The National Gallery is one of three museums in Parma that have their seat in the Palazzo della Pilotta. Although a good part of the collection was moved to Naples by the last descendent of the Farnese family, it is still worth visiting this, mostly medieval and Renaissance art collection.
National Gallery Parma
Address Galleria Nazionale: Piazza della Pilotta, 3 – Parma. Phone: +39 0521 220400. Phone: . Opening hours: From 10.30 till 18.30. Closed: Monday. Price: 12 Euros (This price includes a visit to the other museums in the Palazzo della Pilotta.).
History and description
The original art collection came from the Ducale Accademia di Belle Arti. This Academy had been founded in 1752 by Duke Philips of Bourbon. To this nucleus were added objects found at the archaelogical site of Veleia and paintings by the winners of the annual competitions held in the Palazzo della Pilotta.
When the last member of the Farnese family became King Charles of Bourbon he decided to move a big part of his family’s art collection to Naples. The present collection consists of paintings acquired after 1734 in Tuscany, artworks that were returned from France after having been taken away by napoleon and his troops and the works bought my Maria Luigia d’Austria while she was Duchess of Parma (1816-1847).
The intinerary of the Galleria starts at the Teatro Farnese, which is included in the visit.
The oldest works in the collection date back to the Middle Ages. There are several works by the local painters Correggio and Pamigianino. Other famous artists represented are Beato Angelico, Cima da Conegliano, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giulio Romano, the Carracci brothers, Guercino, El Greco, Tiepolo, Canaletto and Van Dyck.
What to see
One of the main attractions of the museum is Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Scapigliata”. Very little is known about this drawing, not even when or for whom he made it.
The Correggio paintings include (“Madonna di San Girolamo, Martyrdom of Four Saints, the Madonna della Scala. There is also a fresco “Coronation of the Virgin” that has been detached from its original position.
Parmigianino is represented with a “Turkish Slave Girl”.
There are also sculptures (a.o. by the medieval architect and sculptor Benedetto Antelami) and a section dedicated to graphic art.