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1949 – Farewell to Grande Torino

The remains of the members of the soccer club, victims of an airplane crash near Superga, are displayed in the burial chapel in the most lavish room of the Palazzo, where the most solemn ceremonies of the first kingdom were held. On May 6, a grieving crowd pays homage to the victims.


1948 - Jacopino Cietario, Crucifixion, Madonna, Saint Michael (signed and dated 1460)

Thanks to the generosity of the antiques dealer Pietro Accorsi, who had purchased the work from Prince Trivulzio, this painting—as Vittorio Viale wrote in the Bollettino della Società piemontese d'Archeologia e Belle Arti (Turin, 1948)—constitutes one of the most important and admired ornaments that completes the collection of graffito and gilded works in glass, bequeathed to the Museum by Marquis Emanuele d'Azeglio, the vastest and richest collection of its kind in the world.


1948 – Hon. Einaudi attends the exhibition on tapestries and carpets

The Head of State, accompanied by director Vittorio Viale, admires the most precious works that make up the exhibition’s artistic heritage. Einaudi appears to be very knowledgeable on the subject. For the event he meets, at the foot of Juvarra’s staircase, the members of the “Famija turineisa,” who dedicate a heartfelt performance to him.


1945–1947 – The collections return to the museum after World War II

Rescued from the air raids, the works are reinstalled. Director Vittorio Viale begins restoring Palazzo Madama and, in particular, the stuccowork on Juvarra’s monumental staircase.

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1943 – The Palazzo is in danger

Between July and August, the building risked being destroyed by the bombs that poured down over Piazza Castello, demolishing the corner of Via Pietro Micca. A bomb also fell on the staircase, setting fire to and damaging a part of the ceiling. The firemen went up to the roof and set their hoses between the statues. Photograph no. 3906 in album 10 of the Fire Fighters Department documents those intense hours.

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1941 – Matteo Civitali, Pietà (late 1400)

This work comes from Tuscany and was purchased by the Museo Civico. It was described by director Viale in the Bollettino della Società Piemontese d'Archeologia e Belle Arti: “Even though great damage has erased some of its most distinctive formal features, we still acknowledge the beauty and value of the austere and noble majesty of the layout, the intense rhythm of the architecture, and the detailed forms.”

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1940 – Milanese goldsmith, Bridal belt (1460–1480 circa)

Bequest of the Marquise Olimpia Natta, the widow of Gianazzo di Pamparato. The figures decorating the buckle allow for comparisons with Lombard miniatures from the late 1400s, whereas the stamp with the emblem of the goldsmith Giovanni Antonio di Vimercate allows this belt to be attributed to this artist’s workshop, active at the Sforza court in Milan during the late 1400s.


1938 – Gothic and Renaissance art in Piedmont. Exhibition

Held at Palazzo Carignano and displaying works kept at Palazzo Madama and selected by director Viale to represent local Piedmont and Aosta art: for example, the altarpiece from the parish church in Courmayeur, the Madonna with Child by Barnaba da Modena, the Trinity by the Maestro della Trinità di Torino (the artist was given this name by Lionello Venturi) and later attributed to Antoine de Lonhy, the Crucifixion by Marmitta. The exhibition was a milestone in rediscovering ancient art in Piedmont.


1938 – Ostrogoth art and late Roman art, Treasure of Desana (4th–6th century), purchase

Jewels, buckles, and a precious set of 18 spoons in silver found near Vercelli become part of the Museum thanks to the antiques dealer Pietro Accorsi. These pieces display distinctive traits of Ostrogoth goldsmithery joined with classical motifs, the sign of a gradual cultural and artistic union after the Goths settled in Italy.

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1937 – First exhibition on Baroque art

In 56 rooms in Palazzo Carignano, the City of Turin installs a major exhibition on Baroque art from Piedmont, conceived and curated by Vittorio Viale, which displays all the arts in Piedmont, from the early 1600s to the late 1700s.

