«Due stanze coperte tutte di quadri»: la quadreria di Flaminio Della Torre di Rezzonico e il collezionismo a Como tra Sette e Ottocento
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«Two rooms covered with paintings»: Flaminio Della Torre di Rezzonico’s picture collection and art collecting in Como between 18th and 19th Century
Art collecting in Como during the 18th Century is a historically relevant phenomenon, partially neglected by scholars. Through the parallel reading of literary accounts and archive records, the article gives evidence of previously unknown information about art collections belonging to the city’s higher class, their consistency and the criteria of taste behind them. Among the discoveries, a widespread appreciation of 16th-17th-Century Lombard and Emilian painting, local artists, followers of Leonardo – especially Luini – and, among the contemporaries, Pompeo Batoni. A closer examination is dedicated to the picture gallery of Flaminio Della Torre di Rezzonico, brother of Anton Gioseffo and ucle of Carlo Castone, showing it was made up of both inherited and newly acquired works. Among the latter, the panel with Dido and Aeneas (now at Museo Borgogna in Vercelli), attributed to Andrea Mantegna at the time, as was another highlight of the collection, a Trumph of Ceasar. In conclusion, the 19th-Century fortunes of Rezzonico’s collection, until the final auction sale in Milan (1898), are complicated by losses and additions that altered its nature, from a fine late-18th-Century gallery to a strikingly eclectic assortment.
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