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Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

Listed under Art Collections in Siena, Italy.

  • Photo of Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
  • Photo of Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
Photo of Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
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By the Duomo, ignore the looping queue for Brunelleschi’s dome and duck instead into the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (9 Piazza del Duomo, tel: 055 230 2885; €5) where a treasure-chest of sculptures from the Duomo, Baptistry and Campanile awaits the adventurous. The brightest of the many gems here is Michelangelo’s Pietà, made when he was 80 and intended for his own tomb. Dissatisfied with the stone, he broke the arm and left leg of Christ – they were later restored but the cracks are still visible. A beautifully mature work, the figure of Nicodemus – which dominates the triangle of figures around Christ – is a self-portrait. Even in the height of the tourist season, you could well find yourself alone with the Pietà.

Written by  kamin.

Other expert and press reviews

“Cathedral Museum (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo)”

This museum exists mainly to house the sculptures removed from the niches and doors of the Duomo group for restoration and preservation out of the elements. The dusty old museum was completely rearranged from 1998 to 2000. The courtyard has now been en… Read more...

Written by press. Frommers

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

This museum was built to present the sculptures from the Duomo’s nooks and crannies properly, it was so crammed with art and artifacts it was difficult to see any individual piece and some of the art was suffering wear and tear.

Michelangelo’s marble ‘Pieta’ is one of the highlights, he worked on this late in his life and it was possibly his intention to use it for his own tomb, grim. In the unfinished group of characters is Nicodemus, who wears the face of Michelangelo. The cracks in it were inflicted by the artist - sculptor’s block drove him to take a hammer to it.

In the covered courtyard are Ghiberti’s bronze panels from the baptistery’s ‘Gates of Paradise’ and on the top floor of the museum are the carved Prophets who were originally created for the bell tower. Donatello’s inclusions are the most revered, he carved the ‘Beardless Prophet’, ‘Jeremiah’ and bald ‘Habakkuk’.

Not all great art dripping with religion, the museum has also kept some of the machinery used to build the domed building. Art and architecture married under God.

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