San Domenico was born in Caleruga (Spain) around 1170, and died in Bologna on the 6th August 1221. During his various travels in Europe, especially in France, he became aware of the rash spread of the heresy among the population, and this led him to found the Order of the Preaching Fathers (or Dominicans): a community of apostles devoted to preaching. This is the first missionary Order of the Church, and moreover thanks to San Domenico there was the introduction of the practice of christian devotion which is the prayer of the Rosary.
The museum is inside one of the richest churches of Bologna (as far as the art history is concerned). It is situated between the Sacristy and the Choir which is a masterpiece of the Renaissance inlay and it is considered the 8th world's wonder. It was set up in 1956 by the Prior of that time with the collaboration of the Galleries Superintendency, and it was opened on 7th October of the same year. Many works of art were collected having previously been dispersed between the church and the monastery. The museum is now made up of two rooms which were specially built in 1956, and during the building work a 17th century fresco was discovered: "Moses in the desert" attributed to Andrea Donducci called the Mastelletta.
In the lower room there are collections of works by painters and sculptors from the 14th to the 18th centuries:
"St. Thomas" of Guercino,
"Nativity" of Luca Cambiaso,
"Mystical Nuptials of St. Catherine" (1501) of Filippino Lippi,
"St. Raymond" of Ludovico Carracci,
"Crucifix" of Giunta Pisano;
in addition, there is also a beautifully illuminated choir book from the beginning of the 14th century, as well as several precious reliquaries from 13th, 14th and 15th centuries: of St. Tommaso d'Aquino (X15th century), of the finger of St. Luigi from France (13th century) and the bust of St. Dominic made by Nicolò dell'Arca (15th century).
In the upper room there are many other reliquaries and sacred ornaments: chalices, ciboriums, candlesticks, ostensories, thuribles and around 200 richly embroidered sacred vestments from the 17th, as well as lace and brocade. Of particular note are the "Cloak of the Madonna on the Rosary" and the 17th-century "baldacchino" with the art companies' coats of arms which were donated by the Bolognese in 1630 to the Blessed Vergin of the Rosary, who is reserved here, as votive offerings to give thanks for the end of the plague, which was attribute to her intervention. Remarkable are also a "Madonna of the velvet" of Lippo di Dalmasio, a "Madonna" of Francesco from Rimini and other works of Ubaldo Gandolfi, Prospero, Fontana and others. The description is taken from: "I musei di Bologna " Ed. Bologna dei Musei; Booklet""San Domenico - Basilica Santuario San Domenico Bologna" Edizioni Studio Domenicano