the bardini museum in florence, italy

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  The Bardini Museum  

Address: Piazza de' Mozzi

This is found in a fine palace built by Stefano Bardini at the end of the nineteenth century and left by him to the Florentine Town Council at his death in 1922. Bardini was a dealer of almost legendary fame who apart from stocking many foreign museums with pieces of first quality also assembled for himself through his almost frenetic activity a collection of objects of widely varying periods and quality. His palace itself is remarkable in its use for doors, windows and mouldings of old fragments from destroyed churches and villas. Even the ceilings are magnificent examples of Venetian and Tuscan woodwork of the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries.

The collection comprises sculptures, paintings, furniture, ceramics, tapestries, arms, carpets, and also fragments saved from the destruction of the old centre of Florence: these are all displayed on the ground and first floors with a taste which reflects the picturesque preferences of a private collector. Apart from Roman sarcophagi, capitals, Roman and Gothic reliefs, sculpture is well represented in the work of Della Robbia (fifteenth-sixteenth centuries), pieces attributed to Donatello and Nine or Giovanni Pisano, and the famous and beautiful Charity by Tino di Camaino (c. 1280-1337).

A large room in imitation of a crypt provides the setting for tombstones and funerary monuments, and the musical instrument collection is also important. The star of the collection is the St. Michael Archangel on panel by Antonio Del Pollaiolo (1431-1498), but other priceless objects are also found among the arms, fifteenth century polychrome stuccoes and wooden sculpture.

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