THE EXHIBITION SECTIONS
The splendid rooms of Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo dei Consoli and the Diocesan Museum, host the extensive exhibition of works of art on loan from some of the most prestigious Italian and foreign organisations, as well as private collectors: these include manuscripts, paintings, documents, medals, coins, weapons, armour, sculptures and furnishings.
The only example of Renaissance architecture in a prevalently medieval city, it stands opposite the Cathedral and is the result of the extension and transformation of a group of medieval buildings. Work on the Palazzo Ducale began in 1476 at the behest of Federico di Montefeltro, to a design by Francesco di Giorgio Martini of Siena. The work was completed under his son Guidobaldo.
The palace stands out for its architectural finesse and refined decorations.
In the interior rooms, which still have some of the original furnishings, an interesting collection of works of art is on display which illustrates the main phases of development of Eugubinian painting between the 13th and 18th centuries. The tour of the building continues with a fine copy of Federico da Montefeltro’s “studiolo”, covered with inlaid panels (the original is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York).
The sections and works of art in display
The second residence of the Duke of Urbino hosts the heart of the exhibition, curated by Francesco Paolo di Teodoro.
On display are portraits, medals and coins and, in particular, the handwritten legacy of Siena-born architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini, who built Palazzo Ducale, exhibited for the first time along with the treatises that help recreate the scientific and cultural climate of the time, from De architectura by Vitruvius to Piero della Francesca’s Abacus.
A large section concerns the arts in Gubbio from the time of Guidantonio to Guidubaldo da Montefeltro, with precious frontal pieces of wedding chests and inlaid doors and artefacts by Ottaviano Nelli, by Jacopo Bedi, by the Master of the Charitas of the Bentivoglio family and by Sinibaldo Ibi. A final section focuses on music and musical instruments, represented in the inlays of the palace’s studiolo.
PALAZZO DEI CONSOLI
Together with the Piazza Grande and Palazzo del Podestà complex, it is one of the most majestic and daring medieval urban buildings. It bears witness to the grandeur of the political and institutional project of the Free Commune of Gubbio. The construction of the monumental complex, created as a new political centre and symbol of the city and the surrounding area, was commissioned between 1321 and 1322.
Since 1909, the rooms of Palazzo dei Consoli have housed the collections of the Civic Museum. The museum collection, arranged on several floors, illustrates local history and culture from prehistory through to the 20th century.
Some of the most important works of art on display here are the Iguvine Tablets, the longest and most significant ritual text from ancient Italy: seven bronze tablets written in ancient Umbrian language using two “international” alphabets of the time – Etruscan and Latin.
The sections and works of art on display
The palace hosts two sections of the exhibition that intertwine “literature” and “arms”, two fundamental elements for Federico. They are curated by Fulvio Cervini and Lucia Bertolini.
The first section concerns Federico the man of arms, with a selection of weapons of attack and defence, including artilleries, treatises on military art, sculptures and paintings. These include the splendid Battle of Pydna attributed to Verrocchio, on loan from Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris, or the magnificent Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian by Luca Signorelli.
The second section reconstructs the duke’s humanistic education. He was introduced to culture and the cult of Dante Alighieri in Gubbio in the 14th century. Next are works by masters like Vittorino da Feltre and Guarino Veronese, in other words classical and vernacular love poetry, which Federico was also interested in and loved to both read and commission.
The museum itinerary develops inside Palazzo del Capitolo dei Canonici. In a unique and fascinating architectural complex, visitors can retrace the origin and history of the ancient diocese of Gubbio. Stone materials dating from the Roman, Byzantine and early mediaeval periods alternate with interesting 14th and 15th-century paintings and precious ecclesiastical furnishings and liturgical vestments. Works that stand out in particular include the panels by Gubbio-born artist Mello and artists of the circle of Ottaviano Nelli and a series of frescoes depicting scenes of the Passion of Christ from the crypt of the Church of Santa Maria dei Laici. Subsequent centuries are represented by pieces by Benedetto Nucci, Ignazio Danti, Cristoforo Roncalli, known as Pomarancio, Francesco Allegroni and Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato.
The sections and works of art on display
The Diocesan Museum hosts the section dedicated to Federico’s spirituality and his astrological interests, which is curated by Patrizia Castelli.
It includes a significant number of scientific and mathematical instruments from the Urbino and Gubbio studioli, with the astrolabe and armillary sphere (models exhibited) being of particular importance as they show a great interest in the observation of celestial movements.
The section includes a selection of manuscripts, incunables, astrological-astronomical instruments and even amulets whose presence at the Court of Urbino is confirmed by the Brera Madonna and the Madonna di Senigaglia by Piero della Francesca.
INFOPOINT LOGGE DEI TIRATORI DELLA LANA
During the “Federico da Montefeltro e Gubbio” exhibition, the documentary entitled “Federico da Montefeltro’s studiolo in Gubbio” will be shown at the magnificent Logge dei Tiratori della Lana. Every Saturday and Sunday, from 4:30 p.m. at the House of Saint Ubaldo, visitors will be able to watch the docufilm “Federico da Montefeltro”.
Both documentaries were made by Danae film Production.
Opening hours InfoPoint Logge dei Tiratori della Lana
Everyday 10 am – 7 pm
Opening hours Saint Ubaldo House:
Saturday and Sunday, 10 am – 1 pm / 3:30 – 7 pm
Tickets price € 2