The Miniscalchi-Erizzo museum belongs to the homonymous Foundation. The Institute is in a whole of adjoining buildings in the heart of the ancient town, between piazza Erbe and the Cathedral.
The main part of the building from which you enter the Museum (via S. Mammaso n.2/a) is a jewel of late-gothic architecture, unique in the urban Veronese context. The facade, built on three registers, is marked, in particular, by a precious ogival portal splayed in marble trichromatism and by two big mullioned windows which open at the centre of the piano nobile. The building construction dates back to the last quarter of the XVc. and it is ascribed to Angelo di Giovanni, a stone artist of Lombard origin active in Verona.




Painted facade of the Miniscalchi palace (XVc.).

 

In 1880, close to the fifteenth -century building, the solemn, classic-style palace was built with its façade looking out on to via Giuseppe Garibaldi, based on the plan by the architect Gustaveus Strauss; the building faces a wide unclosed courtyard. The tympanum is noteworthy, entirely decorated with a big relief represented the Miniscalchi-Erizzo coat-of-arms, surrounded by the earl's coronate, hand circle by ornamental greenery patterns and by a ribbon where the following words are engraved: "ex concordia fratrum".



Facade of the nineteenth-century palace through the gate.

 

About 1950 the facade was painted in fresco, according to a taste very widespread in the Verona of the XVIc.
The pictorial composition respects the architectural articulation: between the two mullioned windows you can still read "The banquet of Damocles"; on the second floor "The judgement of Solomon"; at the sides an allegorical figure of "Minerva" and one of "Mars". The whole divided by false niches, plaster strips, festoons of fruit and flowers with masks. Michelangelo Aliprandi (1527-1595), an imitator of Paolo Veronese, was the artist of these paintings. The lower register of the facade is decorated with a continuous frieze with polychrome shoots animated by putti riding panthers, the artist Tullio India the Old (1550-1624).



Detail of the facade.

Through a wide atrium, rich in remains of the original structure of the fifteenth-century building, you enter the neoclassical great staircase which leads to the first floor, where, through fifteen rooms, the Museum is prepared. On the ground floor an equipped space also opens, obtained from the former stables, destined to the temporary exhibitions which the Museum prepares or houses.
Each expositive room of the Museum is characterised by the presence of specific collections: small Renaissance bronzes, drawings of the sixteenth-century masters, archaeological collections, Renaissance weapons and armours, sacred art, furniture of the Venetian eighteenth century, ivories, majolica objects, china. The whole arranged according to current museum criteria, but placed, thanks to paintings and old furniture, in the residence where the Miniscalchi family lived for five centuries. The reconstituted "Wunderkammer" of Ludovico Moscardo - great collector and learned man of the seventeenth century -, the ancient library and the home chapel complete and enrich the museum course.

 


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