We The Italians | Italian culture and history: The Rivoli Castle

Italian culture and history: The Rivoli Castle

Italian culture and history: The Rivoli Castle

  • WTI Magazine #74 Dec 14, 2015
  • 884

WTI Magazine #74    2015 December 11
Author : italia.it      Translation by:

The Rivoli Castle perches on a hill in the beautiful Val di Susa at the gates of Turin. Once the Savoy residence, new restoration work bringing the castle back to its fully glory has given it a new lease of life and since 1984 it houses the Museum of Contemporary Art which hosts one of the most updated Italian collections of contemporary art.

An ancient IX century fortified house, it was gradually transformed by the Savoy family into a magnificent private residence, expanded by subsequent interventions in '500, and in '600. The structure was heavily damaged by the French army in 1693, following the fate of other important buildings such as the Royal Palace of Venaria. In 1700, regenerating Rivoli became the express wish of Vittorio Amedeo II, who first called on Michelangelo Garove and then, in 1718, on Filippo Juvarra whose actions were decisive and are still visible. However, the latter's project remained unfinished.

The residence which was a jewel of the House of Savoy for five centuries later became a barracks, thus beginning a slow decline which was only interrupted by the organization of exhibitions in late '800 which ensured the Court returned to the Castle for a short time. The castle was first abandoned and then transferred to the Municipality and rapidly degraded over the last century; it took years of restoration to be able to reopen to the public as the site of the new museum.

The museum
The Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art was established taking into account the prestigious architectural remains of the building in which it is located, and pays particular attention to the multiple forms of expression of contemporary art by housing theatre performances, concerts, exhibitions of films and artistic videos, series of meetings, but also symposia and round tables dedicated to all the artistic disciplines.

The collections

The permanent collection
This collection documents works belonging to crucial moments in the development of contemporary art in Italy and abroad: from the mid-60s until today. The core of the collection consists of works of Transavantgarde, Minimal art, Body art, Land Art including the latest international trends in addition to many works of Arte Povera.

Video Collection
The collection was started in 2000 and includes a number of artistic films and videos, but also documentaries concerning the artists, produced by Nam June Paik, Bill Viola and recently Vanessa Beecroft amongst others.

The Museum of Advertising
This collection includes more than 2,000 posters and original sketches from the '30s to the '80s by artists such as Dudovich, Cassandre, Armando Testa, Gino Boccasile and posters of ENIT and other public bodies from various eras. The audio-visual material, in addition to the famous "Caroselli" (renowned Italian prime time advertising spots), presents cinema and television commercials including the entire collection of advertising films which have received awards at the International festivals in Cannes and Venice since 1954.