National Art Gallery of Bologna
Located near the famous Due Torri, the National Art Gallery of Bologna was built inside the former 17th-century Jesuit Noviciate of Saint Ignatius, space destined to welcome young aspiring members of the Society of Jesus.
The building, in addition to house the National Art Gallery of Bologna, is also the seat of the Academy of Fine Arts and Superintendence for Historical, Artistic and Ethno-panthological heritage: a real conservation, exposition and protection centre of the historical and artistic heritage of the region and not only.
The National Art Gallery of Bologna: the origins.
The National Art Gallery of Bologna rises on the debris of the former Accademia Clementina, art section of the Institute of Science, which first art collection is that of Monsignor Giacomo Zambeccari, who purchased eight paintings dating back to the early 16th century and until then conserved in the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.
In the following years, another twelve paintings and Byzantine icons were purchased with the precise purpose to add to the Academy’s collection.
The National Art Gallery of Bologna and Collection of Paintings of the Academy of Fine Arts.
The 19th-century was one of the historic periods during which the collection was most expanded, which can be viewed today inside the museum of the National Art Gallery of Bologna.
Following the arrival of Napoleonic troops, the fall of the papacy led to the closing of numerous churches and convents which works were gathered in a single collection, as ordered by the Bolognese senate. The collected paintings, almost one thousand, were first preserved at the former Convent of Saint Vitale until 1802, when they were transferred to the newly instituted Painting Collection of the Academy of Fine Arts.
The National Art Gallery of Bologna between the 19th and 20th century.
During the first half of the 19th century, the National Art Gallery of Bologna was significantly expanded such to also include the Convent chapel, which ceiling vault still preserves nowadays the fresco of La Gloria di Sant’Ignazio (The Glory of the Saint).
However, the works hosted at the National Art Gallery of Bologna were made accessible to the public only in 1875. Just a few years later, the Painting Collection became an independent structure, detached from the Academy.
Other various expansion works of the National Art Gallery of Bologna were executed throughout the 20th century: from the construction of a new wing during the early century, to the design of the Salone del Rinascimento (Renaissance hall) during the late ‘60s, to the complete restoration works in the late ‘90s, the National Art Gallery of Bologna is currently one of the main important Italian art galleries.
The works of the collection of the National Art Gallery of Bologna.
The display itinerary of the National Art Gallery of Bologna consists of over thirty halls, starting from the 14th-century historical testimonies up to works dating back to the 18th century.
Among the most famous names of the artists whose works are displayed, we remember in particular Giotto, Raffaello, Passerotti, the Carracci brothers, whose artistic spirit is common to other numerous Italian painters.