The Horne Museum takes its name from the English collector Herbert P. Horne (1864-1916) who donated his palace and collections of a lifetime to the Italian State, together with the palace where he had collected them. This building had belonged to the Alberti and later to the Corsi family who gave it its present day appearance at the end of the 15th century, when it was probably restructured by Simone del Pollaiolo, known as "Il Cronaca", who created the elegant external layout and the internal yet balanced courtyard.
The present layout reflects its owner`s taste (Horne was a man of letters, an architect and a very valuable critic). Horne moved to Florence at the end of the 19th century to study Italian Renaissance. He took a special interest in art, furniture, ornamental and useful household objects belonging in particular to the typical Florentine home he wished to recreate for himself. The result is a large and lavish collection arranged that aims at preserving the character of a private home through the furniture pieces and household objects.
Particularly interesting are the superb domestic objects that include original cutlery in silver and ivory, needles, mirror holders, leather boxes and firedogs.
Even the collection of paintings is interesting, since it comprises an impressive group of 14th century Florentine and Sienese paintings, in addition to other works by artists of the 14th and 15th century. The layout clearly reflects the taste and sensitivity of the owner who was a great scholar of Botticelli. The most precious piece is the painting representing "St. Stephen" by Giotto.
The sculptures include works by Desiderio da Settignano, Giambologna and the "Angels in Glory" by Bernini.
The vast majority of furniture pieces contains fine examples of Italian ceramics ranging from the 14th to the 17th centuries, produced in the manufacturies of Orvieto, Cafaggiolo and Urbino. [source]