The Medusa and the Musei Civici in Pesaro

Ferruccio Mengaroni’s Medusa, which tragically fell upon his creator – killing him – in 1925. Pesaro, Musei Civici, inner courtyard.

They say that if you stand right in front of Ferruccio Mengaroni’s Medusa, in the inner courtyard of the Civic Museum in Pesaro – and you start moving slowly from right to left and from left to right, the Medusa’s eyes will follow you.

Is it true? Is it not true? I tried this “trick” several times and I must admit that sometimes Medusa’s look has a grip on me; some other times, let’s say when I am more sobre and haven’t stopped for the aperitive rite at Casetta Vaccaj right outside the museum (the oldest still existing building in Pesaro dating back to the 15th century and certainly the most attractive bar in town), Medusa looks pretty still to me. However, the fact that Medusa fell upon its creator, Ferruccio Mengaroni, killing him, in 1925 prevents me from getting close to the work of art to take pictures while standing right underneath.

Anyway, last Sunday I went to visit the Civic Museum in Pesaro together with my family (it happened to be the 3rd Sunday of the month – the so-called Stradomenica – when the centre is filled with bric-à-brac stalls and the entrance to museums is free).

Pala dell’Incoronazione della Vergine by Giovanni Bellini, Musei Civici, Pesaro.

The Civic Museum in Pesaro hosts the Picture Gallery and the Ceramics Museum. Founded after Italy’s Unification, its original seat was  Almerici palace, then the Ducal Palace and finally, since 19636, Palazzo Toschi Mosca. The Picture Gallery is a collection of works of art gaterhed upon the dissolution of religious congregations in Pesaro; among these you find one of the Italian Renaissance masterpieces: the Pala dell’Incoronazione della Vergine by Giovanni Bellini.

The Ceramics section gathers over 3400 ceramic works and was founded in 1857 when the Municipality of Pesaro purchased Renaissance maioliche from Domenico Mazza (a collection ranging from the 16th century up to today).

If compared to Uffizi in Florence or to Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, you will find the museum of little interest. And yet, it is so domestic, so intimate (even though inside you’ll find works by famous artists as Guido Reni).

It is stories that make up history. We cannot be all Napoleon (who’d like to be a shorty with delusions of grandeur anyway?). Well, to me it’s normal people, the so-called normal people, who build history, relations, memories: life.

If you get a chance, go and visit Musei Civici in Pesaro (if you buy the ticket to Rossini’s birthplace you get a discount).

MUSEI CIVICI (Pinacoteca, Museo delle Ceramiche)

61121 Pesaro
piazza Toschi Mosca, 29
palazzo Toschi Mosca

tel (+39) 0721 387295 (offices,) 0721 387541 (tickets)


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