Uncommon Museums of Florence # 3: Stibbert Museum

Uncommon Museums of Florence # 3: Stibbert Museum

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Frederick Stibbert was born in Florence in 1838. He was an eccentric antique collector, of most weapons and armours. If he had lived today, any doctor would have diagnosed him Diogenes syndrome. In spite of this, being of good lineage, albeit not being aristocratic, Stibbert prepared some rooms of his house to keep his collection, which would be ended up transforming the house in a real museum. After his death, the collection and the site were donated to the city of Florence, as Maria de’ Medici shortly did before the dynasty became extinct.

Considering his mixed roots, the birth of Frederick Stibbert meant the fusion of three different traditions: the British, the Anglo-Indian and the Italian. His origin profoundly shaped the growth and the culture of the young Frederick. As an international financier, passionate collector, and constant traveller through the capitals of Europe, he made contacts with the most influential antique dealers of his time. Almost during all his adult life, Stibbert always wanted to transform the family house of Montughi in a museum.

The Stibbert Museum includes collections of European, Islamic and Japanese armouries, plus paintings, tapestries, porcelains, furniture, and other pieces of applied arts. Besides, the house has a splendid garden, now in evident decadence which somehow shows an overwhelming imperfect beauty.

The visits, always guided, are conducted by a handsome and young Italian guy — on an internship, I guess. Since the museum does not have heating, my advice is to plan a visit any season but winter unless you wear warm clothing. Italian heritage governmental department has no funds to maintain such countless artistic treasures.


Museos inusuales de Florencia #3: Casa-Museo Stibbert

Digamos que Frederick Stibbert (Florencia, 1838), mitad italiano mitad inglés, era un excéntrico coleccionista de antigüedades, sobre todo de armas y armaduras, que si hubiera vivido hoy en día cualquier facultativo le habría diagnosticado síndrome de Diógenes. Sin embargo, como era de buen linaje sin llegar a ser aristocrático, y se lo podía permitir, acondicionó algunas salas de su casa hasta convertirlas en el museo que es hoy y que, cuando ya no lo pudo mantener, cedió a la ciudad de Florencia tras su muerte, cual Maria de’ Medici poco antes de que la dinastía se extinguiera.

El nacimiento de Frederick Stibbert significó la fusión de tres tradiciones familiares: la británica, la angloindia y la italiana, que influyeron en su formación y en sus tendencias culturales. Stibbert se sirvió de su condición de financiero internacional, viajero constante y apasionado coleccionista para aprovechar las ofertas del mercado anticuario de Europa y, también, para realizar el gran proyecto de su vida: transformar la casa de Montughi en un museo.

El Museo Stibbert incluye colecciones de armerías europea, islámica y japonesa, cuadros, porcelanas y trajes, además del esplendoroso jardín, hoy en evidente decadencia que le imprime una contundente belleza imperfecta.

Las visitas, siempre guiadas, son conducidas por un guapo jovencito italiano, imagino, en prácticas. El museo no tiene calefacción, así que sería recomendable que no planifiquéis la visita en invierno o que vayáis muy-muy abrigados. Ya sabéis, patrimonio italiano no tiene capital para mantener tantos tesoros artísticos.

Author Gravater

Paco Neumann

Paco Neumann is a journalist, photographer, proofreader, flâneur and perpetual amateur currently living in between Florence, Berlin and Tenerife. He´s been a regular contributor to fashion, art, trend and lifestyle magazines and worked for news, advertising and communication agencies

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