The Civic Museum in Pistoia takes its visitors on a seven-hundred-year journey through the city’s artistic history, from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century. It tells this story via a collection of the most important artworks, acquired or donated from its churches and convents.
Some 300 works of art are grouped and organised by school (Florentine, Pistoiese), with the exception of the Puccini Collection on the top floor, separated from the rest of the exhibits on account of having come to the Museum in 1914 as an original, integral unit.
The prestigious works on display, particularly the examples of Florentine and Pistoiese painting, document the cultural changes that took place in Pistoia according to her political relationship with Florence, changes which paved the way for stylistic developments in the local art. The fourteenth-century school, with its ubiquitous gold backgrounds, and early sixteenth-century painting, with a striking series of altarpieces on the theme of ‘Sacred Dialogue’, constitute the Museum’s main points of interest. Florentine painting from the 1600s and 1700s is also well-represented, as is nineteenth-century Romantic art on historical subjects, inspired by the liberal ideology of Niccolò Puccini, who commissioned much of it.
The Civic Museum are located in one of the historic buildings of Pistoia, close to the San Zeno Cathedral.