The room dedicated to the Renaissance holds the majestic wooden group by Vecchietta and Neroccio representing the Assumption of the Virgin, and a series of five wood intarsia made in the second half of the 15th century by Cristoforo Canozzi da Lendinara for the sacristy of the Cathedral, a wonderful example of a typically Luccan technique. The marble tabernacle of the Annunciation is the first of many masterpieces documenting the art of Matteo Civitali, a sculptor, painter, engineer and architect who is undoubtedly the major exponent of the Luccan Renaissance. His artistic production is represented here by two Madonnas and Child, one in marble, the other in painted terracotta, identical in terms of subject and composition, but made for two different clients; and a wonderful Madonna and Child in painted terracotta, made by the artist around 1490, characterized by a soft shaping and by the tenderness of the Virginia's face, expressing the natural intimacy between a mother and her son.
At the centre of the large room that follows is a remarkable example of goldsmith's art, the Cross by Francesco Marti; on the right wall, three altarpieces by Michelangelo di Pietro Membrini, the greatest Luccan painter of the 15th century; especially noteworthy is the one originally located in the church of Sant'Agostino in Lucca depicting theMadonna and Child Entroned with Saints, dated 1492. Also by Civitali, two busts representing the Ecce Homo, one in marble, the other in terracotta, and the full-figure wooden sculpture of the Vir Dolorum, made by the artist in 1487. The exhibition continues with two altarpieces by another important local painter, Vincenzo Frediani; these paintings depict the Madonna and Child Enthroned and four Saints, and the Immaculate Conception. Further on, a few works from the early 16th century, a time when Luccan art lacked truly innovative personalities and sought its inspiration in Florentine art. Lucca-born Zacchìa da Vezzano is the author of the Madonna Enthroned between Saints Sebastian and Roch, and of the Assumption of the Virgin; next to them are a few paintings by important foreign artists like Amico Aspertini, a Bolognese mannerist who painted the frescoes of the Cappella Cenami in the Luccan church of San Frediano, here represented by the the large altarpiece of the Madonna between Saints George, Joseph, John the Baptist and Sebastian. This room also houses the two most prestigious paintings in the whole collection: the Eternal Father between Saints Magdalene and Catherine of Siena (1509) and the Madonna of Mercy (1517) by the Florentine dominican friar Fra Bartolomeo.
The exhibition on the first floor of the museum ends with the section devoted to Mannerism; the wonderful wood intarsia and the solid engraved high-backed chairs come from the Chapel of Palazzo degli Anziani in Lucca. The intarsia, made by Antonio Pucci in 1522, reproduce views of the city, some of which have remained unchanged to this day. Acting as a background for the wide hallway are some paintings by Giorgio Vasari made in 1543 and originally located in the church of San Pier Cigoli or Chiesa del Carmine, turned into a market in the 1930s. The two paintings on the sides represent St. Blaise and St. Eustace, while the central section deals with the theme of the Immaculate Conception, rendered by the master of Arezzo by means of a complex and articulate figurative language.