Museum of Archaeology
Museo Archeologico
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The "Chimera of Arezzo"
Etruscan bronze - c. 400 BC
Found in 1553 outside Porta S. Lorentino in Arezzo, it was immediately brought to Florence to join
the collections of the Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici and set up in the hall of Leo X in Palazzo Vecchio.
In 1871 it was transferred to the Archaelogical Museum.

 

 

Exhibited along with other trasures in the Uffizi Gallery and moved to the Palazzo della Crocetta, the present day seat of the museum, in 1888 (the building was erected in 1620 by Giulio Parigi). The main core of the collection focuses on etruscan civilisation thet interested in particular Cosimo the Eldest of the Medici family. But it was the Gran Duke Cosimo I who to put together the currently existing collection in 16th century, though these were later increased by his successors ( and in particular by Cardinal Leopoldo). Downtime the collection was enriched with famous works like the Chimera of Arezzo, the Minerva of Arezzo and the Orator. The bronze Chimera of Arezzo is one of the best known examples of the art of the Etruscans. It was found in Arezzo, an ancient Etruscan and Roman city in Tuscany, in 1553, during the construction of the fortifications on the outskirts and was quickly claimed for the collection of the Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I, who placed it publicly in the Palazzo Vecchio, and placed the smaller bronzes from the trove in his own studiolo at Palazzo Pitti, where "the Duke took great pleasure in cleaning them by himself, with some goldsmith's tools" Benvenuto Cellini reported in his autobiography.

The collection was then continued by the Lorraine family that added the extraordinary collection of Egyptian pieces beside adding new pieces to the Etruscan section,which was organised by series and studied by the scholars of the Lorraine court.

Additions continued also during the 19th century with importand workslike the Sarcophagus of the Amazons and the Larthia Seianti. It was at this time that a new section of Etruscan Topography was created and that the Etruscan sculptures and small and large bronzes were added.

In addition to the above-mentioned works setting some time aside to visit the section dedicated to the lavish assortment of Etruscan jewels.

EGYPTIAN SECTION

The Egyptian Museum, which is second only to the famous museum in Turin, takes up some of the rooms of the Archeological Museum. The first group of Agyptian antiquities was put together in the 17th century to include also pieces that had been collected by the Medici, although it was significantly increased during the 18th century by Leopoldo II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who purchased new collections and financed, together with Charles X, King of France, a scientific expedition to Egypt in the years 1828 and 1829. The expedition was directed by Jean François Champollion, the famous scholar and interpreter of hieroglyphics and by Ippolito Rosellini from Pisa, who would soon become the father of Egyptian studies in Italy and a friend and disciple of Champollion. After the return of the expedition, the numerous objects collected during the expedition and during excavations of archeological sites or purchased by local merchants, were equally divided between Florence and the Louvre.

The Egyptian Museum of Florence was officially established in 1855. In 1880 the Piedmontese Egyptian scholar Ernesto Schiaparelli , who was to become the director of the Egyptian Museum of Turin, was assigned the task of transfering and organising the Egyptian antiquities in the present day location, which is also seat of the Archeological Museum. Schiapparelli suitably increased the collections of the Museum with objects found during his personal excavation campaigns and purchased in Egypt before his final transfer to Turin. The last group of works acquired by the Egyptian Museum of Florence includes pieces donated to the State by private contributors and scientific institutions.

Today the Museum exhibits over 14,000 pieces, displayed in nine rooms and two warehouses. The exhibition rooms have been totally renewed. The old layout of Schiaparelli has now been replaced by the new one arranged, when possible, according to a chronological and topographic order. The collection comprises material that ranges from the prehistoric age down to the age of Copta, with several groups of steles, vases, amulets and bronze pieces of different ages.

The most remarkable pieces are some statues dating back to the age of Amenofi III, the chariot of the 18th dynasty, the pillar of the tomb of Sety I, the cup of Fayence with square mouth and the belongings of the wet nurse of the daughter of Pharao Taharqa, the woman portrait of Fayum, the collection of fabrics belonging to the Copt Age and an important group of chalk moulds dating back to the end of the 19th.

The museum now has a permanent staff including two professional egyptologists.



 
The Vase Francois
Large black figure krater of c. 570 BC
signed by the potter Ergotimos and the painter Kleitias
 
Stylized fan with ostrich feathers
Symbol of royal blood
6th century BC
 
Greek dish with scene of simposium
450 - 470 BC
Head of Roman Emperor
Trebonianus Gallus 251 - 253 AD
Roman bronze
The so-called Medici Riccardi horse head
Roman bronze
The Idolino of Pesaro - Roman bronze
Probably a replica of a Greek statue
Found in Pesaro in 1530
 
Canopic jar coming from Cetona
5th century BC
Reconstruction of an Etruscan war car
many items are authentic
 
Kouros of Milani (donor name)
Greek statue
530 BC
Etruscan bronze helmet from Cipriano (Marche)
Mid-5th century BC
 
Etruscan polychrome sarcophagus of Letitia Saeianti
Found in Chiusi
3rd century BC
The Orator
Roman bronze
Found in Lake Trasimeno in 1556
 
The so-called Torso Livorno
Original Greek
5th century BC
Bust of the Emperor Tiberio
Ist century
 
EGYPTIAN SECTION
Portrait of woman from Al-Fayum
Statues coming from a tomb in Thebes
Above: woman making beer
Down: woman crushing wheat
 
Funerary stela of Ibi
Middle Kingdom
The Goddess Maat
 
Votive statuettes
The sacred scarab
Embodiment of the God Khepri
 
Stela of Gedhor
Ptolemaic Period
Chariot - New Kingdom - 18th Dynasty
15th century BC
 
Royal sarcophagus
Royal sarcophagus
 
Offering bringers - Theban tomb 18th Dynasty
This fragment(s) of wall painting was taken from the Theban tomb of Haremhab. Many sections of the paintings of this great tomb were sadly chopped out from the walls by thieves.
Sarcophagus and mummy
 
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