Plaster casts gallery of Ancient Art


In 1887 Gerardo Ghirardini, inspired by the model of the German Archeology, started the collection of the Ancient Art Plaster casts gallery, one of the first ones in Italy. The collection offers a summary of the most well-known and significant Greek, Etruscan and Roman artworks, beside less popular or unpublished works and small three dimensional artifacts. For instance: exact reproductions of ancient works conserved in several national and foreign museums, but in some cases lost, or sometimes, special versions resulting from historical restorations or specifically reconstructions made in Pisa following new interpretative proposals. The Plaster casts gallery also houses the Antiquarium collection of Classical Archeology and Paletnological collections.

The Antiquarium of Archeology is a miscellaneous collection with about 1500 original pieces, in which almost all the classes of ancient artifacts are represented. Especially the ceramic production, from the Aegean to the Etruscan area, and the Attic vases painted with either black and red figure techniques and with decoration overpainted in the Hellenistic Age. Additionally, one can admire the Roman table crockery and kitchen tools belonging to the different social classes. Moreover, a significant group of architectonic and votive terracotta items, coming from ancient sanctuary areas are displayed together with small ceramic objects, and a series of metal artifacts (e.g. buckles, belt clasps, bronze razors). Also glass items (e.g. balsamarium, crooked sticks), in some cases coming from Hellenistic and Roman grave goods; and in other cases three dimensional or relief specimens made in stone.

Paletnological and Paleontological collections come from the collection of Carlo Regnoli, a Pisan doctor who made the first archeological digs regarding prehistory in Versilia grottos and the Monte Pisano in 1867. Beside these, other materials from Paleolithic to Bronze age and coming from other Italian archeological sites have been added over the years. Moreover, there are molds of prehistorical artworks and a remarkable collection of animal remains found during the excavations which were necessary for the reconstruction of the environments and types of economy in the past.

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