Built in the 17th century by the prelate Ulpiano Volpi, a member of the Roman Curia, the Palazzo Volpi was used as a courthouse until the 1970s. It was designed by the architect Sergio Venturi, born in Siena but Roman by adoption, best known for his catafalque of Pope Paul V. It now houses the Como Art Gallery with works chronologically divided into four sections. The Medieval section presents a large number of Carolingian sculptures from the church of Sant’Abbondio as well as Romanesque and Gothic sculptures and frescoes. The Renaissance section offers a selection of Paolo Giovio’s collection of portraits of illustrious men and significant items connected with the completion of the cathedral, such as stained glass windows, sculptures, tapestries and wooden models. The Paintings section presents a broad overview of the artists active in Como from the 16th century to the 19th with large altarpieces from churches suppressed in the Napoleonic era and paintings from private collections. The 20th-century section presents photographs, paintings, sculptures and furniture prototypes documenting the salient moments of artistic creativity in Como from the Futurism of Antonio Sant’Elia to the abstract art of the Como Group and the synthesis of the arts attempted by Ico Parisi.
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