The Depositories: a second gallery

The eighteen rooms in the depository re-opened to the public: 224 paintings not to be missed

The inauguration of the Palazzo Bianco Gallery in 1950 caused quite the sensation. Not only for the innovative modern nature of its arrangement, but also for the careful attention with which, besides the two main floors, Caterina Marcenaro conceived and Franco Albini designed the depositories: not as a place to hide art pieces, but rather to preserve them and make them visible to experts, art enthusiasts, and tourists.
The Palazzo Bianco has a large space devoted to the depositories, located in the upper mezzanine over the same surface as the other floors
The paintings are presented with the same criteria as in the Gallery, obviously in a tighter arrangement, with bulkheads at the centre of the rooms to optimise the space. The exhibition was designed to be open to the public as a second Gallery, as a “reserve” where to draw from to vary and expand the main exhibition, or to display paintings awaiting restoration or currently being the subject of research.
A rich depository is an invaluable asset to a museum, as it provides the opportunity to change and reinvent itself.
Today, the depository has been fully revised and updated in its scientific ordering, enriched with a large number of newly acquired or re-assigned works, including many of artists who had never been featured in the museum.
A total of 224 paintings is on display in 18 rooms.
The overview of Genoese painting between 16-18th century is very broad, followed by a section on Italian artists and one devoted to Flemish, Dutch, and French painters.
The exhibition begins with the paintings by Genoese masters of the 16th century (Luca Cambiaso, Cesare Corte, Lazzaro Calvi), early 17th century (Bernardo Castello, Giovan Battista Paggi, Simone Barabino, Strozzi, Giovanni Andrea De Ferrari, Domenico Fiasella, Giovanni Carlone, Orazio De Ferrari, Anton Maria Vassallo, Luciano Borzone), and late 17th century (Valerio Castello, Stefano Magnasco) ; there is also a large number of paintings and reproductions of masterpieces created by “Casa Piola”, with works by Domenico, Anton Maria and Paolo Gerolamo, including a series of sketches for fresco decorations by the latter. The section ends with the paintings by Raffaele Badaracco, Gregorio De Ferrari, as well as the 18th-century portraits by Gio. Enrico Vaymer, Domenico Parodi and Mulinaretto, and landscapes of Genoese origin from the same time period.
Finally, the depositories exhibit 15th-16th-century paintings by Italian artists, as well as Flemish and Dutch masters, such as Van Deynen, Wildens, De Wael, Daniel van den Dijck, Joos de Momper, Malò and Tempesta.