The museum opens again
The historic centre of Florence houses the Marino Marini Museum – a jewel inside the former San Pancrazio Church, built by Leon Battista Alberti.
The opening of this space, which happily combines old and modern architecture, dates back to 1988, thanks to a laborious restoration designed by the architects Bruno Sacchi and Lorenzo Papi, making it the city’s first museum of modern and contemporary art. Inside the museum, paths were conceived to let visitors better understand Marino Marini’s works (1901- 1980), with particular attention to the exasperated three-dimensional art by the sculptor from Pistoia, known the world over for his horses and knights.
The permanent collection of 183 works by master Marino Marini includes sculptures, paintings, drawings and engravings, and is enriched by alternating exhibitions dedicated to artists and themes from the 20th century to our day. Part of the museum itinerary includes the Rucellai Chapel – bearing the name of its patron family – which houses the Holy Sepulchre by Leon Battista Alberti – one of the wonders of Florentine Renaissance. In the second half of the 15th century, Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai – an eminent member of the wealthy family – commissioned Leon Battista Alberti to build the Sacello del Santo Sepolcro in the first chapel on the left of the church – resulting in one of the architect’s prime achievements.
Following the deconsecration of the religious site in 1808, the chapel was claimed by the Rucellai family while the space connecting the main building was closed, and a separate entrance was opened on Via della Spada. The restoration and reopening of the Rucellai Chapel – still consecrated today – and of the Sacello del Santo Sepolcro, was achieved by opening a direct passage from the Marino Marini Museum.