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.
The room is furnished with chairs, armchairs, sofas and a corner cupboard manufactured in Piedmont in 1750. On the back wall are two doors with painted panels of the mid-eighteenth century. The hall is dominated by the Erard grand piano, on which Pietro Canonica used to compose his musical works. On the music stand, the score of the Medea. The room accommodates a considerable collection of paintings representative of the Piedmontese artists of the second half of the nineteenth century, that is the most interesting part of Pietro Canonica's art collection. They are mainly by landscape painters from the Albertina Academy of Turin. These include: Landscape by Antonio Fontanesi (ca. 1865), Sunset (1892) and The Moon Rises Over the Hill of San Giovanni (1903) by Giovanni Piumati, Fir Forest in the Val d’Aosta (1905) by Carlo Pollonera and The Morozzo Park (1889) by Lorenzo Delleani. Other notable works are realist paintings such as the Desert in oriental Persia (1857) and Knights at a Pool (1857) by Alberto Pasini. Finally there is the beautiful altarpiece depicting Santa Giustina, painting attributed to the Piedmontese painter Defendente Ferrari (whose production goes from 1509 to 1535).