Former director of Modena’s Museo Civico, where she was in charge of the overall rearrangement and reopening to the public, she was appointed during the restoration campaign of Palazzo Madama, to which she contributed by changing the entire project’s mission: in addition to being a monument, the Museum once again becomes a protagonist. At the same time she also manages the Borgo Medievale.
The artist, who was a student of Vouet, is one of the greatest figures of Turin’s modern Baroque period. His style reflects the taste of Christine of France, the mother of Carlo Emanulele II, and of her court, which aspired to equal Parisian grandeur. Up until the time it was purchased, the existence of this painting is documented only by an engraving from 1659.
In-depth work began and continued until 2002, to gather all information possible regarding the building through an updated assessment of the architceture, carried out closely with historical and architectural documentation as well as stratification and structural analyses. As regards the assessment, a method was adoped that could join traditional practices with innovative computerized tools—for example, surveying, rasterized images, and CAD vector graphics. This documentation is published in Palazzo Madama. Il rilievo architettonico. Progetto Palazzo Madama. Quaderno 2, edited by Carlo Viano, Turin 2002, and is available at the Museum bookshop.
This project, carried out under the guidance of the architect Salvatore Simonetti, concerns the large glass windows and stone parts that make up the façade, which had been seriously damaged also due to the materials used during the restoration conducted in the 1970s. The first façade restoration dates to D’Andrade’s intervention as well as to the introduction of more modern scientific approaches, with an assessment of in-depth documentation, useful to subsequent restorations. Work related to the interior decorations of the atrium and the monumental staircase were coordinated by the architect Carlo Viano and carried out by the architects Emanuela Lavezzo and Diego Giachello. The worksite was active a few years later, between 2000 and 2001.
Following documentation elaborated by an outside panel of experts, appointed under the direction of Daniele Jallà and including Andrea Emiliani, Mauro Natale, and Giovanni Romano, a new period of restoration begins. The work method aims to unite the systems design, which almost compromised the building’s historical structure and the installation quality of the display rooms, with the architecture and the collections themselves.
As restoration was still underway in the Palazzo, the exhibition Il Tesoro della Città. Opere d'arte e oggetti preziosi da Palazzo Madama (March 31 – September 8), curated by Silvana Pettenati and Giovanni Romano, represents an initial major historical and critical reflection on the specificities of the collections and of the building itself. This was the moment to establish new guidelines regarding the restoration project of Palazzo Madama.
This painting became part of the Museum when it was purchased. It was identified, despite a discrepancy in the dimensions, with a painting mentioned in 1635 and present in the collections of the Duke of Savoy, Carlo Emanuele I, where it is listed along with another panel portraying Saints Barbara and Lucy. The same inventory also mentions other paintings by Gaudenzio, which could make up a polyptych.
A gift of Marco Datrino, it belonged to the manufacture in Turin, active since 1646, which engaged artists and laborers from Liguria under the direction of the Genoa-native Giovanni Giacomo Bianchi. A distinctive feature of this manufacture is the white and blue decoration, with motifs inspired by calligraphy and nature.
A long period of work begins in order to functionally salvage Palazzo Madama and reinstall the Museum, which is in a serious state of decline.
An extemporaneous display by the champions Seriola and Voglino, who bring this centruies-old sport to Piazza Castello. “I never really hit the ball too hard out of fear of smashing one of Palazzo Madama’s windows,” they confess to journalists.
The double equestrian portrait depicts characters dressed in ancient constumes according to the celebrated French model of Louis XIV in the portrait by Pierre Mignard, currently in Versailles. The Museo Civico possesses an esquestrian portrait of the wife and the mother of these two men, Marie Jeanne Baptiste of Savoy-Nemours, and was probably executed to complement this work.
A bank and foundation since 1991, CRT becomes a key protagonist in restoring the Savoy Residences and relaunching Piedmont’s museum network. The restoration work on the Palazzo, which received this decisive financial support, is entirely documented in the Quaderni and in the Museum’s new catalogues.
A lover of art, music, and theatre, he donated to the Museum a small painting of Rinaldo and Armida by Giovanni Battista Crosato, a neoclassical writing desk, several musical instruments, and a series of 19th-century backdrops from the San Martiniano marionette theatre in Turin. Mario Moretti also bequeathed to the City an inheritance worth millions to benefit its art collections: thanks to these financial resources, the collections are able to grow, with the goal of joining together Piedmont’s artistic heritage.
