlandaio assimilated in his painting the sense of measure and order typical of the Florentine tradition, combined with a personal spirit of observation strengthened by his acquaintance with Flemish painting.
THE MOURNING OF CHRIST - De Witte
Pieter de Witte, also called Pier Candido
perhaps Bruges 1548 – Munchen 1612
Oil painting on arched panel, 294×177 cm
In this splendid painting, the figure of Mary Magdalen who throws herself at the feet of Christ recalls the Piety by Fra Bartolomeo in Palazzo Pitti; while in the figure of St. John facing the right, the influence of Andrea del Sarto can be traced.
An acquaintance with the drawing of Dürer is especially evident in the landscape with the hill crowned by trees, the sepulchral grotto, the view of Mount Calvary with the three crosses and a walled city. Moreover, the falling arm of Christ recalls the Piety by Michelangelo in St. Peter’s.
Important paintings and art collections
with Rosso Fiorentino’s “Deposition” standing out
Volterra’s Pinacoteca dates back to 1842, when Luigi Fedra Inghirami, who worked in the cathedral, started gathering paintings from the churches, monasteries and towns suppressed by the city in the S. Carlo chapel, which is right next to the Dome.
In 1905, Corrado Ricci proposed to establish a paintings’ gallery for the municipality on the second floor of Palazzo dei Priori. The main artworks kept in the S. Carlo chapel were brought there, together with some municipality- and state-owned artworks and some coming from churches and city agencies.
The Pinacoteca was moved to the Palazzo Minucci-Solaini in 1982. This is a remarkable example of a late-1400s “palazzo”, traditionally attributed to Antonio da S. Gallo il Vecchio.
The Civic Museum has now been added to the Pinacoteca, which still stays the most important section. The Civic Museum displays works of great historical and artistic value which belonged to agencies who were not able to conserve or appreciate them anymore.
Among the most significant works of art are, of course, the famous “Deposition” by Rosso Fiorentino, the polyptychs by Taddeo di Bartolo, Alvaro Pirez and Cenni di Francesco, Francesco Neri da Volterra’s “Pietà”, a predella with paintings of Mary’s stories by Benvenuto di Giovanni, two wooden sculptures by Francesco di Valdambrino, the painting of Christ in Glory by Domenico Ghirlandaio, the “Sacred Conversation” and the “Annunciation” by Luca Signorelli da Cortona, many medieval sculptures and ceramics, a big medal collection and an interesting numismatic collection.
The Pinacoteca often organises exhibitions, sometimes together with other agencies and institutes, around Volterra’s cultural heritage. Conferences and study seminars are also regularly organised.
The teaching activity is available to everyone, but especially aimed to students of every age, with programmes designed to teach and analyse different artistic realities.