The arts in Volterra: Rosso Fiorentino and a sculpture studio

Ask an art historian about Volterra and Rosso Fiorentino and his masterpiece, The Deposition, will be mentioned.

I got to see this fabulous altarpiece last month and it did not disappoint.

The painting is currently under restoration, so I could not get up as close as I would like, but I’m happy the painting is being well cared for!

The Deposition is housed within the Art Gallery and Civic Museum of Volterra. The Museum is housed within the Palazzo Minucci Solaini, from the Renaissance era. The collection contains paintings, sculpture, medals, ceramics and coins from the Medieval to modern times. The collection is strong in Sienese and Florentine schools of the 14th and 15th centuries.

The museum also is home to this completely authentic 19th century sculpture studio, the Ecomuseo dell’Alabastro. The brochure says “In this museum, you can follow the history of the working and selling of alabaster that, for centuries, was at the base of Volterra’s economy. This stone has been known and has been worked on since the Etruscan period but it was only in the 18th century that an active industry centered on it, arose. Here you can admire vases, sculptures, and other objects’ there is also a large area dedicated to design and to works of art made in alabaster.”

Bottega Pagni: I didn’t get to visit this site, but I want to give it some mention for anyone planning a visit to Volterra. Bottega Pagni shows how alabaster was worked before the use of power tools. There are drawings, tools, hand-powered machinery and rough stones in various stages of processing, as well as information about how artisans spent their days.

For more of the arts of Volterra, including Etruscan and Roman ruins, see my earlier post on Volterra, Nov. 1, 2021.

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