Galleria Nazionale – Parma

Between the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, the famous collection of works of art, rare and precious objects, paintings and coins of the Farnese family was moved from Rome to Parma. In the middle of the seventeenth century it was exhibited one of the large rooms in Palazzo della Pilotta.

The arrival in Parma in 1748 of Charles’ brother, Philip, Duke of Bourbon, and his wife Louise Elisabeth of France, daughter of Louis XV, brought with it a renewed and more modern cultural climate, born out of the burgeoning ideas of the Enlightenment. The foundation of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1752, with the writings of its students and contest-winning paintings, plus the ducal collections, all contributed to the creation of a new ducal gallery.

At the start of the 19th century, to give the large altar pieces by Correggio and the new acquisitions gradually accumulating the exhibition space they deserved, Duchess Marie Louise of Austria commissioned architect Nicola Bettoli and painter Paolo Toschi to draw up new plans for the museum. This became the city’s first public ducal gallery.