Galleria Nazionale della Puglia “Girolamo e Rosaria Devanna”
The Galleria Nazionale della Puglia “Girolamo e Rosaria Devanna” contains a magnificent collection of works of art ranging from the 16C to the 20C. The collection is housed in the Palazzo Sylos Calò, a wonderful example of 16C Bitonto residential architecture.
Palazzo Sylos Calò, the splendid backdrop to piazza Cavour, is the finest masterpiece of Renaissance residential architecture in Bitonto, and is the outcome of a complex evolutionary process. Erected over existing medieval buildings, in 1573 the palazzo was granted on a perpetual lease to Giovanni Alfonso Sylos, a member of the Burgos family which arrived in Apulia in 1503, on condition that he restored it. The work was completed in 1584 with the construction of the elegant loggia overlooking the ancient town’s most important square.
In July 2004, brother and sister Rosaria and Girolamo Devanna of Bitonto donated an important, valuable collection of paintings to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, with the aim of founding the Galleria Nazionale della Puglia of modern and contemporary art, which was opened to the public in 2009.
Palazzo Sylos Calò, registered as an Italian Heritage Building since 1902, stands on the old via “delli Mercanti” which once connected the main gateway to the town, porta Baresana, to the Cathedral. A typical example of the residential architecture of Bitonto during the Renaissance period, the building has a main doorway decorated with a pair of medallions with imperial effigies, which leads into the arcaded central courtyard, giving access to various ground floor rooms. Two flights of stairs lead to the first floor, where the various rooms are connected by a large terrace.
The collection comprises 354 paintings and drawings dating from the 16C to the 20C, built up by Girolamo Devanna through tireless searches on the antique market, exchanges with other collectors, or private purchases. The only connecting theme of this variegated, unpredictable collection is an appreciation of the unexpected and an endless curiosity concerning the different forms of artistic culture, supported by great intuition and an equally impressive knowledge of the history of art. Our Museum contains works by the greatest Italian and foreign figurative artists from the 16C, 17C and 18C, representatives of “secondary trends” which still provide important pointers to alternative approaches, 19C Italian, French, German and English masters and schools, and works by European and American contemporary artists. There are also a large number of fascinating sketches, preliminary studies, models, replicas or antique copies, not but not least the fine collection of drawings by Italian and European artists from the 16C to the 20C.
Pietro Negroni known as Zingarello, Nativity
The work, which can be dated to the mid 16C, reflects the stylistic influence of Polidoro da Caravaggio. The painting's iconography is highly unusual, as the Child is being revealed and shown by St Joseph and not by the Madonna.
Nicolas Poussin, Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus
The work is one of the two preliminary sketches for the altar painting commissioned from the French classicist for the St Peter's Basilica in Rome (1628-1629), now conserved in the Pinacoteca Vaticana. Refusing to worship the statue of the god Hercules, the Saint was brutally martyred by winding his intestines around a winch.
Simone Pignoni, Penitent Magdalene
The painting is modelled on the Penitent Magdalene by Florentine painter Francesco Furini now in Vienna, dated to 1633. Pignoni, a pupil of Furini, portrays the sinner Saint with skill and refinement, giving her a fine blend of melancholy and sensuality.
Andrea Appiani, Discophoros
In this work Appiani, premier peintre to Napoleon, portrays a copy of the Discobolos by Naukydes of Argos. The plaster copy was purchased in Rome for the Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, where it arrived in 1806. The painting reflects the importance of antiquity in the neoclassical period.
Giuseppe De Nittis, Trafalgar Square
The painting, dated to 1878, is one of a series of twelve London scenes commissioned from the Barletta-born artist by banker Kaye Knowles in 1876. The scene seems to be viewed through the window of the carriage in which De Nittis travelled around the great city to paint outdoors.
Beatrice Wood, Situation
This delicate work in pencil and watercolour on paper is by Beatrice Wood, a multi-faceted Californian artistic introduced to the art world by Marcel Duchamp, who was so impressed with her works that he offered her a place in his studio.
Via Giandonato Rogadeo, 14
Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities
No profit/donation museum, gallery
Director: Filomena Barbone
+39 080 099708