Rooms 4-5 - Toscana
Two rooms are dedicated to Tuscan painting: in the first one there are works of art of late XIVth century and the beginning of the XVth century. The Prophet Hosea is a fragment of a dismembered altarpiece by Gherardo Starnina, know as Master of the Bambino Vispo, who worked also in Spain (Valencia and Toledo). The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine is ascribed to a Florentine painter called the Christ Church Master, name due to the Incoronation of the Virgin in the Oxford Christ Church Gallery. Among the other works it's possible to admire a little Enthroned Virgin and Child with saints Julian and Catherine for private devotion, referred to Lorenzo di Bicci, and the Virgin and Child with saints John the Evangelist and James, signed on the base of the throne by Nanni di Jacopo from Pistoia.
In the centre of the room there are two wooden sculptures representing the Virgin and Child: the first one, probably from Umbria or Abruzzo, shows a sitting Virgin; the other one, by Niccolò da Venezia, for its curved line is very influenced by French gothic sculpture and the style of Giovanni Pisano. On the ceiling there is a decoration realized in the thirties of the XXth century with gilt stucco on a blue background, representing the
Zodiacal signs. This room, during Italian Fascism became a private meeting place for Benito Mussolini and his lover Claretta Petacci, it's in fact called Sala dello Zodiaco.
In the second room there are two masterpieces of the Tuscan school in Palazzo Venezia. The The Nativity of Christ with Saints and Lorenzo the Magnificent, where the Florence prince is portrayed on the foreground as a donator. This panel is by the Filippo Lippi and Pesellino workshop, one of the most important in the city during the second half of XVth century. The Head of Christ is a fresco fragment, previously attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli and nowadays to Beato Angelico. Just one painting witnesses the XVIth century: it's the Vision of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, where the founder of the Cistercian order is placed in a perspective cloister, where in the background is visible a demoniac figure, probably inspired by the Laocoon of the Vatican Museums, then just discovered (1506).