Only a few steps away from the Piazza Grande, the Civic Museum of Montepulciano is located in the Palazzo Neri Orselli, a magnficent building from the 1300s. It houses the Pinacoteca Crociani (Crociani Picture Gallery), containing some 180 paintings from the 14th to the 19th century, donated to the town by Francesco Crociani, the Primicerius of the Cathedral.
Born in Montepulciano in 1781, Crociani amassed the sizeable collection, which reflects the artistic tastes and tendencies of his time, especially embracing 17th- and 18th-century works from Florence and Bologna, as well as paintings by artists from the Netherlands. Belong to this sort of “gallery” are works depicting history, sacred and secular figures, portraits, landscapes, genre scenes and still lifes.
Of special importance within the museum are works by artists from the Sienese School (Antonio Bazzi, known as “Il Sodoma”, Alessandro Casolani, Rutilio Manetti, Deifebo Burbarini), the Florentine School (Giovannantonio Lappoli, Giovanbattista Naldini, Santi di Tito, Giusto Suttermans, Pier Dandini), the Roman School (Giovanni Antonio Galli, known as “Lo Spadarino”), the Emilian School (Prospero Fontana, Agostino Carracci, Cristoforo Munari) and the Flemish School (Jan Miel, Abraham Bloemart).
The museum houses other important works that were collected after the 19th-century suppression of local convents, as well as a series of 16th-century pieces in terracotta by Della Robbia. The collection is remarkable not only thanks to the quality of the art but also because of the works’ close ties to the history of Montepulciano. Here, in fact, are the two altarpieces Dio Padre Beneficente (God the Beneficent Father) which were once housed in the Town Hall, and the lunetta showing the Madonna con Bambino (Madonna with Child), formerly from the Palazzo del Capitano, created on commission by Andrea della Robbia from 1484 to the beginning of 1525.
Since the year 2000, the Museum of Montepulciano has been home to an impressive archaeologicalsection, bringing together Etruscan and Roman artifacts uncovered within the territory of Montepulciano, especially the necropolis of Acquaviva, near the important and strategic road network between Chiusi and Arezzo. The objects from the necropolis cover a span of roughly four centuries, from the second quarter of the 6th to the 2nd century, B.C.