The Villa of Masterpieces, the seat of the Fondazione Magnani-Rocca near Traversetolo, when it was the home of Luigi Magnani (1906-1984) had as guests some of the most illustrious personalities of culture and international aristocracy. It is located in the countryside like the famous English museum-houses, inside a vast nineteenth-century romantic park; in the halls of the Villa you can still feel the presence of Magnani, a man of culture interested in the correspondence between the different artistic expressions.
The art collections exhibited in the Villa, which in the seventeenth century was a hunting lodge of the Farnese ducal reserves, include works ranging from the twelfth to the middle of the twentieth century.
A sumptuous malachite basin supported by Thomire’s golden bronze sphinxes, which, together with Jacob’s furniture and other refined examples from the Neoclassical and Empire period, give a tone of great elegance to the rooms, is a must for visitors.
A painting alone would be worth the trip to Mamiano: it is the large painting by Francisco Goya The family of the infante don Luis of 1783-1784, one of the most fascinating court portraits in the history of painting.
Exceptional is also the Madonna and Child by Albrecht Dürer, dating back to 1495, the time of the artist’s first Italian journey; other unmissable works are the Madonna and Child by Filippo Lippi, the Dead Christ of Carpaccio, the Ghirlandaio, the Beccafumi, the Tiepolo, the Füssli, but unique are Stimmate of Saint Francis di Gentile da Fabriano, a rare work, and the unforgettable Sacred Conversation of Titian of 1513 with the clear predominance of the chromatic construction, typically Venetian, compared to the design values.
The excellence of the pictorial masterpieces is translated into sculpture with Canova’s Tersicore, with two female figures by Bartolini and with the more recent Leoncillo and Manzù. The core of contemporary works is dominated by a group of fifty works by Giorgio Morandi, gathered during the life of the painter within a relationship of esteem and friendship with the collector, which illustrate, at the highest quality level, all the activity of the great Bolognese artist. Another Emilian painter in the collection is Filippo de Pisis, with a group of paintings of maturity, intense and dramatic. Other works by Italian artists include a Danseuse by Gino Severini, a metaphysical landscape by Giorgio de Chirico and some works by Renato Guttuso. Also very important was the 1954 Sack by Alberto Burri, which Magnani considered his avant-garde bulwark.
Among the foreign artists, Cézanne is represented by oil with Bathers and five watercolors marked by incredible transparency of colours; splendid are the works of Renoir, De Staël, Wols, Hartung and Fautrier, as well as an enchanting Monet depicting a landscape of Pourville, emblematic of the experimentation of impressionists on the infinite variations of colours subjected to changes in light.
The Fondazione is also often home to high-level temporary exhibitions.