Pisa’s Sinopia Museum in Piazza dei Miracoli was first open to the public in 1979. It is located in a building that was originally designed as a hospital and used to accommodate pilgrims. The structure was built in 1257 by Giovanni di Simone—the same architect who designed the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Piazza dei Miracoli. Today, it is a wing of the Santa Chiara Hospital. Most of the sinopia drawings exhibited in the Museum were taken from the Monumental Cemetery of Pisa in 1944 when a serious fire occurred there as a result of its bombing during World War II. Its fourteenth century frescos were broken off the walls in an effort to save them. While these works were being detached, numerous interesting sinopia drawings were found underneath.
Sinopia are preparatory drawings and they are very useful for scholars of art history. Thanks to sinopias it is possible to distinguish which painters may have collaborated to create a certain work. In this noteworthy museum, you can admire the many preparatory drawings created by the fourteenth century artists who worked on the walls of the Monumental Cemetery in Pisa. These artists include Buffalmacco, Francesco Traini, Pietro di Puccio, Benozzo Bozzoli and Gian Paolo Lasinio. The sinopias exhibited in Pisa are mostly drawings created for ‘The Triumph of Death’, ‘The Last Judgment’ and ‘The Crucifixion’ by Francesco di Traino as well as those created for Piero di Puccio’s ‘Theological Cosmography’ and the ‘Biblical Stories’ of Benozzo Gozzoli.
(Source: Pisa Tourist Information Office)