On 26 May 1951 the Florentine Museum ‘Casa Buonarroti’ reopened its doors after a prolonged closure due to the Second World War and difficult post-war years. Art historian, museum administrator and heritage management activist Giovanni Poggiwas instrumental to the re-opening and nominated as the Museum’s Honorary Keeper.
Located in Via Ghibellina, 70, Florence, the building which hosts the Museum was owned by of Renaissance genius Michelangelo Buonarroti and his discendants. Its transformation in an art gallery started in 1612, when Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger enlarged the palace and commissioned leading artists such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Jacopo Vignali and Pietro da Cortona to decorate its interior.
The museum preserves artworks by Michelangelo such as the famous relief of the Madonna of the Stairs, the wooden model for the facade of the church of San Lorenzo, Florence, and 250 drawings, as well as poems and letters. The house also contains the family’s art collection and library as assembled by successive generations from the Baroque period onward. A must-do for visitors to Florence!
References: Elena Lombardi. ‘POGGI, Giovanni,’ Dizonario Biografico degli Italiani (2015), http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/giovanni-poggi_%28Dizionario-Biografico%29/; ‘Casa Buonarroti,’ http://www.casabuonarroti.it/it/
Casa Buonarroti. Source: http://www.casabuonarroti.it/it/
The Room of the Angels in the Casa Buonarroti, frescoed in 1623 by Jacopo Vignali. On the altar on the left, intarsia by Pietro da Cortona. Source: Web Gallery of Art.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, Cleopatra (recto), 1533-34, black chalk on paper, 225 x 170 mm, Casa Buonarroti, Florence. Source: Web Gallery of Art.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, Madonna of the Stairs, 1490-92, marble, 56 x 40 cm, Casa Buonarroti, Florence. Source: Web Gallery of Art.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, Model for the façade of San Lorenzo, Florence, 1517, wood, 210 x 280 cm, Casa Buonarroti, Florence. Source: Web Gallery of Art.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sonnet with a Caricature, c. 1510, pen and brown ink, 283 x 200 mm, Casa Buonarroti, Florence. Source: Web Gallery of Art.