Pietro Canonica Museum, Rome, Italy

The Pietro Canonica Museum is the home-museum of the sculptor Pietro Canonica and is part of the Rome City Museum System. It is located at Via Pietro Canonica 2, near Piazza di Siena, at Villa Borghese, near the stronghold (so called ‘Look, but in the’ 600 known as Gallinaro)

Pietro Canonica (1 March 1869 – 8 June 1959) was an Italian sculptor, painter, opera composer, professor of arts and senator for life.

The Museo Pietro Canonica, hidden in the greenery of the Villa Borghese, is an important example of the museological model of museums based on artist’s houses, and in its integrity is one of very few examples in Italy.

The museum collection consists primarily of works by Pietro Canonica: marbles, bronzes and original models, as well as a large number of sketches, studies and replicas which provide a complete journey through the evolution of this artist’s works and is therefore an extremely interesting resource for learning about the creative and practical processes involved in creatying sculpture.

The particular layout of this museum offers vistors, as well as the normal route through the seven exhibition rooms on the ground floor, a private, more “intimate” tour which snakes through the workshop and, on the first floor, the artist’s private apartment. This wing of the museum houses a collection of precious furnishings, art objects, Flemish tapestries and even a suit of Samurai armour from the XVII century, as well as an extremely important collection of paintings which belonged to the sculptor, particularly nineteenth century Piedmontese canvases, including works by Enrico Gamba, Giovan Battista Quadrone, Antonio Fontanesi and Vittorio Cavalleri.

The house, where the artist lived until his death, was donated to him by the municipality of Rome that now manages the museum

In documents of the 17th century the building is mentioned as Gallinaro, where ostriches, peacocks and ducks were reared to feed the hunting traps of the Borghese family

The current name, Fortezzuola, comes from medieval walled walls; It is attributed to Antonio Asprucci; During these works, Felice Giani inserted in the facade, in 1793, eight caryatids over the windows and the doors

Later, in 1919, the building, then used for administrative office use, suffered a fire, which decreed its subsequent abandonment

In 1926 it was donated to Canonica, who arranged the building and transformed the stables into environments for the exhibitions of his works

It seems that the Commune had first granted the artist Casina di Raffaello, near the current museum, always at Villa Borghese

But since it was too small to accommodate the works that the sculptor realized and left in stock before selling them, he was later granted the new accommodation, much larger

Upon the disappearance of the sculptor, in 1959, a first collection of works formed a first nucleus of the museum

After the death of his second wife in 1987, who did not seem to be sleeping in the same room as Canonica, in order not to create scandal, as much younger than him, the woman’s will was fulfilled, which he wanted to donate to the City of Rome The furnishings of their residence in the Fortezzuola

In front of the entrance facade there are bronze statues depicting a mountain and its mule
On the ground floor and in the lower planes there are 5-7 rooms that display the works, copies and originals, by Pietro Canonica; On the mezzanine floor there is the guest room and the Piedmontese working room
Upstairs there are the bedroom, the dining room and the living room

NB The guest room, the bedroom, the dining room and the lounge keep the original furnishings, with paintings by E Gamba, V Cavalieri and other painters of the 800, friends of Pietro Canonica

Sala I
In this room are exposed:
After the vow, sculpture of 1893, is in plaster, it is a copy of the original which is ignored by the place of exposure
The communicants, sculpture of about 1920, a copy of the original site in Palermo, is marble at the modern art gallery
Donna Franca Florio, bust of 1900-1904
Detail of After the vote, is marble, the location of the original is unknown
Princess Emily Doria Pamphilj, bust of about 1920, is made of white marble based on bardhyl, a copy of the original at the Galleria Doria Pamphilij
Spring dream, bust of about 1920, marble copy of the original of 1898 at the civic museum of Trieste
Star in the morning, sculpture of about 1925, sculpture depicts a naked woman with, behind her, a lamb

