Pellizza da Volpedo’s Museum
The permanent museum is dedicated to the life and works of the painter Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo.
It is located on the ground floor of the Palazzo del Torraglio, which gives on to the Piazza Quarto Stato, one of the most ancient sites of settlement in the town, in front of the Palazzo Malaspina, the Town Hall. The square is where Pellizza set his famous painting "The Fourth Estate".
Visitors can explore the six rooms in which the palace’s ground floor is divided. Explanatory panels, photographs, documents and various objects present Volpedo and Pellizza in different sections, describing his artistic journey from realism to symbolism, with particular attention paid to the cycles inspired by the theme of love and nature. Particular care has been reserved for the “construction” of his artworks, especially through the examples of The Procession (a crucial work in as he switched to the Divisionist technique) and The Fourth Estate, with plenty of space dedicated to the decades spent working on it.
Then come specific sections on technique that allow a closer exploration of Pellizza’s studio, covering all the material aspects of making art: paints, with the reconstruction of the pigments used by Pellizza, but also supports, canvas preparation and frames.
Pellizza da Volpedo’s Studio
Along Via Rosano in Volpedo, the back of Pellizza’s house looks over an irrigation canal, the construction terminates with a large parallelepiped that served as Giuseppe Pellizza’s studio, the atelier where he painted, practised and studied, with fields and the countryside in front of him. It was built by the painter in 1889 and later extended, until it took on its current appearance in 1896, with a large zenithal skylight. It was donated by Pellizza’s two daughters to the town of Volpedo in 1966 and owes its current appearance to a restoration that returned it to its original condition between 1986 and 1994, the year it opened to the public. Pellizza did not have access to the studio from Via Rosano, but entered directly from his house. The current entrance by the canal has been made necessary following the donation of the studio, separating it from the house, which still belongs to the family. Once inside, the studio is surprisingly spacious, with a perimeter of 6.5 by 8.25 metres, and a height of 5.5 metres. The restoration works returned the walls to the same colour Pellizza had painted them. The overpainted layers of other colours were scraped off, revealing a dark but warm sienna, tending towards brown. This kind of intense colour was common in many 19th-century ateliers. Where the walls met the ceiling, Pellizza painted an architectural fascia, skilfully playing with monochrome tones to produce the effective illusion of a moulded cornice.
Other monuments in Volpedo
Parish church of Saint Peter, XVII century: on S. Luigi Gonzaga's altar a painting by Pellizza (1894)
XV century relief in the Town Hall (Piazza Libertà n. 26)
Saint Peter's church: documented in 965, romanesque style with XIV-XV century frescos.
In the surroundings
Tortona (Derthona, roman foundation): Cathedral; Guidobono Palace (XV century); Pinacoteca del Divisionismo, with masterpiece by Pellizza; Diocesan Museum;
Viguzzolo: romanesque church
Volpedo's peach and strawberry; Montebore Cheese from Val Curone; Truffles (Tuber Magnatum Pico); Mushrooms; Chestnuts;
Wines: DOC "Colli Tortonesi": Barbera, Cortese, Cortese Spumante naturale; Colli Tortonesi Croatina Doc; Colli Tortonesi Chiaretto; Colli Tortonesi Timorasso
13 maggio: Castelli Aperti, open 16.00-19.00, guided tour at 16.00.
September: 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Pellizza, exhibitions and special events in Volpedo and nearby.
Open all year round: Saturday, Sunday and holidays (6 January; Easter; 2 and 25 April; 1 May; 2 June; 15 August; 1 November; 8 and 26 December.
Open by appointment for groups (min. 10 people).
Guided tours in english or french by appointment.