In 1927, the City ceded Pietro Canonica, a sculptor of international renown, the use of a building located in the heart of Villa Borghese to use as a place to live and work in. Today, this building houses a Museum dedicated to him and his work.
This small but richly furnished museum, in the heart of Villa Borghese, is notable for its fin di siecle ambience. It is dedicated to the artist Pietro Canonica (1869 -1959).
Canonica was a sculptor of international repute, as well as a music lover and a composer in his own right. He spent his formative years in Turin in the last years of the nineteenth century, prior to a long period passed in the courts of Europe, where the aristocracy commissioned portraits and other commemorative works from him. He moved to Rome in 1922, and in 1927 managed to get the municipal concession for the building that is today the museum. He used it as his home and studio, undertaking in exchange that, when he died, he would leave all the works that he collected there over the years to furnish it as a museum in his name.
That was the origin of this unusual museum, which gives an impression of all aspects of Canonica's life, both private and professional.
The museum offers its visitors a number of different perspectives on the artist's world. The private apartments on the first floor, with their precious furnishings and collection of nineteenth century Piedmontese paintings, give an insight into Canonica's personal memories and affections. His studio on the ground floor is evidence of his great technical skill and, even now, a source of inspiration. In the exhibition halls many of his works are displayed, everything from small busts to large equestrian statues, as well as sculptures, sketches, models and casts. The collection charts the turbulent period of history from the end of the nineteenth until the middle of the twentieth century, and gives an overview of the different styles and production techniques used in sculpture during that time.