Art treasures in the museums of Cortona

Art treasures in the museums of Cortona

The ancient and noble city of Cortona offers the visitor who is passionate about art and archeology two splendid museums housed in two magnificent monumental buildings in the historic centre, which can be visited together in half a day. The visit to the two museums is favored by being housed in two buildings not far from each other.

On this tour you will discover the incredible wealth of the two museums of Cortona and the most famous works that are kept there.

A guided tour of the Museum of the Etruscan Academy and of the town of Cortona

The MAEC (Museum of the Etruscan Academy and of the City of Cortona) is housed in Palazzo Casali in Piazza Signorelli. The Museum, like the Library, was built in 1727 by the will of three brothers of the Cortonese nobility, the marquises Marcello, Filippo and Ridolfino Venuti.
The donations of the members of the Etruscan Academy who are still based today in the building, in the library and in the historic rooms on the upper floor then merged into it. Among the most significant are the Egyptian collection of Msgr. Guido Corbelli and the picture gallery of the noble Tommasi family of Cortona as well as works from the 20th century donated by the futurist Gino Severini from Cortona. Furthermore, there are furnishings, porcelain and other objects related to the history of the Academy. The Museum also collects archaeological finds excavated in the Cortona area, including very important pieces of Etruscan civilization such as the Bronze Chandelier, the Tabula Cortonensis (one of the most important and extensive texts in the Etruscan language known) and the Kit of the Princely Tomb called Melone II del Sodo with splendid gold jewels. Among the paintings there are works by Luca Signorelli, Cristofano Allori, Baccio Ciarpi, Pietro da Cortona and Giovan Battista Piazzetta and those by the futurist Gino Severini, from Cortona.

A guided tour of the masterpieces of the Diocesan Museum of Cortona, including the Annunciation by Beato Angelico

The Diocesan Museum of Cortona was established in 1945 in the former sixteenth-century church of Buon Gesù and contains some of the most precious sacred art masterpieces preserved in Cortona, which arrived here immediately after the war from the most notable churches of the city and its territory. Among the works preserved there, the Annunciation painted by Beato Angelico during the period spent in the convent of San Domenico in Cortona (c. 1434) stands out for its beauty and grace.

There are other beautiful paintings by Pietro Lorenzetti, Bartolomeo della Gatta, Sassetta, Giuseppe Maria Crespi and the mournful Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Luca Signorelli painted in 1502, where according to tradition and what Vasari claims the figure of Christ was inspired by the painter from the sight of the body of her son who died of the plague. A true masterpiece of Renaissance textile art is the Parato Passerini from 1526, while the sacred goldsmith’s art is represented by the extremely precious reliquary donated to the people of Cortona by Jacopo Vagnucci in 1458. The lower floor leads to the ancient Oratory of the Compagnia del Gesù which preserves beautiful sixteenth-century frescoes by Giorgio Vasari and his pupil and collaborator Cristoforo Gherardi.

Tour Details

What you will see

  • The Museum of the Etruscan Academy and of the City of Cortona (MAEC)
  • The Tabula Cortonensis of the MAEC
  • The Etruscan gold jewels of the MAEC
  • The Etruscan bronze chandelier by Maec
  • The Diocesan Museum of Cortona
  • The Cortona Annunciation by Beato Angelico
  • The Deposition of Christ by Luca Signorelli
  • The Passerini vestment of the Diocesan Museum of Cortona
  • The Vagnucci Reliquary of the Diocesan Museum of Cortona
  • The Oratory of the Society of Jesus in Cortona

Guida esperta e storica dell'arte

Tour di storia e arte