Ten years of acquisitions at the Accorsi-Ometto Museum in Turin

The Accorsi-Ometto Museum was conceived in order to make people aware  of an extraordinary heritage of furnishings and works of art. In addition to preserve eighteenth and nineteenth centuries art, it’s  also aimed at  expanding its collections, always coherently with the collecting taste  of the founder, Pietro Accorsi. In the last ten years the Foundation, thanks to its President Giulio Ometto, has increased its museum collections, "bringing back home" some extraordinary works. We present a selection of these masterpieces.
The Triumph of Virtue

The center of the composition is dominated by a female figure, allegory of Fame, comfortably seated on an ethereal mass of clouds.

The children around the female figure simbolize the Liberal Arts: Painting, Sculpture, Geometry and Geography.

ORMOLU AND SILVERS
The mounted objects are mostly composed of Meissen porcelain and gilded bronze,  product of creativity and professionalism of a whole team. The precious  figures in porcelain, bought in large quantities by the so-called marchand-mercier, were put into metal settings, commissioned to specialists. Noblemen and sovereigns, such as king Louis XV and his maîtresse-en-titre, Madame de Pompadour, were used to buy them. During French Revolution most of them were destroyed;  these furnishings became object of collecting since the mid-nineteenth century.

In our collection there are many rarities as this magnificent centerpiece. It's assembled with Chinese porcelains, including the Budai, also known as smiling Buddha, recurring in Buddhist iconography.

The Meissen porcelain statuettes of Alexander the Great and Cyrus the Great shape two elegant candlesticks with flowering branches. The two kings were considered an example of virtue and nobility.

FURNITURE
Furniture has always been a faithful and discreet witness of everyday life, of changing times and evolution of taste. In the eighteenth century, due to the emergence of new lifestyles and more functional buildings, furnishings were created in the most different shapes, built with a technical skill never seen before. In the first half of the eighteenth century furniture acquired elegance and lightness, with sinuous and wavy curly lines, taken from natural elements (shells, vine leaves, racemes, bouquets of flowers). Inlays were increasingly used in decoration; lacquer and gilding prevailed especially in the finish.
PORTRAITS
Portraits have always had a particular place in the history of European art. They were made with the intention of keeping alive the memory of a loved one or instill a clear socio-political message. In late Roman age, for instance, portraits were placed on faces of dead people; Raffaello Sanzio’s portraits pursued ideal Beauty and perfection, while Tiziano Vecellio’s followed a higher naturalism, so appreciated by Charles V and his son Philip II of Spain. In the seventeenth century the so-called "portrait of state" was codified, an impersonal representation of the monarch, going beyond the real physical aspect, while exalting the social one through symbolic objects. During the eighteenth century portraits assumed more symbolic connotations, with the purpose of exalt  Beauty, through a polished attention to detail, especially in rendering of clothes and fabrics.

The portrait of Maria Luisa Gabriella di Savoia, realized by Louis-Michel van Loo in 1733, is an example: the little princess wears a rich dress.

She holds a parrot, a symbol of exoticism and belonging to an elitist social sphere.

Our museum has recently acquired the portrait of another princess of Savoy: it represents Maria Giuseppina, Maria Luisa Gabriella’s nephew, princess of France by marriage.

She holds a rose in her hand, symbol of delicacy and beauty. The colour of the flower recalls the rich dress she wears.

LANDSCAPE PAINTING
Landscape painting became an autonomous pictorial "genre" during the seventeenth century, first of all thanks to the classicist and naturalist revolution operated by Carracci family and then thanks  to some French artists that moved to Rome, such as Poussin and Lorrain. They reworked the image of an idealized and solemn reality through a harmonious vision in which man and nature could live in perfect synthesis. The first examples of a real pictorial investigation of the landscape can already be found in the fifteenth century: the optical - geometric conquests (including the perspective) joined a scientific observation of the natural data, thus introducing new elements, such as the perception of the atmospheric effect on distance, in a still strongly poetic vision of the forces of nature, often distant from the real world and result of the artist's imagination. During the seventeenth century, the growing interest of collectors in landscape painting led to a progressive specialization of the shops (with the differentiation of "ideal" and "pastoral" landscapes) and to the birth of a specific pubblications that classified the genre in its various categories (marine, architecture, city landscapes). Nature was analyzed at the tip of the brush, to better express the sense of history that the characters, in a minor key, interpreted. In the enlightenment of the eighteenth century the landscape reached an autonomy never seen before, with representations of glimpses of the cities and of views or "capricci", very much sought by collectors of the most important European courts. The view itself, as a topographic representation of a city or a landscape, became object of cult among the European artists and intellectuals undertaking between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the famous Grand Tour, the ritual training trip that usually had Italy as destination.

During the 18th century paintings show not only allegorical landscapes: the picture represents the Mer de glace, the famous glacier of Mont Blanc, destination for numerous naturalistic expeditions.

This miniature was made by a Lombard artist in the nineteenth century:it depicts the Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore.

This miniature, realized in the nineteenth century, represents the cathedral of Milan. It is a forerunner of modern illustrated postcards, built with the same accuracy of a photographic shot.

The miniature allows us to take a leap in time to observe the festive animosity of the Bottonuto district, completely demolished in the thirties of the twentieth century.

Credits: Story

Testi ed impaginazione a cura di:
Alberto Tosa - ufficio conservazione Museo Accorsi - Ometto
Riprese fotografiche:
Ivo Gradinarov - Google art Camera
Paolo Robino

DA PIFFETTI A LADATTE
Dieci anni di acquisizioni alla Fondazione Accorsi-Ometto 16 febbraio - 3 giugno 2018
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Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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