The exhibition continues in the large central hall that holds the Virgin and Child, a refined marble sculpture by Sienese artist Tino di Camaino, the painted Cross from the Monastery of San Cerbone, by Luccan artist Deodato Orlandi (1288) and Giroldo da Como’s three fully “gothic” sculptures representing the Annunciation and Saint Fausta, originally meant for the church of San Frediano. Spinello Aretino’s Triptych, with a dramatic Crucifixion in the middle section, dates back to the late 14th century, as well as the works by two of Spinello’s Luccan disciples: Giuliano di Simone’s Polyptych and the Triptych (1385) by Angelo Puccinelli, the most important local painter of the 14th century.
Also remarkable are the two side panels from a triptych by Gherardo Starnina, a Florentine painter who, in the early 15th century, brought important innovations to the Luccan artistic scene. Acting as a scenographic altar for the hall, the large work conceived by Priamo della Quercia manages to harmoniously combine architecture, painting and sculpture. The remarkable monumental effect of the whole is interrupted by three niches containing marble sculptures from an earlier period: a Madonna and Child, a late 13th-century Angel on the left and, on the right, a Bishop Saint from the first half of the 15th century.
The “transition” from the Gothic period to the Renaissance is concretized in the following room, displaying the earliest Renaissance-style works, testifying to the close relationship between the city of Lucca and the Florentine artistic milieu, well represented by the two terracotta Madonnas and Child, one of which has been recently attributed to Donatello. Also on display, an Annunciation by a follower of Memling, the only religious-themed Flemish painting in a public building in Lucca, a residual yet significant trace of the many Northern European artworks that arrived in town, and two parts of a triptych originally in the church of San Rocco in Roccasoraggio, Garfagnana, by Pietro da Talada, formerly known as Maestro di Borsigliana, an interesting painter who managed to turn the latest artistic trends into a popular language.