New Opera Duomo Museum - a spectacular museum!

It was already one of my favourite museums - then they decided to close for another restauration, they just reopened on Oct 29th 2015 and I have to admit that I have almost cried... it is so intense, moving, beautiful and worth-seeing museum! The best.

Opera of Duomo opens in 1891 to host the Pieta of Michelangelo, without a home... then it became the deposit of many many sculptures, paintings, sacred objects - that were before kept inside the Cathedral or inside the Baptistry, and then got replaced by more modern pieces.

Ancient Façade Room

Arnolfo di Cambio, the main architect of the Cathedral, started the works on September 8th 1296 - and he worked also to the main façade. Unfortunately he died before the Cathedral and the façade were finished (poor destiny for medieval architects... they never survived to their projects!)
In 1587 the façade was totally demolished, and finally accomplished only in 1881!
Did you know that our façade was so young?

So, they have reconstruct a 1:1 scale façade with the original statues... it represents the ancient space between Cathedral doors and Baptistry - so if you turn around you will admire also the beautiful gilded bronze doors by Ghiberti!
It is a magnificent setting, a moving room, you will find yourself in tears. Outstanding

Virgin Mary with brilliant eyes

The Paradise Gate - Lorenzo Ghiberti
Ancient Façade Room

Beheading of St. John the Baptist - Rustici

Detail of Paradise Gate - Mosé

Donatello's Magdalene and Michelangelo's Pietà

On the ground floor you will admire 2 incredibly intense statues: the wood Magdalene by Donatello, founded lost in the desert after years of wandering, she was devasted, skinny, her clothes were destroyed... she is surprised to see you, and she opens a bit her mouth. A superb and moving representation of Magdalene

And what about the Pietà by Michelangelo? He sculpted this statue at 70 years old, tired, sick, and in deep personal crisis - it was intended for his personal tomb, so it is maybe the most personal Pietà by this great artist. Before it was finished, tired of a very hard marble, he started to destroy the Pietà with an hammer, smashing totally the left leg of Jesus....

Magdalene - Donatello

Pietà - Michelangelo

Cantorie Room and Cupola construction

On the first floor you will admire many other rooms, especially the Cantorie Room, where you can find the two balconies used by the singers of the Cathedral made by Luca della Robbia and Donatello.

And the Cupola room, the Genius of Brunelleschi that built the biggest self-standing dome without scaffolding support, which is even nowadays a not understandable work.

Visit the Musem of Opera Duomo, it is incredibly beautiful - open on Mondays, when all the States museums such as Uffizi, Accademia, Pitti Palace are closed.

For private tours with me write me at elisaacciai@libero.it

Opera Duomo Museum
Duomo Square, 9
Open daily 9 am to 7 pm

Cantoria - Luca della Robbia

Cantoria - Donatello

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