Explore the collections of art on loan to the Palazzo Ducale of Sassuolo

Hundreds of artworks from the Galleria Estense in Modena are on display in the apartments on the piano nobile of the Palazzo, some of which are connected to the building itself from the time of Duke Francesco I d’Este. As well as the paintings and sculptures in the Camera di Francia, Camera di Spagna and the apartments of the Duke and Duchess, thirteen new rooms (Sale Nuove) have recently been opened to the public, completing the itinerary for the piano nobile. Restored between 2009 and 2012 with funding from the ministry, since 2014 these rooms have housed 300 paintings and 60 sculptures (many of which are on display for the first time) from the collection of the Galleria Estense.

These works vary in quality, are not always in a great state of conservation and are often in need of further study to ascertain the artist, date and provenance. Modest works by anonymous masters with uncertain origins are displayed alongside important works of certain provenance and by known masters. The installation is not based on rigorous museographic or art-historical principles, rather it is a kind of open storage ‘study collection’ that emphasises access to materials rather than chronological or stylistic arrangement.

Painters of particular note whose works are present in these rooms are: Domenico Carnevali, Lavinia Fontana, Giacomo Cavedone, Elisabetta Sirani, Francesco Stringa, Benedetto Gennari, Sisto Badalocchio, Bernardo Strozzi, Giovan Battista Crespi, Giacomo Zoboli, Francesco Vellani and Adeodato Malatesta. There are many busts of Roman emperors as well as other sculptures with subjects of mythological nature (such as Apollo and Marsyas, or the myths of Ariadne and Psyche). 


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