The Royal Residence

The Castello di Rivoli, on the UNESCO World Heritage list, has a rich and fascinating history.

Aerial View Castello di Rivoli (2001/2001) by Giorgio Ferraris, UppervisionCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Thanks to its strategic position near the Via Gallica, the hill of Rivoli has been inhabited at least since Roman times.

A fortified building, the Castrum Riuollum, is first mentioned in 1159. The earliest illustration, dating to 1609, shows a central tower surrounded by constructions of varying sizes, while along the foothills a garden softens the complex’s military appearance.

The Castle and the Manica Lunga (2020) by Andrea GuermaniCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Castello became property of the Savoy family in 1247 and remained so until 1883, when it was sold to the city of Rivoli.

Here was born duke Carlo Emanuele I in 1562, under the care of Nostradamus.

Aerial view Entrance (2020)Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Today, there is an open-air rift between the Castello building and of the Manica Lunga. Symbol of a abruptly suspended construction site.

The current atrium is due to Andrea Bruno. The porphyry flooring, is marked with white marble and grey stone, the lines corresponding to the design of the juvarrian unfinished project.

Manica Lunga View (2014) by Andrea GuermaniCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Carlo Emanuele I transformed the medieval castle into a loisir residence. In this period it has been built the Manica Lunga, the duke's Gallery, housing an important art collection.

Juvarra planned the atrium as a pivotal space between the two buildings, strictly symmetrical, where the scenographic elements were to be articulated expression of richness and solemnity.

Columns a work of Pier Paolo Calzolari has been conceived for this space.

The finished part of the south façade (2014) by Andrea GuermaniCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Filippo Juvarra, planned a great palace, it was supposed to be the symbol of King Vittorio Amedeo II’s, first sovereign of the Savoy Dinasty, absolute power, unfortunately the project remained unfinished.

Room of the Continents (the Vault) (1793/1795) by Rocco e Antonio Maria Torricelli, Giovanni ComandùCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Four Continents Room

The room decorated by the Torricelli brothers, and Giovanni Comandù at end of the 18th century. At the corners of the ceiling, “the four parts of the World” by the Torricelli brothers, who also painted the God Apollo on his Sun chariot at the centre of the ceiling and the allegories of the Rivers Po and Doria, painted in sanguine.

Cabinet of the four parts of the World (detail Asia) (1717/1720) by Filippo Juvarra, Carlo PapaCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Cabinet of the Four Parts of the World

An important part of the room is the stucco frieze by Carlo Papa dated 1717, with a rich symbolic repertory. It represents the Four parts of the world, with the crown of the Prince of Piedmont on the sides, together with the collar of the Order of the Santissima Annunziata, while the symbols of the four continents appear in the corners.

Atrium or The Room of Bacchus and Arianna (1722/1728) by Filippo Juvarra, Pietro Somasso, Francesco Fariano, Carlo BerardoCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Bacchus and Ariadne Room

The room, called little atrium, was completed between 1718 and 1722 during the Juvarra’s periods, the ceiling painted by Sebastiano Galeotti represents the meeting of Bacchus and Ariadne. The floor is original, with marbles of three difference colors : black from Como, white from Busca and grey from Valdieri creates an unusual three-dimensional effect.

The Royal ResidenceCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Coronation Room

This is the oldest survived after the fire caused by the French troops of Marshal Catinat in 1693, the decoration celebrates Amedeo VIII, the first duke of the dynasty.

The Trophy Room (detail) (1723/1724) by Filippo MineiCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Trophy Room

The first antechamber of the king’s apartment, in which Filippo Minei worked between 1723 and 24. The ceiling decoration presents grotesque motifs, battle scenes and various figures holding trophies and flags, while Mars the warrior and Glory appear on the two sides.

Room of the Sleeping Putti (detail) (1720) by Niccolò Malatto, Pietro Antonio Pozzo, Michele Antonio Milocco,Pietro GamboneCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The King's Room

One’s of the richest rooms of the Castello building, the first of the entire apartment decorated in 1720 to host Vittorio Amedeo II.
The vault, is beautified by 4050 gold leafs.

Room of Charles Emmanuel I (1717/1720) by Giovanni Marmora, Giuseppe Marsaglia, Leopoldo AvoniCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Room of Carlo Emanuele I

The name derives from the birth in 1562 of Carlo Emanuele I, son of duke Emanuele Filiberto and Marguerite of Valois on January 12, 1562.

The birth was in coram populo: in other words, before witnesses who could testify that the child was truly the son of the duchess.

The couple was in Rivoli in 1561 with the court, ready to move to Turin new capital of the Duchy.

Music Room by Paolo PellionCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Music Room

The vault paintings are the mostly lost; between festoons and faded coats of arms, there are four ovals that simulate niches, where are painted the busts of the first Counts of the Savoy Dinasty.

The Chinese Room

As in other Savoy residences, Rivoli too had a Chinese drawing room, designed in 1793 by Carlo Randoni, who also designed the furniture for it.

The painting on the ceiling and wooden parts are by Francesco Rebaudengo in imitation of a pavilion with a canvas roof opening to the sky to reveal flying dragons.

Faux wood room ( The Vault) (1794/1795) by Rocco e Antonio Maria TorricelliCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Boisages Cabinet

The tempera decoration of room imitates a
precious woods boiserie. Pompeian-style divinities and dancers were painted on the vault.

The decoration of the room was made by the Rocco and Antonio Maria Torricelli, probably in collaboration with Pietro Palmieri.

The Audience Room (1793/1794) by Giovenale BongiovanniCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Bedroom of Princess Maria Beatrice

Princess Maria Beatrice was the eldest child of the Dukes of Aosta, her bedroom has a decorated ceiling with groups of putti looking over a balustrade, intent on playing games or instruments.

The walkwayCastello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

The Walkway

The renovation works of the Castello di Rivoli strated in 1979, thanks to the Tourinese architect Andrea Bruno.

The building was in terrible condition: water infiltration damaged the walls, ceilings, frescos, and stuccos, causing the first collapses.

Bruno used modern materials for the new structures, becoming a pioneer of reversibility, and again stressing the relationship between present and past. In Rivoli, the historic building and contemporary forms interact together, while the frescoes dialogue with the work of today’s artists.

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