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1935 – Miniaturists from France and the Netherlands, Très Belles Heures de Notre Dame de Jean de Berry, fol. 48 verso, Crucifixion (1380–1450)

A fragment known as the Heures de Turin-Milan, this work comes from the Trivulzio collection. The manuscript, the only codex in the world illuminated by the Flemish artist Jan van Eyck, was commissioned around 1380 by Duke Jean de Berry, a great collector of illuminated books and precious objects. Divided into two parts, the half that went to the Biblioteca Nazionale in Turin was destroyed in the 1904 fire.

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1935 – Antonello da Messina, Portrait of a Man (1476)

The museum acquires this work as reimbursement for a tax waiver in Turin of the Trivulzio collection. The painting, signed and dated 1476, constitutes one of the greatest works of the artist’s career.

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1935 – Acquiring the Trivulzio collection

With the collaboration of Pietro Accorsi, director Vittorio Viale purchases the entire collection, but Milanese officials and Mussolini block its transfer to Turin. The reimbursement, including the Portrait of a Man by Antonello da Messina and the Très riches heures du duc de Berryby Jan and Hubert van Eyck, constitutes one of the Museum’s most valuable acquisitions. In addition to acting as intermediary in negotiations, the antiques dealer from Turin sold and donated to the Museum many prestigious works, including drawings, paintings, furniture, and ceramics.


1934 - Pietro Grammorseo and Gandolfino da Roreto, Polyptych with Madonna and Child, Crucifixion, and Saints John the Baptist, Julius, Ursula, and Eulalia (post-1516)

This large and detailed polyptych, characterized by its rich decoration in gold, was a gift of Giuseppe Besozzi. In all likelihood, the provenance of the work can be established thanks to certain documents concerning pastoral life in 1638, in the Cathedral of Asti.


1934 – The Prince of Piedmont inaugurates the ancient art museum in Palazzo Madama

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1934–1935 –A new location for the Museo Civico d'Arte Antica

Since it was established, in the second half of the 1800s, the collections of the Museo Civico grew quickly, thanks to donations on the part of the royal family and private citizens. In fact, the first venue of the Museum, located in a municipal building on Via Gaudenzio Ferrari, was no longer adequate. So the ancient art collections are moved. Reinstalling the works takes place under the guidance of Vittorio Viale, director starting in 1930 (until 1965), with the assistance of engineer Gianni Ricci. The layout recreates settings from the 1400s to the 1700s, in line with the varied nature of the objects on display and respecting a chronological order. European models include the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Musée National du Moyen Age in Paris.


1932 - Defendente Ferrari, Polyptych with Penitent Saint Jerome (1530–1535 circa)

Purchased with funding from I. Levi, G. B. De Valle, and S. Simenon. Based on the young warrior saint seen on the right, perhaps Saint Secondo, this work may have been made in Asti. The monochrome gold on black of the predella connects the practice of Defendente to the sophisticated technique of gilded and painted glass and to the widespread etchings of Christ’s Passion across Europe.


1931 - Isaia Levi’s donation

The founder of Ditta Penne Aurora, Italy’s fist industry to manufacture fountain pens, and president of the Società Editrice Zanichelli, he financed the restoration of Palazzo Madama and donated to the Museo Civico several Baroque works in leather as well as 41 Chinese statuettes in quartz and agate.


1931 – Farewell to the Princes leaving for Naples

Citizens crowd Piazza Castello as Vittorio Emanuele leaves Turin for Naples, the city he chose as the new residence for his son Umberto II of Savoy, who was promoted to brigade general and accompanied by his wife Marie-José of Belgium. Palazzo Madama hosts a solemn ceremony thanks to the Podestà.

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1931 - Stefano Mossettaz, Crucifixion (1410–1420), purchase

From the Valle d’Aosta. Originally, this crucifixion was perhaps part of a marble polyptych with several panels depicting Christ’s Passion. The work, attributed to the early practice of the sculptor Stefano Mossettaz, must be related to an important group of sculptures and works in gold made in Aosta between the 1300s and 1400s and all influenced to varying degrees by Giacomo Jaquerio and by French-Flemish and Burgundian traditions.

