Welcome is Bologna

Collezioni Comunali d'Arte

c/o Palazzo D'Accursio Piazza Maggiore 6 - 40121 Bologna (BO)

Phone +39 051 2193998

Reference maps: D-3

Date of last update: 28/11/2019, 12:18

The Municipal Art Collections include 250 paintings that span the period from the Middle Ages to present day. They are a faithful testament of the city's lively and fertile art scene with artistic objects, furniture, porcelains, fabrics, laces, embroidery, miniatures and artistically significant medieval wooden crucifixes from churches in the Bologna area.

The Municipal Art Collections are part of Bologna Welcome Card network. Free entry for the Card holders. 

Founded in 1936 in the former winter apartments of the Cardinal Legates in the City Hall, the Collezioni Comunali d'Arte (Municipal Art Collections) represent the closing stage of the comprehensive reorganisation of the municipal museums that had begun at the time of the unification of Italy (1861). The nucleus of artwork already possessed by city judiciaries was then amplified to include parts of artist and art collector Pelagio Palagi’s collections. Other works were included from dismantled religious orders, along with gifts from private collectors and families throughout the centuries.

The rooms were completely restored in the 1930s. They are still decorated in their original glory (friezes, wood ceilings, and vaults) mostly from the 15th to the 18th centuries. The collection’s layout has not been modified since the 30s, so it appears as a "furnished museum", where canvasses, furniture, decor, are not always displayed in chronological order. The visitor walks through historical rooms as they open one into the other: the great "Vidonian" hall, with its juxtaposed paintings and sculptures, recalls the typical arrangement of a Baroque gallery. In several rooms of the "Rusconi" wing, furnishings are predominant, giving the aura the private mansion had in the 1700s.

Sala Urbana, otherwise known as Sala degli Stemmi (Hall of Coats of Arms) was built in 1630 by the Apostolic Legate Bernardino Spada, who dedicated it to Pope Urban VIII.

The rectangular hall was designed by the architect  Ercole Fichi and decorated by painters Girolamo Curti and Agostino Mitelli. Michele Colonna painted the ceiling, making it one of the most important works of the Baroque period in Bologna. The walls are coated with Baroque-style heraldic decorations made up of 188 Coats of Arms ad three figurative scenes.

Arranged on four rows, the coats of arms represent the banners of Apostolic Legates, deputy Legates and Papal governors that chronicle the history of Bologna and of the Church from 1327 to 1744.

In 2006 the hall was closed due to excessive deterioration and it was restored in 2013-14 thanks to two European projects: the ceiling was stabilized and new ventilated roofing was added in order to protect the paintings from sunlight. Old wooden fixtures were replaced with high-performing ones that can protect the halls from sunlight and a new general ventilation system (without use of air-conditioning) a low energy lighting system and automatic management system were installed. Paintings and hall decor were restored as well.

Portrait of Cardinal Prospero Lambertini

Portrait of Cardinal Prospero Lambertini

In 1739, Crespi painted a large portrait of Cardinal Lambertini, Archbishop of Bologna; the following year, after the prelate had become Pope Benedict XIV, he had to alter the garment, adding the papal insignia. The canvas on
display here is either a preparatory sketch of Crespi’s portrait, now at the Pinacoteca Vaticana, or, given that it is a rather complete version, a memento of the painting in the original form.

Giuseppe Maria Crespi, known as Lo Spagnolo (the Spaniard)
“Portrait of Cardinal Prospero Lambertini", 1739 or 1740

by bus: lines and timetables on the website www.tper.it

by car: located in restricted traffic zone ZTL. Ring road exits  n. 11/11bis-12 direction city center.

full € 6.00    

reduction € 3.00:

  • visitors over 65
  • groups of min. 10 people, Comune di Bologna Family Card and YoungERcard holders
  • special agreements

reduction € 2.00: visitors from 18 to 25

Free admission:

  • the last 2 hours of opening times on every Thursday from April to September
  • the first Sunday of the month from October to March
  • young people up to 18
  • university students with membership card
  • classes of secondary schools
  • 2 leaders for each school group
  • 1 leader for each group of 10 people
  • teachers of preschool and kindergarten operators of Comune di Bologna 
  • 1 adult with a child who attends workshops planned by the museum
  • tourist guides with badge, journalists with badge
  • disabled people and their helpers, Icom members
  • special agreements
  • people as indicated in clause 4, paragraph 3, letter a, b, d, e, f, g, h, i – Decree n. 507 dating 11/12/1997 and further modifications  (also students and teachers of  Conservatory and other schools as specified in the letter h of the decree)
  • Musei Metropolitani Card holders
  • Bologna Welcome Card holders

Tuesday - Sunday: 10am -6,30pm
Closing days: Mondays (except holidays), 1st January, 1st May and 25th December
24 + 31 December: 10am - 2pm

Openings and closings on holidays 2019-2020
December 8, 2019 10am - 6:30pm
December 24 and 31, 2019 10am - 5pm
Christmas (December 25, 2019) closed
Santo Stefano (December 26, 2019) 10am – 6:30pm
New Year (January 1, 2020) 10am – 6:30pm
Epiphany (January 6, 2020) 10am – 6:30pm

On occasion of the exhibition "Children. McCurry - Erwitt - Mitidieri" at Biblioteca Salaborsa, the Collezioni Comunali d'Arte will run special openings on Monday December 23, Monday December 30 and Wednesday January 1 from 10am to 6:30pm.

guided visits, educational services, conference room, bookshop, access for the disabled, brochure (Italian, English, French, German).
Guided tours for schools are available by appointment during the school year. Info: Educational Department tel.  +39 051 2193922 - Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 1pm and +39 051 2193933 - Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm to 5pm or edubolognamusei@comune.bologna.it

Motor disability or difficulty of movement

The Municipal Art Collections are mostly accessible. The spaces in all the rooms make it easy to move, rest and enjoy almost all the works exhibited. Some ramps are too steep and, in general, they all have inconvenient non-slip cross pieces for wheelchairs, particularly for electric ones. A large lift is available to reach the museum. There is an accessible toilet.

 

Hearing disability

The museum, located on the second floor of Palazzo D'Accursio, can be reached by a well marked lift. The museum can be visited on your own, as the route of visit is clear and well marked. The explanatory panels and room explanatory sheets are very informative even if they require good language competence and knowledge of history. There are no emergency visual notification devices both in the toilets and in the lift.

 

Visual disability

The exhibits are mainly kept in display cases or they are not reachable,  but with the help of an educational assistant it is possible to touch some of them. The museum assistants are willing to compensate for the lack of specific training for dealing with partially sighted visitors. There are no explanatory aids in Braille or in large print and the captions are difficult to read for partially sighted visitors.

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