You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
The rain continues, very inconveniently, on the first of our sightseeing visits to San Marino, so we're interrupting our outdoor explorations and ducking inside the Museo di Stato instead. The museum was begun in 1899 but relocated into the Palazzo Pergami Belluzzi in the central Piazzetta del Titano in 2001, i.e., here, but out of the photo to the left.
Amongst the archaeological collections, this is part of the 'Domagnano Treasure', a hoard of jewelry that is thought to have belonged to a noblewoman at the court of the Gothic King Theodoric in Ravenna, late 5th or early 6th century; it may have been hidden away during the siege of Rimini by the Byzantine army in 538. The hoard was discovered in 1893 in the 'castello' of Domagnano just down the hill, but nearly all of it was sold off in the antique markets and dispersed, and not much of the original collection remains here.
St Francis receiving his famous stigmata from a levitating Christ still attached to his cross. A significant part of the museum's holdings, in addition to the archaeology, collections of coins and medals, and numerous donated paintings and ceramics by artists from the region, derive from the cells of a former monastery of the Poor Clares.
Two versions of Mary Magdalene, not much alike except that in both she's got some clothes on. The Order of Santa Chiara (the 'Poor Clares') was founded in 1212 by Clare of Assisi, an early devoted follower of St Francis and his new Franciscan order of mendicant itinerant preaching brothers, with more than 20,000 Poor Clare nuns in the world today. The nuns had a monastery in San Marino from 1609 to 1971 and when it closed, its contents were inherited by the museum.
Few of the nuns' paintings, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries, are artistically distinguished, but it's interesting to see what they thought was important in their way of life.
'Santa Chiara and the Poor Clares seeing off the Saracen raiders', perhaps by Ascanio Foschi, 1630.
Poor St Agatha of Sicily, who with St Marinus is actually a co-patron saint of San Marino and is said to have been martyred in Catania in the Decian persecutions of 251. Amongst the many grim prison tortures that failed to shake her resolve, her breasts were removed with pincers, and thus her iconographic tradition. She was one of the earliest and most widely venerated of the martyr saints, and a natural for contemplation by the nuns of San Marino.
Another resolute St Agatha, from an unknown 17th century artist
St Agatha with her iconic platter and martyr's palm
A fascination with St Agatha and her inspired composure
St Agatha and her platter and palm
No let-up in the rain, evidently
A view of San Marino in the 16th or 17th century (I mixed up my notes)
Somebody (San Marino?) presenting San Marino city
Jael spiking the head of the Canaanite general Sisara (Judges in the Bible) -- there is a wonderful quite similar version of this by Artemisia Gentileschi, from about 1620, but this is not it. Here it's attributed to 'Pittore guercinesco' but I'm not sure what that means, a 'follower of Guercino', or 'in the style of Guercino', or from his workshop? It could easily be his. The damage was caused by the British bombing raids on neutral San Marino on 26 June 1944, based on rumors that the fleeing Germans were storing ammo here.
An odd pietà from the 17th century
Now we come to an extensive collection of Madonna and Childs -- some samples only, and some very odd ones.
Another anatomically incorrect nursing Madonna, which places the picture prior to the mid-15th century, I think.
Perhaps it's an acquired taste, but all of these are fascinating in their own way.
Especially this one.
San Marino's Palazzo Pubblico with male and female ecclesiastics 'acting out' in the square
Now we've left the State Museum and entered the Museo Pinacoteca San Francesco di San Marino, inaugurated in 1966 inside the walls of the 14th century Franciscan convent next to the church of the same name. There are a number of interesting 16th and 17th century paintings in the permanent collection, and a contemporary exhibition on the first floor that Kristin liked. This is a standard 'Madonna and Saints' by Girolamo Marchesi da Cotignola (d. 1550), who'd trained with Raphael in Rome. We liked the kitty cat at the bottom.
And this is a cheerful St Anthony Abate with St Agatha and St Anthony of Padua, 16th century
And now we're off to dinner.