History of the collection

Consistency and character of the collections

2,700 pieces (paintings, drawings, sculptures) collected since 1850 through a focused policy of purchases by the Municipality and a series of donations by private collectors, the collections were opened with the legacy by Odone of Savoy and enriched with the bequeaths of the Frugone brothers, now exhibited in the museum as part of the Frugone Collections.

Like any Gallery of Modern Art, the Genoese documents with pieces of an exceptional quality the artistic production of the 19th-20th century in the region: from neoclassicism to WWII, the collections of the museum illustrate in a comprehensive manner and with unique pieces the cultural history of Genoa and Liguria

It features the richest public collection of the naturalist Scuola dei Grigi, with pieces by Tammar Luxoro, Serafín De Avendaño, Alberto Issel, Benedetto Musso, Alfredo D’Andrade, and Ernesto Rayper.

It also presents the romantic production by Giuseppe Frascheri and Francesco Gandolfi, beautiful en plein air landscapes by the Macchiaioli Vincenzo Cabianca and Luigi Bechi, and views of Genoa by the Venetian Ippolito Caffi, the Ticinese Carlo Bossoli, the Ligurian Pasquale Domenico Cambiaso. It also includes important paintings by Gerolamo and Domenico Induno, Massimo D’Azeglio, Francesco Inganni, Francesco Gonin, Angelo Dall’Oca Bianca, Egisto Lancerotto, Pompeo Mariani, Alessandro Milesi, Domenico Morelli, the orientalist Alberto Pasini, the barbizonnier Charles Daubigny, Lorenzo Delleani; also, sculptures by Vincenzo Vela and Medardo Rosso complete the 19th-century national overview.

It is the only public collection of fourteen paintings by Merello Rubaldo, many by Nicolò Barabino, and seven further paintings by the Tuscan Plinio Nomellini, two of which are about 21 square yards.

It also features the prestigious plaster casts galleries of the great Roman sculptor Giulio Monteverde (56 sculptures) and Ligurian Edoardo De Albertis (35 casts, plus further bronze pieces). Today, international critical studies heavily focus on the reappraisal of plaster casts, thanks to their actual “originality” as a result of the direct workmanship by the sculptor.

As for the 20th century, the collections exhibit great paintings and sculptures by Eugenio Olivari, Giuseppe Pennasilico, Andrea Figari, Federico Maragliano, Antonio Varni, Dario Bardinero, Eugenio Baroni, Ave Bassano, Rodolfo Castagnino, Antonio Discovolo, Giuseppe Cominetti, G. B. Costa, Pietro Dodero, Alberto Helios Gagliardo, Guido Galletti, Pietro e Alf Gaudenzi, Cornelio Geranzani, Domenico Guerello, Gaston La Touche, Adolfo Lucarini, Guido Micheletti, Domingo Motta, Eso Peluzzi, Lino Perissinotti, Giacomo Picollo, Giovanni e Tullio Salvatore Quinzio, Giuseppe Raggio, Emanuele Rambaldi, Paolo S. Rodocanachi, Giuseppe Sacheri, Antonio Santagata, Adriana Spallarossa, Libero Verzetti, Angelo Vernazza, Cesare Viazzi and many more, purchased by the Municipality at the Biennales of Venice and Monza, the Roman Secessions, and the Ligurian Promotrici and Sindacali.

As a result of a clever campaign of purchases by the Municipality of Genoa and donations between the 1950s-70s, the collection also features many artists of international stature, including Gaetano Previati, Leonardo Bistolfi, Libero Andreotti, Anselmo Bucci, Corrado Cagli, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Felice Carena, Felice Casorati, Raffaele De Grada, Fortunato Depero, Filippo De Pisis, Antonio Donghi, Ferruccio Ferrazzi, Fillia, Napoleone Fiumi, Renato Guttuso, Mario Mafai, Antonietta Raphaël Mafai, Arturo Martini – with four pieces, including the precious and unique life-sized terracotta of the Convalescente –, Tullio d’Albisola, Francesco Messina – with three bronzes –, Roberto Melli, Enrico Paulucci, Primo Conti, Giovanni Prini, Fausto Pirandello, Alberto Salietti, Carlo Socrate, and Arturo Tosi. As a result of a clever campaign of purchases by the Municipality of Genoa and donations between the 1950s-70s, the collection also features many artists of international stature, including Gaetano Previati, Leonardo Bistolfi, Libero Andreotti, Anselmo Bucci, Corrado Cagli, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Felice Carena, Felice Casorati, Raffaele De Grada, Fortunato Depero, Filippo De Pisis, Antonio Donghi, Ferruccio Ferrazzi, Fillia, Napoleone Fiumi, Renato Guttuso, Mario Mafai, Antonietta Raphaël Mafai, Arturo Martini – with four pieces, including the precious and unique life-sized terracotta of the Convalescente –, Tullio d’Albisola, Francesco Messina – with three bronzes –, Roberto Melli, Enrico Paulucci, Primo Conti, Giovanni Prini, Fausto Pirandello, Alberto Salietti, Carlo Socrate, and Arturo Tosi.

The museum also collects pieces of contemporary art, exclusively by Ligurian artists such as Edoardo Alfieri, Rocco Borella, Aldo Bosco, Enrico Bruzzone, Antonia Cardia, Renato Cenni, Sandro Cherchi, Linda Ferrario, Roberta Ferrarese, Adelina Zandrino, Giannetto Fieschi, Attilio Mangini, Roberto Martone, Plinio Mesciulam, Lorenzo Garaventa, Emilio Scanavino, Pietro Geranzani, Francesco Arena, Roberto Merani, and Raimondo Sirotti.