the horne museum in florence, italy

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  The Horne Museum  

Address: Via de' Benci, 6

The Horne Museum takes its name from the English collector Herbert P. Horne (1864-1916) who left his palace and his collections of a lifetime to the Italian State. This palace had belonged to the Albertis and then the Corsis who gave it its present appearance at the end ofthe fifteenth century. With its balanced and elegant exterior and its restrained courtyard.

The museum reflects its owner's taste in layout; Horne was a man of letters, an architect and a critic of some standing who came to Florence at the end of the last century to study the Italian Renaissance. He particularly favoured works of art, furniture, ornamental and useful household objects, the contents in fact of the type of Florentine home which he wished to recreate for himself. The result was a large and rich collection, which has been recently rearranged after the damage of the flood of 1966 and which preserves the character of an inhabited home.

Of particular interest are the superb domestic objects from cutlery in silver and ivory, needles, morro-holders, leather boxes and firedogs, all documenting a rich and varied taste. The pictures are interesting too, including an impressive group of fourteenth century Florentine and Sienese works and some notable fifteenth and sixteenth century ones. Giotto's St. Stephen is outstandingly rare and the highlight of the collection, while the sculptures include works by Desiderio da Settignano and Giambologna and the Angels in Glory by Bernini. The fine ceramics include Italian pieces of the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries from Orvieto, Florence, Cafaggiolo and Urbino.

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