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1930 February - Vittorio Viale, director of the Musei Civici

Upon the recommendation of Lorenzo Rovere, outgoing director, and with the favor of the Podestà Paolo Thaon di Revel, Vittorio Viale became director of the Musei Civici until 1965, when he resigned at the age of 74. His mandate coincides with a “golden age” at the Museum: 84 exhibitions, hundreds of purchases, the inauguration of two new display venues, over 50 publications, and new study and research services.


1930 – The "Colonnella" of the Granatieri di Sardegna is solemnly blessed in Palazzo Madama

A long procession runs across the streets of the city center, from the Cittadella to Piazza Castello. For the official ceremony, the grand Sala del Senato Subalpino hosts representatives of all the servicemen and patriotic associations across Italy, bearing pennants and flags, and a great number of high-ranking military and city officials.


1928 – Monograph Il Palazzo Madama di Torino by Augusto Telluccini

The historian dedicates this publication to the history of the building, the setting for many events in the life of the Savoy family and Piedmont over the centuries.


1928 – Turin’s Rotary Club supports the Palazzo restoration

Turin’s Rotary Club begins to support the artistic restoration of the three medieval facades, removing the one that, due to alterations and adaptations, became the top floor of the palace on the level of the merlons and even higher. The crenellation was restored, though its impact is limited due to the vast central roofing. Cesare Bertea directed the final phase of removing loggias, balconies, dormers, and chimneys, which gave the Palazzo a curious appearance in paintings and engravings from the 1800s.

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1921 - Filippo Juvarra, Volumes of drawings, 1706–1735

Originally in the drawing archive of Carlo Emanuele III. They became the property of Count Seyssel d'Aix at an unspecified date; subsequently, volumes II and IV were inherited by the Pia Casa del Cottolengo who sold them to the Museum, and volumes I and III, inherited by others, were purchased by Angelo Reycend and Giovanni Chevalley, who generously donated them to the Museum.


1921 – Gariazzo donation

Turin’s Museo di Antichità receives various objects through donations by the railroad magnate: stamps and other artifacts from Africa, where Pietro Antonio Gariazzo had worked. From 1930 to 1943 he was honorary director of the numismatic library at the Museo Civico, where he was involved in cataloguing the medal collection, which grew also thanks to his donations.


1921 – Reycend donation

A descendent of a family of book and art dealers, Giovanni Angelo Reycend designed palaces and small villas around Crocetta and the city center. He also became a politician in Turin. In 1921 with Chevalley he purchased and donated to the Museum two volumes with drawings by Filippo Juvarra that, along with the volumes purchased subsequently by the Museum, recreate the entire series which once belonged to the collections of Carlo Emanuele III of Savoy.

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1909 - Defendente Ferrari, Adoration of the Child at Night (1510)

This work reached the Museum with the Fontana collections. This small and precious panel constitutes, thanks to its certain dating, a useful piece of information in clarifying the chronology of the initial stages in Defendente’s career, when he was still a follower of Martino Spanzotti.


1909 - Antoine de Lonhy, Trinity and Crying Angel (circa 1470–1480)

This work comes from the important private collection of Leone Fontana, donated to the Museum in the early 1900s. Ever since it appeared in 1909, this painting has been the object of heated debate, given the supreme quality and fleeting stylistic features, between Italy, Burgundy, and Provence. The anonymous master acquired a name and a biography, and is identified with the painter and miniaturist from Toulouse, Antoine de Lonhy, who lived in Avigliana starting in 1462.


1909 – Fontana donation

Vincenzo and Maria, the children of senator Leone Fontana, donate their father’s collection of paintings from Piedmont from the 1400s and 1500s. This bequest makes a lasting mark upon the Museum, drawing its attention, up to then focused on decorative arts, to Piedmont painters.


1903 - Ricardi di Netro donation

The heir to a notable family from Piedmont, Flaminia Ricardi di Netro donates to the Museum a collection of 234 gems, including many from Roman and Renaissance times. The collection was amassed by her material grandfather, Giuseppe Antonio Gatino, a lawyer and senator for the Savoy Kingdom starting in 1848, and perhaps was already established by her father Nicola, who lived during the reign of Napoleon.

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