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Works in glass and enamel

Palazzo Madama possesses a rich collection of works in glass. It includes numerous archeological finds from the 13th to 15th century, used at the dining table of the Acaia princes and found during the building excavations; a collection of blown glass (with works from the Middle East from the 6th to 8th century, up to creations from Murano from the Renaissance to the 1800s), mainly belonging to the businessman and refined patron Riccardo Gualino (1879–1964); some stained glass windows from the Middle Ages and Renaissance found locally; and, above all, an extraordinary collection of painted glass works and graffito and gold glass—collected in London by the diplomat and collector Emanuele Taparelli d’Azeglio and donated to the Museum in 1890—which is the richest of its kind in Italy and one of the most important in Europe, with around 200 works of rare items from Roman times to the 1700s.

Like the works in glass, the collection of enamels dates to the origins of the Museo Civico, during the first 40 years after its foundation (at least until 1910), as a museum whose mission was especially focused on applied arts. Of significant interest are the enamels from Limoges in the 1200s, many of which came from churches in Piedmont and include an absolute masterpiece: the coffer of Cardinal Guala Bicchieri, purchased in 2004. But the Museum’s interest for this technique also characterized the directorship of Vittorio Viale, who acquired for Palazzo Madama several enameled works in copper from Venice from the early 1400s and many painted enamels from Limoges from the Renaissance.

Il Cofano del Cardinale Guala Bicchieri (Italian only)

Simonetta Castronovo - Un medaglione reliquiario in smalto en ronde-bosse per Louis de Beauvau