Portrait of Eugenia Attendolo Bolognini Litta Visconti Arese

Alberto Salietti1931

Ca’ Granda – Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico

Ca’ Granda – Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico
Milan, Italy

Countess Eugenia Attendolo Bolognini (1837-1914), Duchess Litta Visconti Arese following her marriage with Giulio Litta Visconti Arese, is a leading figure in the Milanese society of the second half of the nineteenth century. The social gossip of the time insinuated a relationship with King Umberto I of Savoy. Daughter of Count Gian Giacomo, a refined collector, she was responsible for the birth of Musei Civici di Milano (Civic Museums of Milan), and she benefited the Ospedale Maggiore while still alive. When the ancient Sforza building became inadequate, the hospital began the expansion beyond the Naviglio, starting the new pavilion hospital. In 1895 the duchess had the engineer Speroni build the first pavilion, called "Litta" for the treatment of surgical diseases, in memory of her son Alfonso who died at a young age and gave it to Ca ' Granda. When she died, in her will she appointed her niece, Countess Lydia Caprara Morando, who in turn, in 1925 and 1929, provides donations in favor of the Maggiore Hospital, including the family chapel in Santa Maria delle Selve in Vedano al Lambro (Monza Brianza), the archive and the collection of portraits of the Litta family. The donations also allow the Italian Red Cross to set up, in agreement with the Hospital, a floating hospital along the River Po. The portrait of the benefactor is commissioned by the institution, several years after her death, from Alberto Salietti, at the suggestion of the same Countess Caprara. The painter portrays it exactly as it appears in the photograph that serves as a model, dressed in mourning but with the famous pearls around her neck. In the inscription in the background, under the noble coat of arms, the story of the donation to the Ca 'Granda is summarized. Many other portraits of different ages are remembered of the duchess, since she was a child (two are kept in the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan) and the funeral mask painted by Carlo Silvestri.


  • Title: Portrait of Eugenia Attendolo Bolognini Litta Visconti Arese
  • Creator: Alberto Salietti
  • Creator Lifespan: 1892/1961
  • Date Created: 1931
  • Location Created: Milano
  • Physical Dimensions: h 200, w 121 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: oil
  • Art Genre: Portrait
  • Support: canvas
  • Inv.: Ritratti 000494

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