Il Museo di Sant’Agostino è interessato da importanti interventi di adeguamento impiantistico e strutturale che rendono necessario un periodo di chiusura

Il Museo di Sant’Agostino è interessato da importanti interventi di adeguamento impiantistico e strutturale che rendono necessario un periodo di chiusura

Museum of St. Augustine

The Museum of Sant'Agostino (Saint Augustine) is a perfect combination of the ancient and contemporary: built within an Augustinian monastery of medieval origin (13th century), in the historic center of Genoa, close to deconsecrated church of Saint Augustine and to the current Faculty of Architecture, its restoration was undertaken between 1977 and 1992 and was the work of building workshop Albini-Helg-Piva, combining tradition with the modern in an extraordinary manner. 

The museum opened in 1983, it is the most important museum in Liguria for sculpture and architecture, and the only one to offer the visitor a complete overview of Genoese sculpture from the Middle Ages (10th century) to the modern age (18th century).

The museum is set inside the monastery of Sant'Agostino, which was subject to a radical restoration to transform it into an exhibition space. The museum complex includes the Augustinian church dating from the 13th century, the monastery with its unique triangular medieval cloister, and the 15th century church and bell tower, one of a kind.

These buildings are among the few surviving examples of 13th century Genoese Gothic architecture, the others having been destroyed or substantially modified between the 19th and 20th centuries.

The works housed in the museum come mainly from Genoese religious buildings which no longer exist with the addition of items from some private residences, from donations and acquisitions..

The visit is a real dive  into the history of city and into ancient and modern art in a truly extraordinary setting: stone finds from the 10th to the 18th century, frescoes and sculptures become the main narrators of past centuries, in some cases “reconstructing” buildings that no longer exist.

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Although the museum contains a wide variety of objects - sculpture, painting and applied arts artifacts – it was created and designed to house works of sculpture. Natural light, in Franco Albini's brilliant design, brings out of the carved stone ever changing and surprising aspects, not only with the change of the seasons, but even the time of the day. The Museums greatest treasure is a sculpture: what remains of the sepulchral monument of the great fourteenth-century master Giovanni Pisano that the emperor Henry VII commissioned in memory of his young wife Margaret of Brabant who died and was buried in Genoa.

Over the course of its history, more than three decades, the museum's collection has been transformed, enriching itself with other evocative artefacts from churches and monasteries that, sadly, no longer exist, as is the case with the frescoes or altarpieces. However, there is also a painting section with paintings on wood from the Middle Ages to the early Renaissance. Among the works of applied art, the admirable Assunta in ivory, various ceramics, and the precious Pallium of San Lorenzo, a unique piece also due to its dimensions (almost three metres), both its origins and history are known.