Showing great foresight and a deep passion for art, Don Crescenzio Massario, the parish priest of Buonconvento, gathered works from the church’s various storerooms in 1926 and put together the core collection of what would go on to become the Museum of Sacred Art of the Val d’Arbia.
The museum, located in Palazzo Ricci Socini, houses a collection of precious sacred works of art(paintings, sculptures, goldwork and fabrics) coming from the territory of the Val d’Arbia, an outstanding testament to the culture of fine figurative work created by leading Sienese masters from the 13th to the 19th century.
Like other museums in the province of Siena, the Buonconvento museum is a true treasure chest of masterpieces, large and small, that capture the attention even of an untrained eye. All visitors will surely be moved by the brilliant colours, the glistening gold, the emotional intensity of the figures.
The first room holds paintings from the 1200s and 1300s, featuring renowned artists such as Duccio di Buoninsegna and his large work, Madonna col Bambino (Madonna with Child), as well as Pietro Lorenzetti, Luca di Tommé, and Andrea di Bartolo, whose sublime Annunciazione (Annunciation) is on display.
The itinerary moves on to works by Sano di Pietro, the well-known, prolific Sienese painter from the mid-1400s, and to the extraordinary Madonna con Bambino e angeli (Madonna with Child and Angels) by Matteo di Giovanni. Works from the 1500s include pieces by the followers of Beccafumi, from Bartolomeo di David to Andrea del Brescianino and Il Riccio.
Work by 17th-century Sienese artists is also well-represented here. There is not only the Ecce homo by Rutilio Manetti, but also other works by Francesco Vanni, Astolfo Petrazzi, Ventura and Simondio Salimbeni, Francesco Bartolini and Bernardino Mei.
The last room contains an exhibition of 15th- to 19th-century goldwork collected from the churches of Buonconvento and the surrounding countryside, some wooden furnishings from the 17th century, and a large, late-15th-century marble tabernacle from the nearby bridge along the Via Cassia over the River Ombrone, showing the Madonna with Child.