The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea: a new imagine of art
The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea is famous for its important collections of works by artists from the 1800s and 1900s, especially from Italy. There is also a dedicated library together with the exposition area, including about 60000 books and 600 collections of magazines. The birth of this museum dates back to 1883. It represents a new vision of art and its aim is to attract visitors far from the national painting and sculpture. During the first 30 years, the Gallery was situated in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, and moved in its current site just later on.
The exposition transformations
At the beginning of it's life, the collection was set according to regional schools criteria, as well as the works were bought at the Biennale di Venezia and other national big expositions. There are also some works by foreign artists, part of some official transfers as Symbolism, Realism and New-renaissance Decadentism.
The audience is made of experts or just art lovers and academics. From the first to the second post-war acquisitions were focused on regional artists loved by the critics and projected to the Romantic Intimism. The great season of the Gallery was represented by the direction of Palma Bucarelli, until 1975. Maintaining strong relationships with the Roman university school, the gallery got an international power thanks to very important and current works, such as pieces by international contemporary artists, such as Picasso, Mondrian, Jackson Pollock, Amedeo Modigliani and Henry Moore.
At the same time, lot of attention is given to the Italian art, with the collections of some important artists such as Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Ettore Colla, Giuseppe Capogrossi and Piero Manzoni. The institution of the new Ministero per i Beni Culturali remarkablly reduces the promotion of the current artistic tendencies.
On the contrary, it is focused on inserting some works from the period before the unity in 1800, refused by the Romantic and purist art of Pelagio Palagi and Joseph Anton Koch. The gallery received also pictures by Giacomo Balla, Giorgio De Chirico and Renato Guttuso.
The gallery today
The gallery has been characterized by an important change after the purchase of some works from other museums (collections from the 19th and 20th century), and thanks to the renewed attention to the contemporary art.
It received the definition of “mother museum” dedicated to the art of the nineteenth and twentieth century, because of the richness of its collections (more than 4400 pictures and sculptures together with 13000 drawings and prints), making it the biggest collection of modern and contemporary art in Italy. It is also the only one museum exclusively dedicated to the modern art, on the Italian territory.
The masterpieces of the collection - about 1100 works - are exposed in 55 rooms, divided in four sections to facilitate the tour. Each section corresponds to one of the parts of the building, on the left or on the right of the central body: the southern wings are situated in the building from 1911, and they are the space dedicated to the works of 1800s. The two northern wings - result of the enlargement of 1993 - host contemporary works.
Visiting the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
A perfect holiday in the Eternal City must include a visit at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, where the tourist can find one of a kind masterpieces, they could appreciate even not expert. The visitor will begin the tour in the hall, where there are two recesses: in one of them, there is the monument named Idealità e Materialismo, by Monteverde, and the other one hosts the monument of Segantini.
Going on, you will find the Sala delle Cerimonie, facing onto side courts, named Dei Parassiti and Dei Romani, and the Salone Grande bringing you into the Corte Centrale, also called Dell'Ercole Settante, because of the central statue of Emile Antoine Bourdelle. In the south-west wing, there are works from the Napoleonic Age to the unification of Italy, from Neoclassicism and Romanticism, originally part of big aristocratic collections. There are also works by Camuccini, Francesco Hayez and Alessandro Morani.
There are also some rooms dedicated to the central and northern schools and to the Napolitan School; the most famous is the Sala di Saffo, hosting the Scuola Toscana and Macchiaioli. The south-east wing is dedicated to the art relating to the end of 1800s and the central room protagonist is the Risorgimento, central topic of the international exposition in Rome, in 1883. There are the enormous paintings by Giovanni Fattori (La battaglia di Custoza) and Michele Cammarano (La battaglia di San Martino).
The north-east wing hosts works from the first half of 1900s, introduced by some international famous works, by Guttuso, De Chirico and the surrealist Schwartz. There are also the documents about Futurism and Abstract Art from the 20s, full of Italian protagonists in the last years. You can see characters such as Carrà, Sironi, Morandi, Marino Marini, German Expressionist artists (Emil Nolde and Ernest Kirchner), Picasso, Paul Klee and so on.
The north-west wing is dedicated to the moment when the art investigation was affected by a revolution: there are works of the European Informalism and the abstract Expressionism of the United States of America from the 50s and the 60s: Jackson Pollock, Tapies, Fautrier, Hartung, Calder and Twombly.
An important area is dedicated to the Italian works, by Butters, Capogrossi, Fontana, Novelli, Colla, Lorenzo Guerrini, Scialoja, Arnaldo and Giò Pomodoro, very famous characters. Modern and contemporary art lovers will never forget this museum.
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