Sala II
In this room there are works related to the Russian Tsar family including the main one:
Located in the center of the room is the equestrian bronze depicting Nicola Nicolajevic, sculpture of 1912 This is a copy of the original site at Manejnaja square in St. Petersburg and destroyed in 1917
Among the other works are the following three funeral monuments:
The Raffica – Funeral monument for Mrs Giulia Schenabl Rossi, sculpture of 1924, is in plaster, model for the funeral complex of the Perugina cemetery, the model depicts a woman with her dresses explained by the wind and a hairstyle in the style of the first twenty years of the Twentieth century
Funeral Monument to Laura Vigo, a model used by Canonica for the funeral monument in Turin, is plastered, the model depicts a girl with a hula hoop in her hand
The Orfanella – in memoriam, the work, in plaster, dates back to 1886 The statue is a model for bronze funeral monuments Bongiovanni located in the cemeteries of Mondovì and Guilzoni, Turin The monument depicts a woman in dress and hood sitting

Sala III:
This is one of the largest halls of the museum hosting various works ranging between celebratory, funeral monument and allegorical. Among the principal are the monument to Kemal Ataturk, Canonica inaugurated it in Izmir in 1932 and the Battle Group of Sakarya Among the depictive statues there is the equestrian statue depicting Simon Bolivar and King Feysal of Iraq. Among the allegories there are “The Digger” of 1910 and the “Worm of the Soul” of 1901
There are also models for the doors to the Church of the Abbey of Montecassino

Sala IV
In this room are exposed two busts depicting noble characters

Sala V
In this room are exposed various busts of noble characters and the statue depicting:
Remembrance, about 1916, is marble

Sala VI
In this room are exposed sacred subjects including 14 bronze bas-reliefs depicting the Via Crucis
In addition there is the bronze bas-relief with bronze patina entitled “Funeral court” This is the original model for the Chapel of the Chiappello family in the cemetery of Turin The model was made in 1924

Room VII:
In this room are exposed, among other things, various busts for portraiture, among various famous personalities both Italian and foreign, high-ranking state and clergy, belonging to the nobility, in the latter case both children and adults , And a Gressoney Mountain Range:
The abyss, sculpture of 1909, is marble, sculpture depicts a man and a woman hugging
May, 1900’s sculpture, is in patina plaster, a copy of the original marble located in Amsterdam at the Stedelijk Museum
Torso of woman, sculpture of 1896, is marble, the statue depicts a naked woman seated missing an arm and head
Pudding, sculpture of about 1920, is marble, the statue depicts a naked woman sitting while trying to cover her face with her arms, in the sense, namely shame and shame
This room is currently closed only to the crossing of visitors, but it is possible to target works from the two sides of the room access

Red room or fireplace room
The fireplace is made of lava stone from Vetralla, dating back to 1581 The salon is furnished with period furniture from the 16th to the 17th century Among the other works exhibited there are a self portrait, a portrait and two stone sketches of the Canonica, as well as the title page Of a score and the set of two Canonica works of art
Other works of interest in the room include:
Sketch for the Victorian, sculpture of 1908,
The sketch in plaster was made for the central part of Vittoriano The work consists of a group of Rome with the sons who march On the right there are “Plebiscito” and “Breccia di Porta Pia”. Ironically, The work was never executed as it was nominated as a member of the real subcommittee so it could no longer participate in conflicts of interest in the realization of the Altar of the Homeland
17th century chest of drawers,
And inside the closet:
A uniform of Alexander II, Tsar of Russia, dating back to the nineteenth century,
An oriental tunic and cloak,
An oriental dress

