The Farnesina Art Collection, a collection of contemporary art of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, was founded in 2000 on the initiative of the then Secretary General Ambassador Umberto Vattani to underline a precise direction of planning of the Ministry, which has made contemporary artistic research a strategic area of action of its cultural policy. Starting from an initial significant group of acquisitions, which saw the commission of an important decorative composition and numerous works of art during the 1950s and 1960s, the work of several scientific committees has led over time to the collection of finest quality works for the history of Italian art of the twentieth century.
The history of the Collection
Over time, the choices made have favoured historical masters of the first half of the twentieth century: from Futurism (Balla, Boccioni, Depero), Metaphysics (de Chirico) to the return to figuration, in its dual twentieth-century (Carrà, Sironi, Soffici) and anti-twentieth century (Cagli, Campigli, Pirandello, Scipione, Martini) orientation and protagonists of the post-second world war, both in realism (Guttuso) and abstract art (Accardi, Sanfilippo, Dorazio, Consagra), as well as in art informel (Afro, Burri, Scarpitta) and spatialism (Fontana). The developments of the second half of the twentieth century are equally well-documented in arte povera (Kounellis, Merz, Paolini), pop art (Angeli, Pascali, Rotella, Schifano), conceptual art (Isgrò, Mauri, Manzoni) and perceptive art (Castellani, Bonalumi, Marchegiani), as far as the last decades of the century, from New Figuration (Vespignani) to Anachronism (Mariani, Galliani, Gandolfi) and Transavanguardia (Chia, Cucchi, Paladino).
Gratuitous loan for use
The acquisition method adopted, i.e. the gratuitous loan for use, has allowed the continuous development of the collection and the regular rotation of the works, which currently amount to almost 500. The direct initiative of the artists or their heirs, as well as the collaboration with prestigious museums, galleries and foundations, has been demonstrated as a strong sign of confidence in the Ministry’s action.
The collection today
Thanks to the contribution of the Scientific Committee currently in office, the Farnesina Collection has recently been enriched by a group of works by protagonists of the Italian art scene in the second half of the twentieth century (Accardi, Sanfilippo, Vedova, Turcato, Novelli), with increasingly focus on the research of painting, sculpture and photography at the end of the last century (Garutti, Zorio, Piacentino, Mochetti, Salvadori, Jodice, Basilico) as far as the language of younger generations (Beecroft, Moro, Vitone, Ruffo, Cuoghi Corsello, Toccafondo), to name but a few. The goal of representing the variety and richness of Italian contemporary artistic expressions is pursued thanks to the continuous acquisitions and the particular focus on new installations to promote the encyclopaedic nature of this extraordinary collection.
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