The church is dedicated to Sant’Antonio Abate who is usually depicted holding a T (tau)-shaped walking stick and a little pig at his feet.
The convent and church of Sant’Antonio Abate or of the Tau (from the Greek letter T: made in blue enamel which believers used to wear sown into their tunics or cloaks, bringing to mind the top of the stick which the saint often leant on), was founded in the middle of the 14th century by the friar Fra Giovanni Guidotti in the parish of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas in Pistoia.
The church is dedicated to Sant’Antonio Abate, the saint who was usually depicted with a T-shaped walking stick and a little pig at his feet and who is the patron saint of animals and rural activities.
The church is characterized by a central nave divided into three aisles with crossed vaults and a raised presbytery. It houses an interesting cycle of frescos, dating back to 1372, work of the Florentine painter, Niccolò di Tommaso, who collaborated with the Pistoia artist, Antonio Vite. These frescos depict scenes from the Old Testament, from the New Testament and from the life of Sant’Antonio Abate.
The church also holds works by the sculptor Marino Marini, such as Il Miracolo (1953-54), Il Cavaliere (1956-57), Il grande grido (1962), La Composizione di elementi (1964-65), Una forma in un’idea (1964-65), as well as seven small sculptures. The adjacent Palazzo del Tau, since 1990, has been home to the Fondazione Marino Marini, closed at present.