Capodimonte National Museum - Naples
The National Museum of Capodimonte can be described as the first Museum nucleus of Naples.
It is a building of historical prestige, situated in a splendid position on the hilltop, filled with important and very precious nuclei of collections.
The Museum is set up with efficient museographic solution, which like the particular illuminations of the rooms on the second floor, highlight the splendour of the priceless works that are collected there.
There characteristics make it without doubt a great “universal” Museum – in the manner of the concept and image of "Naples as a great European capital of art and culture".
This was the idea that inspired Charles of Bourbon in the mid 18th century, to build the Royal Palace – where many priceless and highly regarded artistic materials are displayed, that document the varied and important experiences that developed over the centuries in the East and West in Europe and Italy.
At the National Museum of Capodimonte it is possible to admire the splendid collections of "Polychrome Porcelain", manufactured in the famous “porcellana tenera” of the Royal Factory of Capodimonte.
The collections of various renowned foreign factories of the 18th century, namely Meissen, WedgWood, Sevres, Hochst, Vhinese works by Kangxi (1660-1700), and 18th century Japanese porcelain are also on display.
Visitors can also admire the precious works in ivory, amber and the Gothic Farnesian enamels, engraved rock crystals, medals, the tapestries of the Bourbon Collection and of the D’avalos Tapestry Gallery, silver and bronze items, furniture from the late 18th century and other furnishing items of the Court.
The oldest nucleus is made up of the "Farnese Collection", has been somewhat enriched over the years with the acquisition of Collections of notable interest, including just to name a few, the "D’avalos Collection" of 1862 and the "De Ciccio Collection" of 1958, which have made the original nucleus even more prized, with Hispanic Arabic majolica pieces from the 15th to 16th centuries, ceramic and porcelain items, and a rare and important collection of Venetian glasswork.
THE FARNESE GALLERY
In the rooms of the “piano nobile” we find the Farnese works, among which, in primis, the famous “Picture Gallery” a dense succession of paintings on board and canvas (mostly from the Emilian School), that make up an stimulation documentation of painting in the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy and Europe.
Among the more interesting paintings belonging to the Farnese Collection, we could mention the unforgettable "Madonna of Divine Love", of 1517 by Raphael Sanzio, and the portrait of the Cardinal "Alessandro Farnese" (future Pope Paul III), of 1509, by Raphael Sanzio, symbol of the politics of the “image” and artistic patronage on which the Farnese family founded their prestige and grandeuer; the magnetic gaze of the portrait of "Galeazzo Sanvitale", of 1524, by Parmigianino; the magnificent "Mystic Wedding of St. Catherine", of 1585, by Annibale Carracci, a follower of the 16th century classicism of Correggio and Raphael; the precios copy of the "Universale Judgement” which Michelangelo originally created for the Sistine Chapel, by Marcello Venusti (c.1550); the seductive "Danae" of 1544-1546 by Titian Vecellio, commissioned by Alessandro Farnese for his bed chamber; the wonderful play of light and shadow in the "Boy lighting a candle", of 1575 by El Greco; the "Misanthropist" and the "Parable of the Blind", of 1568, by Pieter Bruegel; the "Fall of Icarus", oil on copper of 1606, one of six small, extraordinary mythological scenes inspired by "Ovid’s Metamorphosis" by Carlo Saraceni, a painter from Veneto.
Still on the first floor, there is the collection of 18th and 19th century decorative arts and furnishings, finely engraved precious crystals of rock, antique gems and cameos, sculptures, bronzes and the "Farnese Gallery of Rare Things", which includes a precious table trophy in gilded silver (c.1610), with an automatic mechanism, and the famous "Farnese Casket", a unique example of 16th century jewellery, made in gilded silver, rock crystals, enamel and lapis lazuli, decorated by layered relieves on every side, both internally and externally, with figures of gods and battle scenes.
THE ROYAL ARMOURY
The Royal Collection of Farnesian and Bourbonic Arms is one of the most important collections of its kind, with about 4000 different pieces.
It is made up of a number of important and valuable armour weapons and firearms of the Farnesian or Bourbonic periods.
There are collections of German, English and Northern Italian arms of exceptional workmanship and a group of arms that is considered Bourbonic in as much as the pieces were collected by the King of Naples, and were mostly produced by the Royal Factory of Capodimonte, founded in 1734 by King Charles of Bourbon.
