Rooms of the Museum
Museo dell'OttocentoFirst Floor
The last exhibition area consists of five areas illustrating the nineteenth-century facade of the Duomo. The first of these recounts the history of the new facade, starting from the painted facade of 1688, the last traces of which are still visible in photographs of the Cathedral dating to the middle of the nineteenth century. Displayed in the second room are drawings, watercolours and prints by Giorgio Müller, Niccolò Matas and Emilio De Fabris which correspond to the inception of the design process of a new architectural façade of the cathedral. Two large paintings by Niccolò Barducci shift attention to the last phase of the design process. Produced in 1884-1885, they present the two final solutions proposed by the chosen architect: the “cusped” version and the “basilica” version.
The third room displays samples of the lavish decoration created for the De Fabris facade according to the plan of Augusto Conti, including Lot Torelli’s Adam and Eve, erected on the facade in 1886, and the Aaron and Samuel by Giobatta Tassara.
On view in the fourth room is the watercolour sketch of one of the bronze doors of the new facade, by Amos Cassioli and his son Giuseppe and there are three bronze panels by Giuseppe Cassioli which were trials for one of the doors.
The fifth and last room reflects the conclusion of the long and troubled process of design and construction. The architect Emilio De Fabris died in 1883 without seeing the completion of the facade to which he had devoted almost his entire professional life. Here, a period portrait of the architect is hung in such a way that he appears to be gazing at two paintings which were produced the following year for the mosaics above the north and south doors and at the plaster models of illustrious Tuscans set high on the facade.