Since 1830, the Civic Museums of Reggio Emilia have been housed in Palazzo San Francesco. Their origin dates back to 1799, when the city purchased the collection of the scientist Lazzaro Spallanzani. The museums currently have several different sections referring to archaeology (Chierici Museum, the Roman section of the Portico dei Marmi, Roman Museum, Roman Mosaics, Museum of Prehistory and Protohistory), ethnography, art history (Fontanesi Gallery, the Medieval section of the Portico dei Marmi, Medieval Mosaics) and natural history (Spallanzani Collection and zoological, anatomical, botanical, geological, mineralogical, and paleontological collections). Paintings are on display at the Fontanesi Gallery, established in 1902, renovated in 1977, and significantly enlarged in 1995. It showcases the evolution of local figurative art through a wide selection of paintings from the 14th to the 19th centuries.