The private apartment
In the oldest wing of the building is the apartment in which Pietro Canonica lived and worked from the 16th August 1927 until the 8th June 1959, the day on which he died. The apartment was opened to the public in 1988 and became part of the museum’s itinerary after the death of Maria Assunta Riggio Canonica, the artist’s second wife, who continued to live in the house after the sculptor’s death. Signora Riggio was indeed nominated “Honorary Conservator” of the Canonica Archive by the Municipality of Rome.
The rooms of the appartment were restored and completely furnished by Pietro Canonica in an XVIII century Piedmontese style, giving pre-eminence to a conception of the representative spaces which proclaim his public image. These rooms, therefore, mirror the spirit of the artist, his times and his social circle, creating in the wide spectrum of Roman museums a unique example of a museum-house.
A small antichamber from which it is possible to admire the Music Room, the most prestigious and beautiful of the apartments. On the wall is displayed a large painting by Vittorio Cavalleri titled Donizetti writing his last work (1897). Beneath the painting is a large Venetian chest from the seventeenth century, inlaid with ivory. On a console-table with a looking glass there is a set of framed photographs, some with dedication. They are photographs of the artist’s illustrious acquaintances: the Grand Duchess of Russia Kirillo with a child, the Baroness Toinon von Essen, the General Scalon and Isabella d'Orleans. On the walls are two photographs of Queen Marie of Romania, dressed with beautiful traditional clothes and hats, and even a photograph, taken in 1910, of the Czarina Alexandra Fedorovna of Russia, while posing for Pietro Canonica.