Corridor on the ground floor
On the walls there are fourteen Canonica paintings depicting various landscapes including the countryside landscapes of the province of Viterbo, a sea view of Forte dei Marmi, a view of the Po and a portrait of Sister Luigina at the Fortezzuola. The paintings are from the Tuscan landscaping school of Second half of the nineteenth century
The study is preserved as it was when he worked The ceiling was restored from the Canonica at its own expense In the center there is the table with the instruments with which the Canonica worked and the sketch at the monument to Giovanni Paisiello There are portraits, self-portraits, Landscapes performed by the Canonica itself, there are also sketches of translated works and studies of sculptures ever made, a canvas of Enrico Gamba and a canvas of Demetrio Consola
Small table with tools On the small table with the tools of the Canonica, there are: a small wooden team, rasps, jigsaws, spatula, a bottle containing an undiscovered oily resin now dried, clay pieces used for the model of San Giovanni Bosco, The last work in which Canonica was devoted To this table there is a chair and a tripod
Stele for the monument in Paisiello The stele is a copy of the original destroyed by a bombardment The work consists of various allegorical figures recalling dance, music and poetry
Also, in the same room, there is the casket of Isabella Saluzzo, dates back to the 14th century which is made of walnut wood

Staircase for the first floor:
On the stairs there are some busts of children and four bronze sculptures of Canonica, while on the second floor there is a Japanese armor of a 17th century samurai. The armor is made of iron, golden bronze, silk and leather

First floor:
Second floor hallway
In this corridor are exposed a console with a mirror with carvings decorated in rococo style by Piedmontese workers At the center of the mirror is placed a portrait of Vittorio Emanuele I The furniture was bought by Canonica at a Turin auction In the first room on the left of the corridor There is the Canonica Library with the bookshop of the artist along with new bookshops. On the walls there are a few paintings by various artists, including Enrico Gamba and Antonio Fontanesi, and there is also a series
The library consists of 2200 volumes formed by the private collection of Canonica and a section on sculpture and figurative arts of the 19th and 20th centuries recently acquired The photographic and family archives, the legacy of the widow Canonica

The room is located on the left side of the corridor The room is furnished with period furniture The baroque bed is in the style of the Piedmontese Other furniture, including an armchair en convertible, are in Piedmont style On the bottom wall is a deposition of Christ
In addition, the medallion is displayed in the room with the honorary decorations given to Canonica, all in gold and enamel, with the following medals:
Two decorations like the Grand Officer of the Order of Simon Bolivar conferred by Venezuela;
Two decorations as the Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown of Italy;
A decor as a commander of the Order of St. Stanislaus Order of Russia;
Decoration as a commander of the Order of Adolfo of Nassau conferred by Luxembourg;
Two crosses of the Grand Officer of the Order of St. Maurizio and San Lazzaro;
A great cross of the Luxembourg oak order;
A decoration as a commanding order of the two rivers of Iraq;
A cross on Savoy’s civilian merit, as a knight

dining room
In this room there is a Bolognese table in the walnut dating from the 17th century On the table there is a portrait of Baroness Niemptsch of 1903. At the bottom there is a sideboard with Piedmontese pewter dishes of the eighteenth century plus a Persian plate made of copper with Oriental decorations in turquoise enamel On the sides of the dresser there are two oil paintings depicting a child white and the other black by Vittorio Cavalleri Another belief, however, in the shape of a trapezius is on the left of the first with two plates of the Savonese in Majolica with blue-blue paintings dating back to the end of the 17th century Also on a wall there is a Flemish tapestry of the mid-17th century

Inside there is a 17th-century chest of drawers with ivory inlays, a table-console with a mirror and two small armchairs of Piedmont masters dating from the 18th century On one wall there is a picture of Vittorio Cavalleri named “Donizetti writes His last work “made in 1897 On a small table there is a small bronze statue depicting a” After the vote “copied by the author in 1921

Music Hall
In this room there are furnishings of Piedmontese craftsmen of the mid-18th century, while on the walls there are paintings of other Piedmontese crafts of the nineteenth century, mostly of the Albertina Academy in Turin, where he studied the Canonica Su of a lectern there is A score for the Medea, which remembers the last work written by Canonica. There is also a Erard tail piano, which dates back to 1855, and in the same room there is also the bronze statue made by Canonica, The Tina Sartina “of 1921 depicting a woman sitting with her face turned on her right and with her hands placed behind her back at her sides, perhaps in her attitude to dress