The San Matteo Museum is located along the river Arno in the Piazzetta San Matteo in Soarta in Pisa. It is housed in an ancient medieval monastery with a beautiful Gothic façade.
San Matteo Museum Pisa
Address, opening times and admission
The address is Piazza San Matteo in Soarta, 1 – 56126 Pisa (tel. +39 050541865). Public transport: LAM green; bus: 2, 4, 5, 13, 21, 22. Opening Hours: 8:30 – 19:00; Sundays and public holidays: 9:00 – 13:30. Closed: Mondays; 1 January, 1 May, 25 December. Entrance fee: € 5.00; Young people between 18 and 25 years old: € 2.50.
History and description
The Museo Nazionale di San Matteo is not the best organized museum in the world, but it offers an excellent impression of the art produced in Pisa and Florence between the 12th and 17th centuries.
The oldest works generally have the “Madonna with Child” as their theme. These include a polyptych painted by Simone Martini in 1312 and a sculpture by (probably) Nicola Pisano from the 14th century, the “Madonna del Latte”.
Early Renaissance highlights are a “Saint Paul” (Masaccio, 1426), another “Madonna and Child” (Gentile da Fabriano, 15th century) and a bust of “San Rossore”, made by Donatello.
In the early 13th century, an anonymous artist who has become known as the “Byzantine Master” lived and worked in Pisa. His most famous work is known as Crocifisso N.20 or “Crucifix of Pisa” and is on display in the museum. It is one of the first works showing Christ suffering or dead on the cross, instead of free from pain and triumphant.
In 1925 the city authorized the entrepreneur Cleopatro Cobianchi to open a day hotel in the Logge dei Banchi. During construction, a collection of 13th century gold coins was found. This collection is now on display in the museum.