The National Museum of Capodimonte results from an extensive original core of works from the collection of the Farnese family, one of the most important families of the Italian Renaissance, which counts among its most illustrious members, and great connoisseur in matters of art, Alessandro Farnese, who became Pope as Paul III (1534-1549). From one of his last descendant, Elisabetta Farnese, the collection, full in all kinds of artistic objects, drawings, paintings, weapons and armor, and items of decorative arts, passed to his son Carlo di Borbone. The latter, who became king of Naples in 1734, wanted to build a hunting lodge in the woods of Capodimonte, on a hill in Naples from which he could watch the beautiful bay and its islands. The building under the direction of Giovanni Antonio Medrano began in 1738, but the Royal Palace can’t be said finished until the first half of the eighteenth century, thanks to the important work of Ferdinando Sanfelice and Ferdinando Fuga, who finished the construction of the Palace and started and finished, in the park surrounding, the Royal Factory of Capodimonte porcelain and a church dedicated to St. Gennaro. It was important and innovative that the project of the same Palace was made forecasting to receiving the important family collection. The collection and the complex followed the historical development of the country, so you can remember the transformation of the building as exclusive royal residence during the French occupation (1806-1815) by Joseph Bonaparte and Joachim Murat, who moved the whole collection to the “Palace of the studies”, the present headquarters of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. After the Restoration it continued to be a royal residence first for the Borbone and then for the Savoia, in 1861 with the unification of Italy. Thanks to the work of the director of the royal House of Savoia the collection continues to be enriched with decorative objects and works of art from the Borbone’s former residences or from alive artists. Only in 1957 the Royal Palace of Capodimonte stopped to be a residence, received collections of medieval and modern art, preserved in the National Archeological Museum of Naples, and it opened to the public as the “National Museum and Galleries of Capodimonte“. The Museum has four levels: the ground floor houses the Cabinet of Drawings and Prints, with cartoons by Michelangelo and Raphael; the first floor houses, in addition to the historical flat, the rich Farnese collection (Masaccio, Botticelli, Titian, Brueghel…), the armory and the gallery of porcelain; on the second floor there is the Neapolitan gallery, with works from XII to XVIII century (Caravaggio, Ribera, Giordano, Solimena …), and the Tapestry’s Room, and finally, at the third floor it’s exhibited a collection of works of the nineteenth century and contemporary art (Burri, Warhol …), with a photo section.


Leave a reply