To improve the collections of the National Museums also means to recover artworks that were made in Lucca or commissioned for Lucca, in order to restore dismembered polyptychs, put works of art back to their original place, enlarge the collection of works by local artists. In addition to the purchases on the antique market or from private collectors, funded by ministerial grants, the number of acquisitions can grow also thanks to direct donations from living artists or their heirs.
MARIO NUZZI, known as “MARIO DEI FIORI” (Rome 1603-1676)
1) Flowers in a decorated ceramic vase, oil on canvas, cm 98,5 x 74
2) Flowers in an embossed metal vase with handles, oil on canvas, cm 98,5 x 74
The purchase was proposed to the Soprintendenza of Lucca and Massa Carrara by antique dealer Ulisse Bocchi. The paintings were purchased by the Ministry of cultural heritage and activities. They are currently displayed in the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi.
They were part of a series of eleven painted by Mario dei Fiori for the noble Mansi family of Lucca. Among the works originally painted by Mario dei Fiori for the Mansis, the four owned by Bocchi (two of which were purchased) bear the same numbers fire-branded on the wood and painted on the canvases; the 18th-century frames in white lacquer and gold are also identical. The two paintings are perfectly preserved.
GASPARE LANDI (Piacenza 1745 – Rome 1830)
Portrait of Teresa Bandettini in Arcadia Amarilli Etrusca, as a Muse in an Ideal Landscape, oil on cavas, cm 136 x 98.
The purchase was proposed to the Soprintendenza of Lucca and Massa Carrara by antique dealer Francesca Antonacci. The painting was purchased by the Ministry of cultural heritage and activities. It is currently displayed in the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi.
Fernando Mazzocca ascribed this painting to Florentine artist Gaspare Landi, one of the most important neo-classical painters in Rome. The perfectly preserved painting represents poet and writer Teresa Bandettini (Lucca 1763 – 1837), one of the most famous women of letters of her time.
LUCCAN (?) PAINTER OF THE 17th CENTURY
The Barsotti chapel in the church of Sant’Agostino, Lucca, painted between 1657 and 1662, oil on canvas, cm 73 x 43
The purchase was proposed to the Soprintendenza of Lucca and Massa Carrara by Mr. Vincenzo Tani of Lucca. The painting was purchased by the Ministry of cultural heritage and activities. It is currently displayed in the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi.
The painting is an exceptionally important document as it provides evidence of the appearance of the Barsotti chapel shortly after the half of the 17th century. The chapel, located to the left of the high altar in the church of Sant’ Agostino in Lucca, had been frescoed by Pistoia-born artist Giacinto Gemignani (1611 – 1681), who had also decorated the Boccella chapel, dedicated to the Madonna del Sasso. The painting is extremely interesting as it testifies to a series of now-lost decorative elements; it is a one-of-a-kind work as it is not meant as a preliminary sketch preceding Gemignani’s intervention, but as a “photographic” image depicting the appearance of the chapel after said intervention.