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Tuesday 25 April 2017
Rete Civica » HOME » Fondazione Salvatore Romano

icon_galleryFondazione Salvatore Romano

The museum is situated in the old refectory of the convent erected by Augustinian hermit friars alongside the church of Santo Spirito. This large refectory, built in fourteenth-century Gothic style, is the only room in the renowned monumental complex of Santo Spirito to have maintained its original structure. Its former function is recalled by the imposing fourteenth-century fresco by Andrea Orcagna and assistants that decorates the whole eastern wall, with fragments of a Last Supper at the bottom and a superb Crucifixion with a singular descriptive style at the top. The fresco is not only one of the best works by Orcagna, but also one of the largest wall paintings from the fourteenth century to have come down to us.

Since 1946 the Cenacolo of Santo Spirito has housed the prestigious collection of sculptures, paintings, decorative artworks and antique furniture donated to the Florence City Council by collector and antiquarian Salvatore Romano (Meta di Sorrento, 1875 – Florence, 1955). Not only did he take care of personally setting up this museum and until his death acting as honorary director (a role later taken on by his son Francesco), but it was also his last wish to rest in peace in the monumental sarcophagus located against the wall in front of the fresco.

Son of a sea captain, Salvatore Romano’s interest in art started when he moved to Genoa as a young man in order to follow his father’s footsteps. Within a short time this interest had grown so much that at the age of thirty he was already an affirmed antiquarian in Naples. In 1920 he moved to Florence where he consolidated his business, obtaining wide recognition from illustrious art scholars, collectors and directors of foreign museums. 
The nucleus of Salvatore Romano’s collection in the Cenacolo is only part of the invaluable heritage he collected over thirty years, representing a direct expression of the refined artistic style of this connoisseur. It combines items from many different époques and origins, including works by both anonymous and famous artists, all linked by the fact that they are surviving fragments of monumental works that have either been destroyed or dismembered. Each of these fragments acquires a new ornamental meaning in the unusual layout of the collection which, as decreed by Salvatore Romano at the time of making the donation, has not undergone any great changes over the years. One of the donator’s intentions was that this collection should bridge the gap in the city’s museum heritage in relation to the period dating from ancient times up until the 14th century.

Among the most significant works are an Angel and a Caryatid (or Virtue) by Tino di Camaino, two fragments of reliefs attributed to Donatello and a Madonna and Child attributed to the circle of Jacopo della Quercia.

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città di firenze
Comune di Firenze
Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria
50122 FIRENZE
P.IVA 01307110484
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Amministrazione Trasparente: I dati personali pubblicati sono riutilizzabili solo alle condizioni previste dalla direttiva comunitaria 2003/98/CE e dal d.lgs. 36/2006