Museo Pignatelli Cortes
Inside, visitors can admire the original furnishings of this elegant residence, which testifies to the eclectic taste typical of the late nineteenth century: a characteristic that creates a special atmosphere, transforming the villa into a house-museum.
The tour winds its way through the three central drawing rooms: the blue room, which gives onto the great Ballroom, has a photographic portrait of Princess Rosina; the red room, which still preserves the lavish aspect it had in the Rothschild period, connects the circular entrance Vestibule to the monumental neoclassical veranda; the green room links the sumptuous Library to the Dining Room, which has been restored to its former splendour with its table laid with crockery and cutlery from Villa Pignatelli.
The villa is magnificently furnished: silverware, nineteenth-century furniture, gilt bronze objects (candelabra and clocks of French workmanship), and small bronzes (including a Narcissus by Vincenzo Gemito). There is also an important collection of ceramics of various provenance: from Chinese and Japanese vases and bowls from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to porcelain from Limoges (note the dinner service made by Bonneval), Sèvres, Zurich, Chelsea, Meissen, and Vienna. There are also Neapolitan wares, including porcelain pieces made at the Real Fabbrica di Capodimonte, maiolica from the Giustiniani and
Del Vecchio factories, and an elegant biscuit bust of Carolina Murat, made by the Poulard Prad company. The first floor houses the Banco di Napoli collection, comprising works from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, mainly from the Neapolitan school. The exhibition starts with sixteenth- century paintings (with Battista Dossi from Ferrara and Andrea da Salerno) and then moves on to the grand paintings of the Neapolitan seventeenth century. These go from the Adoration of the Magi by the so-called Master of the Annunciation to the Shepherds, to the two canvases of Saint Paul and the centurion and the Finding of Moses by Bernardo Cavallino, and the Saint George by Francesco Guarino. The great still-life genre is represented by paintings by Giuseppe Recco, Porpora, and Ruoppolo, moving on to eighteenth- century examples by Baldassarre De Caro. The Neapolitan late seventeenth century, between naturalism and baroque, is represented by works by Hendrick van Somer, and Nicola and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro, as well as by a painting by
Luca Giordano, the Immaculate Conception.
The exhibition continues in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, with wonderful paintings by Francesco Solimena, Paolo de Matteis, Gaspare Traversi, Giacinto Gigante, Morelli, Cammarano, and Migliaro, as well as landscape paintings by Gaspar van Wittel and the School of Posillipo. The exhibition concludes with Magnolia by Giacomo Balla, a late masterpiece by this artist. The graphics section displays drawings by Domenico Morelli, with sculptures and drawings by Vincenzo Gemito in the boudoir.
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