The convent with the annexed church of Sant’Antonio Abate or del Tau (from the blue enamel Greek T that the religious wore sewn onto their tunic and cloak in memory of the head of the stick on which the saint used to lean), was founded in half of the fourteenth century by the will of Fra Giovanni Guidotti, in the parish territory of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas in Pistoia.
The church is dedicated to Sant’Antonio Abate, the saint who is normally depicted with a T-shaped stick and a piglet at his feet, protector of animals and patron of all rural activities.
The church is characterized by a single nave divided into three bays with a cross vault and has a raised presbytery. It houses an interesting cycle of frescoes, datable to 1372 and the work of the Florentine Niccolò di Tommaso, who made use of the collaboration of the Pistoiese Antonio Vite. It depicts stories from the Old Testament, the New Testament and the life of Saint Anthony the Abbot.
The church houses some works by the sculptor Marino Marini such as The Miracle (1953-54), The Knight (1956-57), The great cry (1962), The Composition of elements (1964-65), A shape in an idea ( 1964-65), as well as seven small sculptures. The adjacent Palazzo del Tau has housed the Marino Marini Foundation since 1990, currently closed.
The former Tau church belongs to the Ministry of Culture – Regional Directorate of Museums of Tuscany.