The past 16th december 2001 Biella saw the opening of an important retrospective which looks into the figure of one of the most important people in the Italian cultural landscape of the 17th century: Cassiano Dal Pozzo (1588 - 1657) is presented in a show that returns all the charm of a charismatic and learned man, rich of interests and passions. Until the 16th of March the retrospective will occupy a wing of the Museo del Territorio, a museum complex of the Piedmontese capital which, in this occasion, reopens its doors after years of forgetfulness.
A diplomat, scientist and collector, Cassiano Dal Pozzo was one of the most influential characters of Pope Urbano VIII Barberini’s Rome. He belonged to the noble family of the Dal Pozzo, originally from Vercelli but with different locations in the Piedmontese cities, Cassiano gravitates firstly in the orbit of the Savoy Court, living his first few years between Biella and the Savoy house in Turin; grandson of the First Minister of the Granduchy of Tuscany, he moved with his family to the Medicean family of Ferdinand I and Cristina of the Lorena, he studies at the University of Pisa and, after travelling throughout Italy, in 1612 he arrives at Galileo’s the Accademia dei Lincei’s Rome, in a period of full counter-reformation and here he takes on the job of Primo Ministro della Cultura e delle Arti Barberiniane.
A learned and careful art lover, a collector himself, Cassiano was able to give support to artists who soon arrived to International fame: Bernini, Artemisia Gentileschi, Poussin, Vouet, Pietro da Cortona, Van Dyck, Alessandro Turchi owe great part of their success, even posthumous, precisely to the intuition of this true art promoter, guided in his choices by a great passion and a refined knowledge of Italian and non-Italian art.
Organised by Francesco Solinas, Maitre de Conférences of the Collège de France in Paris, who, for over twenty years, has been studying the figure of Cassiano Dal Pozzo, the exhibition is the continuation of an exposition held last autumn at the National Gallery of Ancient Art in Rome. In the second and current version, the retrospective is enriched, as well as by a documentary section which bears witness to the direct relations existed between Cassiano and the artists, of works of remarkable value coming from Madrid, Paris, Vienna, Saint Petersburg and Budapest, which already complete a rich series of paintings and documents that have coming from the Uffizi in Florence, from the Galleria Sabauda in Turin, from Palazzo Barberini and Palazzo Colonna in Rome. Also some private French, Italian and American collectors have contributed, with their loans, to make a complete and comprehensive reconstruction possible for the figure of this important benefactor and the culture of his time.
"I segreti di un collezionista. Le straordinarie raccolte di Cassiano Dal Pozzo (1588 - 1657)",
When: until the 16th of March 2002
Opening times: Monday 2 pm – 7 pm, Tuesday / Sunday 10 am – 7 pm
Tickets: full € 8 (including the Museo del Territorio), reduced € 4. Guided visits € 36
Where: Museum of the Territory, Cloister of San Sebastiano, Via Q. Sella, Biella
Info: +39 0153506601
The exhibition (In Italian)
Biella on-line (In Italian)