Pistoia, November 26, 2021. When, at the behest of Bishop Atto, in 1140 the relic of San Jacopo arrived in Pistoia - inserting the Tuscan town among the most important European pilgrimage routes - the city immediately became an international economic and artistic center.
Today, on the occasion of the Iacobeo year and against the backdrop of a masterpiece of identity such as the silver altar of San Jacopo, the exhibition MEDIOEVO A PISTOIA. Crossroads of artists between Romanesque and Gothic illustrates for the first time the extraordinary panorama of the arts in Pistoia from the twelfth to the beginning of the fifteenth century, revealing the leading role assumed by the city in the Middle Ages in the field of figurative arts.
Composed of six sections, MIDDLE AGES IN PISTOIA has a chronological trend that begins with the arrival of the relic of San Jacopo in the city, to pass to the thirteenth century when Pistoia conquers a leading role in the panorama of international figurative arts, and then to the fourteenth century with presences illustrious in the city and the start of a strong figurative identity. Even in the late Gothic period, despite the loss of political autonomy and the definitive submission to Florence, the city maintains its distinctive characteristics in the panorama of Tuscan painting. An exhibition that ideally expands beyond the confines of the museum spaces that host it towards a widespread vision of the furnishings of the city's churches.
In the medieval period Pistoia was confronted with the major centers of Tuscany thanks to the importance of its monuments, the conspicuous commission of their furnishings and a cultural vocation of international scope. Bishop Atto was the forerunner of this, welcoming the relic of the apostle Jacopo da Compostela in 1140 to insert Pistoia into the European network of pilgrimage routes. At the time, the city enjoyed the presence of enlightened clients, who attracted figures such as the sculptors Guglielmo, Guido da Como, Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, who left the founding masterpieces of Italian art history in Pistoia. Accompanying the works of these sculptors is the most impressive goldsmith's work, the ideal seal of the exhibition: the silver altar of San Jacopo, which makes Pistoia a central hub for the processing of precious metals.
Even the miniature - thanks to the activity of the workshop of the Master of Sant'Alessio in Bigiano, and in the fifteenth century from the elegance of the illustrations by the Master of the Bracciolini Chapel in the Divine Comedy preserved in the National Library of Naples - lived a period of great vivacity in Pistoia. .
At the end of the 12th century, two leading personalities in painting were also in the city: the Maestro del Crocifisso n. 434 of the Uffizi, on whose activity Coppo di Marcovaldo had to be trained, and the Master of Santa Maria Primerana.In the fourteenth century Pistoia offers a varied panorama of personalities and cultural trends in the pictorial field, with artists of the caliber of Lippo di Benivieni, Taddeo Gaddi and Niccolò by Tommaso, which place Pistoia in a prominent position, reaffirmed by the Majesty and angels of Pietro Lorenzetti from the Uffizi - one of the most prestigious loans of the exhibition - restored for this occasion.