The article focusses on Mino da Fiesole’s (1430/31–1484) sculptures in the Florentine Badia and the perception of art in the Italian Renaissance. Mino both lived and worked at the Badia, as well as providing a significant number of sculptural commissions for its interior. The commissions and the context are reviewed as a group that might be encountered by any visitor to this major religious institution at the heart of the city. As argued here, these sculptures may have been seen as exempla artis, touchstones for the evaluation of art and artists. In this way, it is suggested that in some respects they herald the nascent concept of an ‘artist’s museum’ for the first time.