Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Pisa
The most import work in the Museo is the Madonna of the Conversation by Giovanni Pisano. Equally fine is a carved ivory also by him. A retroaltar by Tino da Camiano also stands out as does a sarcophagus of a bishop by Nino Pisano and a polychrome crucifix again of Giovanni.
This museum is housed in a13C mansion, the Palazzo della Primiziale, just beyond the south transept of the Duomo. It has a fine inner courtyard, somewhat like a cloister, with many great sculptures of the 12-17C and examples of the lesser arts such as ivory chests or medieval pages of music.
The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo is located in an old seminary that stands right behind the cathedral, at the edge of Piazza dei Miracoli. The museum was opened in 1986 and it presents different works of art, especially sculptures, that used to be found in the cathedral but that were removed during the restoration work that occurred at several points during the cathedral's history; the pieces were then either relocated some place else in Pisa or they were simply misplaced and lost until a massive search was conducted to bring them back to the museum. Also on display are some of the Roman, Etruscan, Moorish and Egyptian treasures that were brought to Pisa after the city's different conquests, all of which greatly influenced the type of art and architecture that developed in the region over the 11th century. The old seminary's cloisters also offer an interesting view of the leaning tower.
Admission to the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo is included in the combined ticket (10 Euros) that also gives access to the cathedral, baptistery, cemetery and Sinopie museum.
Pisa's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo houses many of the original works that adorn the cathedral, including the original version of the bronze griffon that adorns the cathedral rooftop (the one in the rooftop is a replica). Admirers of the cathedral will also find the presentations on the cathedral's historical origins and plans interesting and worth a few minutes of their time.
Entrance to the museum is included in the combined Piazza dei Miracoli tickets. Please see my tip on the cathedral for details on buying these tickets.
Pisa boasts several museums:
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo: exhibiting among others the original sculptures of Nicola Pisano and Giovanni Pisano and the treasures of the cathedral
Museo delle Sinopie: showing the sinopias from the camposanto, the monumental cemetery.
Museo Nazionale di S. Matteo: exhibiting sculptures and painting from 12th century - 15th century
I went to two museums while I was in Pisa. I spent about a minute in the Museo delle Sinopie before leaving. Sure the frescoes there dated back millennia or so, but it just didn't hold my interest despite its historical value.
The museum that lies closer to the Leaning Tower, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, however was very good. It shows the structure of the surrounding buildings, small models of them, showing minute details of each construction. There are also paintings, sculptures and other pieces of art here. Make sure you check out both the upstairs and downstairs part of the museum (I almost missed going upstairs, because I didn't even see the stairs!). From the verandah on the first floor you can get a great view of the leaning tower - excellent photo shot!
For opening hours, check out the website below for more details.
Housed in the cathedral's 13th century former Chapter House, this excellent modern museum displays exhibits removed over the years from the Duomo, Baptistry and Camposanto. Among the highlights is an imposing 10th century hippogriff (half horse, half griffin). Cast in bronze by Moorish craftsmen, this statue was looted by Pisan adventurers during the wars against the Saracens. There are also works by both Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, notably Giovanni's ivory Virgin and Child (1300), carved for the Duomo's high altar. Other exhibits include paintings, Roman and Etruscan remains and ecclesiastical treasures.
My journal entry: After lunch we walked back to the Museo dell ‘Opera del Duomo and walked through in utter peace and quiet. The tourist hordes weren’t interested. It’s a shame because it is interesting, well displayed and even has an interactive exhibit where you can choose your language. We particularly enjoyed the exhibit of illuminated manuscripts and Gregorian chant.
There are paintings, sculpture, artifacts and interesting room decor.
Loved the great views of the leaning tower from the museum porch!
In the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, you can see a great collection of art work.
These pieces come from the beautiful buildings at the Campo dei Miracoli (Cathedral, Baptistery).
You can see masterpieces of sculpture made by Giovanni Pisano: Madonna del Colloquio. You can also see the famous Croce dei Pisani, a cross carried by Pisan soldiers during the first Crusade.
The most precious exhibit in this museum is the cathedral's treasure.
More art work from this museum in my Museum travelogue.
In this nice small museum the original art of the Duomo and Baptistry is displayed. The museum is located in a 13th century building that belonged to the Cathedral.
One of the highlights of the museum is the bronze hippogrief from the 10th century.
Here you will find some interesting things over and from the Duomo. It´s a huge complex with paintings, statues etc.... You also have a great look on the leaning tower from here.....