Housed within the elegant Viani-Dugnani villa, the Museo del Paesaggio was opened thanks to Antonio Massara’s vision. His aim was to launch an awareness-raising campaign in order to protect the uniqueness of the Verbanese landscape from the frenetic evolution that industrialization, anthropization and tourism were bringing to this area in the early eighteenth century, putting an irreplaceable patrimony at risk.
The exhibition rooms house works of art that span the XV and XX centuries: sacred and profane subjects, vistas, landscapes, and statues are the crown jewels of this museum.
Over the decades the collection has grown thanks to donations and purchases. It boasts the most complete and unique plaster cast gallery of its kind, with works by the most famous Verbanese artist of all time: Paolo Troubetzkoy. These works were donated to the institution by the artist’s family, and are exhibited throughout the museum today.
Housed on several floors of a lovely Baroque villa, the exhibitions highlight different themes which illustrate the evolutions in the changing, local landscapes and the daily life of traditional occupations, as well as the unique versatility of Troubetzkoy’s works – which include both the small bust statue as well as an imposing equestrian statue – and his study of materials. Small canvases and large productions are interspersed throughout the rooms, sparking curiosity in the visitor about a territory that has been inspiring peaceful images for centuries. Sun rays reflected on the water of the lake, calm mountain valleys, and the untamable forces of nature are expertly depicted by such illustrious artists as Tominetti, Gignous, Boggiani.
The museum also conserves fragments of frescos which are quite extraordinary as they come from buildings which were removed in order to pave the way for urbanization.
A visit to this museum is a fine and fascinating alternative to better-known attractions in the area, and will definitely help visitors look at the surrounding landscape with new eyes.