Thanks to the signature present on this triptych, scholars are able to attribute a group of works from Piedmont to a documented artist, which had previously been known as the so-called Master of San Sebastiano a Pecetto. It is hypothesized that the painting was originally intended for the Franciscan Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Chieri.
Exhibition. At Palazzo Madama visitors discover this historical period through ceramic material from the 19th-century worksite of D’Andrade.
Exhibition. Thanks to a series of precious donations, the vast ethnological collection of 2,200 objects, originally from Africa, America, and Oceania, attracts the public once gain, after being forgotten for many years.
The famous quadriga comes to Turin, on a travelling exhibition across Europe that documents its restoration. This is how the work by the critic Marziano Bernardi is honored, a scholar who defended art and a supporter of public consensus promoted by La Stampa, which led to in-depth research on the sculpture. The event aims to draw attention to research methods regarding conservation and the important contributions offered by applying scientific research and new technologies.
Turin’s city administration acquires, for its ancient art collections, the panels depicting the Calling of Saint Peter and the Liberation of Saint Peter, both attributed to this painter from Turin.
On April 11 in the Sala del Senato at Palazzo Madama the soprano Maria Callas, the tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano, and maestro Fulvio Vernizzi take part in the conference “I vespri siciliani” by Verdi, promoted by the Istituto di Studi Verdiani for the performance held on April 10 that inaugurated the new Teatro Regio. The installation was entrusted to the two illustrious opera singers; the conductor was Fulvio Vernizzi (who replaced maestro Gui), the stage designer was Aligi Sassu, and the choreographer was Serge Lifar.
Conservator since 1968, Palazzo Madama and its Museum are entrusted to her at the end of Mallé’s mandate. Her reading of material culture is aligned with the philological thinking of Pietro Toesca in Turin.
A young professor pokes a hole with his finger into an 18th-century paining in Palazzo Madama. Carried off to jail, he defends himself, stating: “I didn’t feel too well, so I leaned up against it.” The Museum director, professor Mallé, ascertains that the damage can be repaired.
The set, of which another 19 pieces exist, was commissioned by Anne de Montmorency to the workshop in Urbino in 1535. The jug presents detailed decorations, with Neptune and seahorses, and handles in the shape of winged dragons.
Three colorful Mini Minors race down Juvarra’s grand staircase in one of the scenes from the film directed by Peter Collinson and starring Michael Caine.
For the 26th Salone Internazionale dell'Abbigliamento, which is inauguarted at Torino Esposizioni, the historic Sala del Senato hosts the event “Panorama di costume 1968,” which highlights 300 male and female models in haute couture, boutique fashion, haute couture knitwear, and prêt-à-porter. The Palazzo is not new to catwalks, held here also in 1948 and 1950.
As part of his body of work, the Prodigal Son may date to around 1740 and be compared to the Judgment of Solomon at the Museo Civico in Casale Monferrato, the city where the painter was very active; critics compare his work from those years to coeval painting from Mantua, in particular to Giuseppe Bazzani, and to the extraordinary works left by Rubens and Fetti.
This painter, a student of Tiepolo, was asked by Juvarra to decorate the Savoy Residences, in particular the Royal Hunting Lodge in Stupinigi. The subject of this painting is a recurrent theme, already dealt with by Francesco Cairo, in 1646, to support the image of Christine of France (1606–1663), the first “royal madama” and wife of Vittorio Amedeo I (1587–1637), as protectress of the new generations of the dynasty.
Italy’s President inaugurates the Salone dell’Automobile and chooses Palazzo Madama, “a place full of grand memories,” in response to Turin’s warm invitation. His speech was printed in newspaper articles, as he describes Turin as a “historical, political, and economic reference point” for the nation and an “exemplary city” of pioneers, at a time when stagnation in construction, the textile crises, and economic hardships for some industries preoccupy the city.
A student of Lionello Venturi, he followed Vittorio Viale as director, until his resignation in 1972. As an art historian, his preferences were for painting from Piedmont in the 1400s and 1500s and Flemish art. His studies are part of an early interest in art from Piedmont, which also led to the major exhibition on Baroque art from Piedmont in 1963, of which he curated the sculpture section. He also authored an in-depth catalogue in three volumes for the Museum.
The union between three major collections in Turin is celebrated: works from the Museo d'Antichità, from the collection of Carlo Alberto of Savoy, and from the Museo Civico. In total, over 100,000 pieces, the outcome of more than 30 years of research on the part of Vittorio Viale. Through the coins and medals on display, visitors discover documents about the past and, at the same time, prestigious works of art.
