Isola Bella

3 May - 1 November 2021
Isola Bella
Vitaliano VI
The invention of Isola Bella

The exhibition “Vitilianus VI. The invention of Isola Bella“curated by Alessandro Morandotti and Mauro Natale, traces the life and works of the creator of the vessel that emerges from the waters of Lake Maggiore, still a source of admiration and amazement to visitors from all over the world.

Set up in the great hall completed by his namesake descendant Vitaliano IX in 1956, the exhibition tells the story of the life of Vitaliano VI, the true architect of the renewed fortune of the family in the second half of the seventeenth century, through portraits in painting and sculpture, medals and documents, including plans for the Palazzo and gardens on Isola Bella, works that have never been exhibited to the public. In the exhibition it will also be possible to admire a spectacular wooden model of the central hall of Palazzo Borromeo realized between 1780 and 1781 by the carpenter Giuseppe Antonio Oltolina on a project by the architect Cosimo Morelli from Imola. The model, completely original, has been studied and restored and is presented to the public for the first time on this occasion.

The focus of this exhibition is the Baroque style of north-western Italy, which is clearly visible in many of the rooms of Palazzo Borromeo where the original decoration is still present. Painted stone, marble and alabaster, paintings with landscapes and perspectives, frames decorated with rock crystals, agates and lapis lazuli make the interiors of the palace flourish. In the Garden, stone architectures covered with mosaics, statues, fountains that together with the hedges create real theatres in the green.

The exhibition will open its doors to the public on May 3, 2021and will be on view until November 1, 2021.