THE GALLERY OF ARTS IN NAPLES
On the second floor, the gallery of “The Arts in Naples from the 13th to 18th centuries” is dedicated to Neapolitan works that mostly come from Churches and Monasteries which were suppressed during the 1800s, and the d’Avalos Collection.
Among the more important pictorial works, there is the marvellous and beautiful illuminated altarpiece by Simone Martini, "St. Ludovico of Toulouse" of 1317 (from the Church of San Lorenzo Maggiore in Naples), the "Tavola Strozzi" (Strozzi Table), the View of Naples with the return of the Aragonese fleet, by an unknown 15th century painter, acquired from the Strozzi Palace in 1910; there are also the canvas paintings by Mattia Preti, including the "Banquet of Baldassare" and "St. Sebastian"; the surprising "Leda and the Swan" and "Lucretia and Tarquinio", (from the d’Avalos Collection), by Luca Giordano; the devastating "Apollo and Marsia", by Jusepe de Ribera, (from the D’Avalos Collection), and the crud naturalism of the "Magdalen in Meditation", a recent acquisition of 2001, by J. de Ribera, (from a Private Collection in Florence), the "Drunken Silenus","St. Girolamo" and the "Angel of Judgement", of 1626 by Ribera, which was already part of the Bourbonic Collection; the esteemed "Flagellation of Christ" by Caravaggio, 1607-1609, and the "Annunciation", 1557, by Tiziano Vecellio, both originally from the Church of San Domenico Maggiore in Naples.
THE GALLERY OF NINETEENTH CENTURY ART AND CONTEMPORARY ART
On the third mezzanine floor, there is the "Section on the 19th century", which today has an inventory of 900 items, including masterpieces by G. Balla, A. Mancini, A. S. Pitloo, G. Gigante, G. De Nittis, D. Morelli, F. Palizzi, G. Toma, G. Boldini, F. P. Michetti, V. Gemito, and the "Section on Contemporary Art", with works by Alberto Burri, the "Grande Cretto Nero", 1978; Andy Warhol, "Vesuvius", 1985; and just to name a few others, Pistoletto, Kounellis, Merz, Paladino, Kosuth, Barisani, and Cucchi.
And finally, on the ground and mezzanine floors of the Western side of the building, there is a graphics collection, or the "Cabinet of drawings and prints".
I contains over 2,000 drawings including the rare drawing of the "Boy bitten by a Shrimp" by Sofonisba Anguissola; three preparatory cartoons with details of the frescoes of the Paolina Chapel in the Vatican, of c.1546 by Michelangelo Bounarrotti; "Moses and the Burning Bush" and the "Madonna of Divine Love", superb preparatory cartoons by Raphael Sanzio; "Jude decapitates Oloferne" by Rembrandt of c.1650; and also more than 20,000 prints including a few engravings of the Nordic school, by Durer and by two other great Dutch painters, Luca di Leyda and Rembrandt, and a quiet consistent nucleus of pages of studies and plans by the architect Ferdinando Sanfelice.
Sanfelice with Domenico Antonio Vaccaro, was one of the great exponents Neapolitan Rococo, and made a valuable contribution to landscape painting in Naples in the Romantic period. (Simona Virgilio)
Naples, Via Miano 1
All days from 8.30 to 19.30
1 January from 14.30 to 19.30
Wednesday closed (except during the "Cultural Heritage Week")
EUR 7,50 Adults
EUR 6,50 Adults (Entrance from 14.00)
EUR 2,50 Adults (extra charge for exhibitions)
EUR 3,75 for European Union members between 18 and 25 years old
EUR 1,25 for European Union members between 18 and 25 years old (extra charge for exhibitions)
Free Entrance for European Union members under 18 and over 65 years old
Free Entrance with Campania Artecard
EUR 1,50 Entrance reservation
EUR 4,00 Audioguides in Italian and English (duration 70 minutes)
Ticket office close one hour before Museum closing time
Information Desk, Cloakroom, Bookshop, Educational Department and Visitor Materials
The Capodimonte National Museum is a site of CAMPANIA ARTECARD circuit
How you can get there from the Hotel
From the Piazza Amedeo Station take line 2 on the subway, in the direction of Gianturco, and get off in Piazza Cavour (second stop); proceed by bus from Piazza Museo (near the subway Station of Piazza Cavour) n° 137 or 160 or 178 or by bus from Via Pessina (on the corner with Piazza Museo) n° 24 or R4, and get off at Miano stop: the National Museum of Capodimonte is in Via Miano 1.