The Egyptian Collection

The Egyptian collection is kept in its entirety in the Sala III (Hall 3) and was donated by Monsignor Guido Corbelli, a member of the Academy. The portrait of Guido Corbelli, delegated the duty of apostolic in Egypt from 1891 to 1896, can be found on the upper part of the right side wall. It is the most important among minor Italian collections and is vast enough to give a documented idea of the Egyptian society. Of particular importance is a small funerary boat with figures. It may be the only one in Italy and has been placed in the Middle Reign and datable to about 2060 to 1785 B.C.

The Medieval and Modern Collection

Luca Signorelli, Madonna and child with San Marco holding Cortona in his hands The Medieval and Modern Collection is the richest in documented material. This collection, enriched with a series of paintings and canvasses, belongs to the Gallery of the Uffizi, which entrusted the Academy museum for safekeeping. The paintings are mainly displayed in the Sala II of the Biscione in chronological order starting clockwise from the wall to the left of the main entrance. In particular one should admire:

  • Madonna and Child and the protectors of Cortona, San Michele, Vincenzo, Margherita and Marco, the latter holding a model of the city of Cortona. It is a tondo datable to 1523 and recently attributed by critics to Luca Signorelli.
  • Madonna and Child giving a blessing with San Giovannino. The other tondo is attributed to Pinturicchio (1454-1513).

On the wall on the right of the entrance door we see:

  • The Miracle of Saint Benedict attributed to the Florentine Baccio Ciarpi (1597-1654).
  • Madonna with Saints, a large altar painting originally displayed in the church of Sant'Agostino, by Pietro Berrettini (1597-1669), better known as Pietro da Cortona.

The works of the Tuscan schools of the 13th and 14th century are gathered in the Sala IV (Hall 4). One should admire a mosaic from the end of the 14th century with a Greek inscription coming from the demolished church of Sant'Andrea.

Gino Severini, Motherhood In the following Sala V (Hall 5), Sala VI (Hall 6) and Sala VII (Hall 7) objects and paintings coming from the inheritance left to the Academy by Gerolamo Tommasi are displayed. They include, among other things, bedroom furnishings of Giovanbattista Tommasi (1731-1803), who was the Gran Maestro of the Order of the Maltese Cross. Some of the objects are reminders of this order, which was active since the Middle Ages in Cortona and founded many hospital structures.

In the vast Medici Hall (Sala VIII - Hall 8), which once was the reception hall, one should admire the portraits of some of the Lucomone dell’Accademia (Presidents of the Academy) and in the following Sala X (Hall 10) the Tempietto Ginori ( The Little Temple of Ginori). It was offered as a gift in 1756 to the Academy by Marquis Carlo Ginori on the occasion of his nomination as Lucomone. The work of art was made in the factory of Doccia near Florence, and is an example of a refined Rococo style, decorated with allegorical figures. The central figures represent Beauty being taken away by Time. 76 medallions with portraits of members of the Medici family are also attached on the Little Temple, taken from a series of commemorative medals by Antonio Selvi, which are part of the museum collection. On the walls we see a fresco portraying the Annunciation by Salvi Castellucci, a student of Pietro of Cortona, who signed and dated it in 1632. In the cases below the Annunciation, there are some fine medals by Antonio Salvi (1679-1753) and Bartolomeo Vegelli (died in 1744). The collection of the medals continues in the Sala IX ( Hall 9), where there is also an extensive numismatic collection with Roman and Etruscan coins. One should admire the collection of seals of the city, of the confraternities and of the churches of Cortona.

The Medieval and Modern collection ends in the Sala I ( Hall 1) where some of the works of the Cortonese painter Gino Severini (1883-1966) are on display. Portraits produced in youth are gathered together, such as the portrait of his grandmother Adelaide from 1903, La Bohemienne from 1905, the portrait of his father from 1907 and the very well known Maternity from 1916, along with numerous drawings and gouache paintings done in maturity and drenched with Cubist and Futurist allusions.

Biblioteca comunale e dell'Accademia Etrusca (Civic and Academy Library)

The Academy Library The Sala XVI (Hall 16), the Sala XVIII (Hall 18) and the Sala XIX (hall 19) on the upper level comprise the historic headquarters of the Etruscan Academy. One should admire the crest of the institution painted on a wood tableau with the motto "obscura de re lucida pango" (roughly: From darkness I created light) taken from "De rerum natura" by Lucretius (book I, verse 933). We can also see the marble busts of some citizens of Cortona, such as Luca Signorelli, Francesco Benedetti, Marcello Venuti, the genealogical tree of the Venuti family and the portrait of Onofrio Baldelli. The Sala XVII and Sala XVIII (Halls 17 and 18) are dominated by the High library and contain the library publications from the 1600s and 1700s . Among these it is worth citing 213 volumes containing more than 8000 laureate theses from the 17th and the 18th centuries from German universities. They treat various scientific and humanistic arguments that constitute a large cross-section of the German culture of those centuries, which probably do not exist anywhere else. In these halls the major part of scientific and cultural meetings has taken place and has made the Etruscan Academy famous during its three centuries of existence.

The layout of the present day library occupies the mezzanine. This comes from the consolidation of the Civic and Academy Museums, which took place in 1778, containing more than 30,000 printed volumes, 1172 parchments, 133 incunabula, 620 sheepskin and paper manuscripts. This material has been classified and catalogued for the easy consultation of scholars.

Archivio storico comunale (historic civic archive)

The Historic Civic Archive gathers the most ancient documents from the civic history of Cortona.