Florence, 10th June 2021. Tomorrow – Friday, 11th June – will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vittoria Galli (11th June 1871) who, in 1931 went to live in their elegant estate – today home of Palazzo dei Congressi – which takes its name from her, along with her husband Alessandro Contini Bonacossi, eclectic collector and cosmopolitan patron of the arts.
Extroverted and convivial, Donna Vittoria helped her husband acquire their works of art, contributing to the creation of one of the richest and most prestigious collections of 20th century, with masterpieces by great past masters such as Sandro Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Raphael, Della Robbias, Titian, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese and contemporary artists including De Chirico, Carrà, Sironi, Rosai, Armando Spadini, Primo Conti, Ardengo Soffici, Marino Marini, Achille Funi, Arturo Martini and Romano Romanelli.
To honour Vittoria Galli, Firenze Fiera and the Uffizi Gallery are organising an event culminating on 18th November 2021 with a study and conference day on “Villa Vittoria and its Masterpieces. The Story of Alessandro and Vittoria Contini Bonacossi” and, on the following days – from 19th to 21st November – with guided tours to the Contini Bonacossi Collection, hosted inside the Uffizi, and to the Monumental Halls of Villa Vittoria.
Welcomed also by the Contini Bonacossi family, who offered their full availability, this initiative will also give the opportunity to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the birth of Gio Ponti, famous architect and designer, born in Milan on 18th November 1891. Alessandro and Vittoria commissioned him the prestigious planning and designing part of the furniture of their apartment, located on the top floor, much of which is still preserved and can be admired inside the palace.
“Villa Vittoria – as noted by Federico Zeri in 1995 – was a masterpiece of Italian 20th-century furniture. Those desks, chairs, doors, and bookshelves – made by extremely skilled cabinet makers and bronze workers – opened my eyes on the exceptional quality of style and execution invention which distinguished Italian architecture and crafts between the late 1920s and the following decade”.
“We are extremely proud and happy to honour Vittoria Galli and Gio Ponti, who had the merit to add charm, culture and beauty to our spaces – said Lorenzo Becattini, President of Firenze Fiera.“The co-operation with the Uffizi Gallery follows the direction undertaken by the new Firenze Fiera governance, aiming at an increasing interaction between the city and its territory, promoting cultural events which ensure the continuity of the historical memory of our venues, and encouraging aggregation among the many different institutional, economic and cultural organizations, to create an increasingly vibrant and challenging debate”.
“Once again, the Uffizi Gallery goes beyond its museum walls – added Director Eike Schmidt. “These initiatives to celebrate Gio Ponti and Vittoria Galli Contini give us the opportunity to shed a spotlight on this great woman from the past and on Italian design within the world of arts”.