Italian art: Brescia

Sep 15, 2018 158

During 2018 in Brescia there was a very interesting revival of museum proposals. After nine long years of closure, the Tosio Martinengo Museum has been reopened: this is Brescia’s civic museum that has undergone a careful restoration of the Palazzo Martinengo da Barco, in order to make functional the use of the beautiful collection of municipal art of the Lombard capital.

The city gave birth to three fundamental painters in the Venetian panorama of the sixteenth century: Girolamo Romani known as the Romanino, Gian Girolamo Savoldo and Alessandro Bonvicino known as the Moretto. We speak of Veneto because at the time Brescia belonged to the land of the Serenissima Republic of Venice that reached as far as the gates of Milan, also expanding the Venetian taste for art throughout the area to the left of the Po river.

The three painters mentioned are represented in the new installation of the museum with beautiful and intense works, from the metallic colors of Savoldo to the perfection of Moretto's portraits.

This strong heart identity of the territory is flanked by a path that leads up to the nineteenth century, with twenty-one very well designed rooms to leave large spaces between the various works, with particular attention to the minor and decorative arts that dot the entire path with the presence of ivories, glass and medals.

The recovery was perfectly successful, returning to the city - already recipient of important archaeological finds and beautiful rationalist buildings - a civic museum of great potential also host for future temporary exhibitions.

The second museum to open in the area of Brescia is the MarteS, or the musealization of the private collection of the entrepreneur of the steel branch Luciano Sorlini, who died in 2015. Since the 70s of the twentieth century Sorlini started a sumptuous private collection, thanks to collaboration with Egidio Martini, another collector and scholar of the eighteenth century Venetian art.

In Calvagese della Riviera, in his seventeenth-century home, Sorlini's sons have created this museum linked to the foundation dedicated to their father, which has 154 works and then saw the integration of another 29 donated by his children.

Here we can find fourteen rooms where Venetian painting is represented by Giovanni Bellini up to the seventeenth-century landscape painters who stood out in the rooms of Palazzo Grimani Marcello in Venice, also owned by Sorlini. Sebastiano Ricci, Tiepolo, Guardi and Rosalba Carriera, all represented in the collection of a great connoisseur who said he preferred to invest in a masterpiece by a minor artist rather than a mediocre Canaletto.

Since the nineties, the collection has also been extended to previous centuries, including the already mentioned Bellini and an autograph Carpaccio depicting a Salvator Mundi and four apostles.

At the end of the route, beyond the library of art books open to the public, the hall on the ground floor houses a series of six paintings by Gianantonio Guardi and a rare piety of his most famous brother Francesco.

An example of really rare patronage that gives hope for the future of the great Italian private collections still inaccessible to the general public.

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