Guide to visiting the Museo Civico Giovanni Fattori in Livorno
The Museo Civico Giovanni Fattori in Livorno represents a precious collection of Livorno and Tuscan art, showcasing the works of the famous Macchiaioli. Located in the splendid Villa Mimbelli, the museum extends over three floors and houses numerous works by painters who shaped Italian art between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
History of the Museum
The origins of the museum date back to 1877, when the municipal administration established an art gallery to collect paintings by artists such as Giovanni Fattori, Enrico Pollastrini and Cesare Bartolena. Over time, the collection has been enriched with works by Raffaello Gambogi, Silvestro Lega, Guglielmo Micheli and other masters.
During the 20th century, the museum expanded its collection with archaeological finds and a numismatic collection donated by Enrico Chiellini. After Fattori’s death in 1908, 250 drawings and 150 etchings by the same artist were acquired. In 1896, the museum inaugurated its headquarters in Piazza Guerrazzi, dedicating itself more and more to Italian art.
During the Second World War, the collection was temporarily moved out of the city and, at the end of the conflict, a part was placed in Villa Fabbricotti. In 1994, the museum was moved to its current location, Villa Mimbelli, where it was inaugurated in the presence of the President of the Republic at the time, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.
The museum itinerary extends over the three floors of the villa (ground floor, first floor and second floor), while temporary exhibitions are held in the former granaries adjacent to the villa.
The ground floor and first floor of the villa maintain the nineteenth-century style unchanged with the decorations, furnishings and curtains of the time.
The collection begins with the work of Enrico Pollastrini, a romantic artist still linked to the academy, who was, among others, teacher of Giovanni Fattori and Silvestro Lega.
Going up to the first floor you reach the room dedicated to the post-macchiaioli with the pear works by Oscar Ghiglia, Giovanni Bartolena and Amedeo Modigliani. In the other rooms on the floor the works of Livorno artists such as Guglielmo Micheli, Ulvi Liegi, Renato Natali and Angiolo Vannetti are exhibited.
To admire the works of Giovanni Fattori you have to go up to the second floor where, inside 3 large rooms, there are some of the artist’s most beautiful works such as the Assault on the Madonna della Scoperta, the Cavalry Charge at Montebello, Mrs. Martelli in Castiglioncello, the Torre Rossa, Mandrie Maremmane and the Portrait of the third wife.
The second floor also houses works by other exponents of the Macchiaioli such as Silvestro Lega, Telemaco Signorini, Vincenzo Cabianca and Giovanni Boldini. Other rooms are dedicated to post-Macchiaioli such as Eugenio Cecconi and Vittorio Corcos, and to pointillists such as Benvenuto Benvenuti and Plinio Nomellini.
The villa is surrounded by a park with exotic plants, creating an elegant and romantic atmosphere.
Combat Prize Award
The Combat Prize is held annually inside the Fattori museum, active since 2010, which enhances and promotes artists under 50 and under 25 in various artistic categories. This award, managed by a jury, documents the evolution of the Italian artistic panorama. The name of the award comes from the combat films shot during the Second World War to inform the population about current events. Every year a catalog edited by Paolo Batoni and published by Sillabe is published, thus completing the process of valorising new Italian artistic voices.
Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 13:00 and 16:00 – 19:00
Full price: €6
Via San Jacopo in Acquaviva 65 Livorno
For all other information, I refer you to the museum’s official website.