This is a larger-scale exhibition with more in-depth analysis with respect to the first show held in 1937. The research and presentation of artistic material is once again entrusted to Vittorio Viale, while the installation unfolds inside three monuments that, for their structure, decoration, and furnishings, represent an original and rare environment: Palazzo Reale, the Stupinigi Royal Hunting Lodge, and Palazzo Madama, chosen to host the stage design and architecture sections.
Delegates from 13 signing nations take part in the solemn ceremony held in the historic Sala del Senato Subalpino. Through these guidelines, more advanced countries would have the guarantee that Europe’s unification will not pose a threat to their social systems while less advantaged countries would receive assistance toward modernization.
In Turin for the exhibition Italia ’61, the brother of the President of the United States visits the pavilions and at noon is the guest of honor at an official banquet held at Palazzo Madama, with the highest-ranking city authorities and the mayor, who welcomes him to Turin.
For the centenary of Italy’s Unification, Queen Elizabeth II visits Turin with her husband, Prince Philip. The royal couple goes out onto the central balcony of Palazzo Madama to greet a cheering crowd. The visit continues to the pavilions of Italia ’61.
One thousand guests in the grand hall greet the arrival of President Gronchi and First Lady Carla, who came to inaugurate Italia ’61, a major event celebrating the centenary of Italy’s Unification. The society pages in newspapers describe the refined evening clothes: bright green, called “Italia” green, in homage to the centenary of the Risorgimento, prevails.
An exhibition organized by the Associazione universitaria italo-francese with an intervention in favor of the cultural exchange between the students of both countries. The figure of the French writer, who loved Italy where he spent many years of his life, is perfect for the event. On display are 130 landscape paintings inspired by his works, manuscripts, letters, and many portraits.
Considered the work of a Catalan artist in the early 1900s, in 1960 it was purchased as a late work by Giacomo Jaquerio; three years later, thanks to a comparison with the Apocalypse in the Escorial, the work is attributed to Jean Bapteur, a painter at the court of Amedeo VIII from 1427 at 1457.
Genre and landscape painting, typical of stately homes in the 1700s, enrich the Museum collections thanks to the bequest of the lawyer Ambrogio Della Chà: around 30 paintings by Giovanni Michele Graneri (documented from 1736 to 1778), the student of Olivero, and 17 landscape paintings by Vittorio Amedeo Cignaroli (1730–1800).
Watch the video on the Istituto Luce Archives.
For the centenary of the Museo Civico in Turin, Palazzo Madama is gifted with a precious painting by Defendente Ferrari. It is the Crowning of the Virgin, a panel that is almost 3 meters tall, offered to the Museum by Werner Abegg. The collections grow also thanks to another masterpiece, purchased by the city administration: a Crucifixion on panel from the first half of the 1400s, attributed to Giacomo Jaquerio (and now attributed to the circle of Jean Bapteur).
This is a small-scale sketch for the corresponding tapestry as part of a series depicting the Stories of Cyrus, manufactured by the royal weavers of Turin and intended for the Queen’s State Room at Palazzo Reale in Turin (today divided between the Quirinale and the palace in Turin). The Museo Civico holds 8 models in oil for this series, made up of 10 panels.
This work became part of the city’s art collections, without any trace of its previous whereabouts, with the title Saint Peter Freed by the Angels, later corrected with reference to the biblical story in Genesis. Chronologically speaking, it should be paired with the mastery of the Saint Cecilia and the Angels found in the Pinacoteca di Brera, dated to around 1620.
Two years before the centenary of Italy’s Unification, there is great preoccupation for “the city’s greatest architectural monument,” threatened by its “aging” materials, which are about to crumble. The public makes an appeal for its restoration.
In the ancient headquarters in Turin, the Senate President Merzagora takes part in a commemorative ceremony, with mayor Peyron, who in his welcome speech remembers how one century earlier three wars for independence were decided in this room and where Italy’s Unification was proclaimed.
Exhibition, from July 12 to late September. Installed by the Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente with the collaboration of the Museo Civico, it offers the public 260 works, selected to bear witness to a flourishing civilization. Sculptures, stucco, paintings on canvas and silk arrive from museums in Pakistan, Rome, Paris, and Berlin.
The group in biscuit, dated and signed, is by the chief modeler at the porcelain manufacture of Giovanni Vittorio Brodel, an industrial project authorized by King Vittorio Amedeo III of Savoy in 1775, but failed just a few years later.
