Fin de siècle atmosphere in this small but valuable museum, in the heart of Villa Borghese and dedicated to the artist Pietro Canonica (1869-1959). Sculptor of international reputation, composer, and music lover himself, he spent his formative years in Turin in the last years of the 19th century, prior to a long period passed in the courts of Europe, where he received several commissions from the aristocracy such as portraits and commemorative monuments.
He, already renowned, moved to Rome, and in 1927 managed to get the municipal concession for the building that today is the museum. He used it as his home and atelier, undertaking in exchange that, when he died, he would leave all the works that he collected there over the years to furnish it as a museum in his name. That was the origin of this unusual museum, which gives all aspects of Canonica’s life, both private and professional.
There are different perspectives that this Museum offers to its visitors: the private apartment, rich in valuable furnishings and paintings of the 19th century, tells the deep universe of memories and affections of the artist; the atelier, place of inspiration and creativity, testifies to the technical expertise of the artist; the exhibition halls, where you can admire a large part of his work: sketches, models, casts and sculptures in a gallery that represents the tumultuous history between the end of the 19th and first half of the 20th century, and gives an overview of different techniques of sculpture.
Just like a book, this Museum offers different chapters for the visitor to discover: Pietro Canonica's private apartment on the first floor, with its wealth of exquisite furnishings and nineteenth century Piedmont paintings, represents the intimate universe of the artist's memories and personal effects; the sculptor's studio on the ground floor, which still constitutes a vibrant and palpable source of inspiration. It is also testament to Canonica's technical expertise, who at the age of ninety had left his spatulas still covered with clay and plaster in front of his last endeavour, the sketch he was making of the monument at Paisiello; finally, the various exhibition halls where visitors can admire a wide range of his artwork: sketches, models, casts, sculptures, from the smaller busts to the large equestrian statues, which in addition to taking us through the tumultuous history at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, also provide a teaching-learning opportunity on the different stages and processes in the art of sculpture.
The life of Pietro Canonica dedicated entirely to art, and art handed back in its entirety to the public. La Fortezzuola Referred to as the “Hen House” in seventeenth century documents, it was used to rear ostriches, peacocks and ducks. The current name comes from the characteristic Medieval palisaded turret, dating back to the end of the eighteenth century. The Museum hosts cultural events and exhibitions: conferences, conventions, concerts, book or magazine presentations. It houses a library of about 2200 books, consisting partly of the artist's own private collection, and partly by newly acquired publications specialising in sculpture and the figurative arts from the XIX and XX centuries. There is also an extensive photographic archive available.
From Tuesday to Sunday
October - May 10.00-16.00
24 and 31 December 10.00-14.00
June - September 13.00-19.00
Last admission half an hour before closing
Monday, 1 January, 1 May and 25 December
Museums and cultural sites are subject at the COVID containment measures
The museum is partially accessible to disabled people
For further information please consult the page Disabled people Access
The use of strollers is not allowed on the first floor
ALWAYS CHECK the NOTICE PAGE before planning your visit in the museum
To find out about all accessibility services, visit the Rome accessible section.