The Galleria Carlo Virgilio opened over thirty years ago in 1979 with the show Disegni romani di figura (1800-1870), pioneering a revival in neoclassical and academy drawings in Italy. From those early days over one hundred catalogues have been printed for our Via della Lupa premises, relating both to exhibitions held here and to the many single acquisitions made over the years.
The gallery has always taken particular pride in the academic research that goes into its publications, even in times when scientifically researched catalogues were somewhat of a rarity in the antiques market. It is thanks to the collaborations we have cultivated with established experts such as Anna Ottani Cavina, Marisa Volpi, Italo Faldi, Maurizio Fagiolo Dell’Arco, Jean Clair, Roberta J. M. Olson, Christoph Luitpold Frommel, Fernando Mazzocca, Orietta Rossi Pinelli, Mario Quesada, Marina Miraglia, Joseph J. Rishel, Nicola Spinosa, Emilie Beck Saiello, Alvar González-Palacios, Elisabeth Kieven, Giovanna Capitelli, Luisa Martorelli, Francesco Leone, Giuseppe Porzio, Steffi Roettgen, Liliana Barroero and Renzo Mangili – to name but a few – that our catalogues have earned appreciation as a reliable reference by both historians and collectors.
After beginning with a very specialized interest in late 18th to early 20th century drawing, the gallery reached out to painting and sculpture, mostly the works by Italian and foreign artists active in Italy between 18th and 19th century, also extending its chronological horizons to include the 17th Century and exhibitions of contemporary art.
Since the 2000s Carlo Virgilio forged a partnership with Stefano Grandesso, known for his studies on 19th century European sculpture. Among his many achievements, Grandesso has cooperated to the three major shows devoted to Antonio Canova at Milan’s Palazzo Reale, Villa Borghese in Rome and the Musei di San Domenico in Forlì, edited together with Fernando Mazzocca and Francesco Leone. He has also edited two important monographs devoted to Pietro Tenerani and Bertel Thorvaldsen, in 2015 also available in English. Grandesso has given a more specialized and academic slant to the gallery’s activities, which now caters for private collectors as well as for those operating in the public and institutional spheres.
Among the gallery’s recent and most noteworthy collaborations in this sense, we are proud to list the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in Urbino, the Reggia in Caserta, the Musée du Louvre, the Musée de l’Armée in Paris, the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, Rome’s Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, the Musée de la Révolution in Vizille, Fondazione Roma, the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi in Lucca, the Art Institute in Chicago, the Wolfsonian-Fiu in Miami, the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna, the Berkeley Art Museum, CA.
The gallery has a photographic archive of roughly ten thousand negatives, which is available for consultation.