The Museum purchases this work, which bears the signature on a cartouche at the foot of the throne: “MACRINUS / FACIEBAT / 1495.” There is no information regarding its original destination, but it may be hypothesized that it was associated with the marquis’s court in Casale Monferrato, which the artist frequented above all after his work in Rome.
During a special event at the Museum, the works from this bequeath are presented to visitors with an exhibition installed at Palazzo Madama. A journalist as well as art and literary critic, the donator is commemorated with affectionate words by director Viale as he presents the collection, where he underlines that “together with the Fontanesi bequest by Giovanni Camerana, this is the most important and prestigious donation that we have ever received.”
“I believe that, together with other art collections which honor our City, this can be a lasting display of my deep gratitude and hope for Turin’s cultural future.” This is what the founder of the Institute of Radiology at the University of Turin wrote to mayor Amedeo Peyron. A passionate collector of ancient Eastern sculptures, he presents the collection that, with a generous gesture, he will donate “to the Museum of Palazzo Madama in Piazza Castello.”
As final work was being done to the new Picture Gallery, 54 of the most important paintings from the Savoy Gallery return to their “original home.” Here, in October 1832, the Royal Painting Gallery was opened for the public’s enjoyment by King Carlo Alberto, following the advice of Roberto d’Azeglio. In 1865 it was moved to the second floor of the building (designed by Guarini) of the Academy of Sciences.
Gift of Tiziano Veggia. In Africa, drums are considered the most important instruments and they accompany every moment of community life. The religious function they play with several populations and their use during magical-religious rituals have made them sacred instruments, to worship and honor: their construction and use are regulated by very strict rules.
For the tenth anniversary of the Liberation of Italy, the City of Turin and the Istituto Storico della Resistenza organize at Palazzo Madama an exhibition dedicated to the Resistance in Piedmont. The show does not last long (May 28 – June 19, 1955), but is a crucial event for historical reflection and spreading knowledge regarding the nation’s liberation to the public at large. In the rooms on the first floor, original documents, photos, posters, flags, and objects are presented in chronological order, many of which are lent by those who took part in liberating Italy, like associations and private citizens. In addition to the display of mementos, an entire room is dedicated to reflecting on the Resistance on the part of contemporary artists, including Renato Guttuso, Aldo Carpi, Giacomo Manzù, Ernesto Treccani, Emilio Vedova, Roberto Terracini, and Renato Birolli.
An elegant crozier from the goldsmithery of Limoges, in Aquitaine, specialized between the 12th and 13th centuries in producing sacred and profane furnishings in copper and champlevé enamel, this object was found during excavations at the Cistercian abbey of Chiusa Pesio, in an abbot’s tomb.
Chevalley bequest. The charm of this painting is related above all to the precise portrayal of the interior of the Teatro Regio in Turin and to the detailed description of the orchestra, the actors, and the public. The rigorous representation of the figures and architectural details likens this work, according to critics, to the style of Giovanni Michele Graneri.
Among the main supporters in reassessing Baroque art from Piedmont, in 1924 Giovannni Chevalley coordinated the restoration of the first floor so it may be used as a representative space by the City of Turin. In addition to two volumes of drawings by Filippo Juvarra, in 1955 he donates to the Museum a painting of the interior of the Teatro Regio, today on display in the Sala Guidobono on the first floor.
Rare white porcelain made in the Meissen manufatur, established by the Electorate of Saxony, Augustus II the Strong. The paste with which it is shaped is made by combining kaolin with feldspar, in a double firing at a high temperature.
Turin-native Sergio Ferrera had been working for a construction company outside Caserta for 33 years. He brings a postcard of Palazzo Madama to hisfiancée’s family and states: “This is my castle.” After arriving in Turin, the girl’s mother and father realize he is a swindler and report him to the police.
Gift of the Associazione Amici del Museo Civico. The painting is part of a series of 6 canvases commissioned in 1723 that depict the castle’s façade. In 1781 they are brought to Palazzo Madama, but in 1819 only 5 are documented. The sixth painting, which disappeared, is found in 1951 on the art market in Paris.
Exhibition, from April 28 to June 30. With around 200 works, the history and features of fashion from the 1400s to the late 1800s are presented. The exhibition is concurrent with the World Expo of Textiles and Fashion.
Palazzo Madama opens this conference as part of the international event “Scambi Occidente.” City officials welcome numerous visitors and speakers, including many internationally renowned scientists in the field of physics and chemistry. The event is held once again in 1957, during the VII Salone internazionale della Tecnica.