The Marino Marini Museum, Florence

Florence is so rich culturally speaking that it is almost impossible to wrap your mind around it. The Marino Marini museum is a modern gem in that cultural heritage.

Located within the deconsecrated church of San Pancrazio, which was built in the early Christian age, and documented from 931. According to the famous historian, Giovanni Villani, the church was founded by Charlemagne. Its adjoining monastery was created in 1157. The church was restored and enlarged from the 14th century. The church was modified in the 18th and 19th centuries. From 1808, it was the seat of the city’s lottery, then a tribunal, and then a tobacco factory.

San Pancrazio was transformed in the 1980s by architects Lorenzo Papi and Bruno Sacchi, who renovated the building in line with their “dynamic” reading of the works of Marini, creating a dialogue between historical and contemporary materials. The building is as notable for its successful marriage of contemporary and ancient architecture as it is for its collection.

Marino Marini (1901–1980) was one of the most important Italian artists of the twentieth century, especially as a sculptor. He was born in Pistoia, and studied art in nearby Florence, before moving to Monza as a teacher and finally arriving at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan. In the 1920s, he spent time in Paris, meeting such artists as Picasso, Maillol, and Braque. In the 1940s, he left Italy for Switzerland. When the war ended, marino returned to Milan, he reopened his studio and resumed his teaching.

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