Museo Borgogna, opened to the public in 1908, was born out of the collection of collector Antonio Borgogna (1822-1906), who donated his eclectic house museum to the city. More than 800 works, including paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and applied arts, spanning the fifteenth to the twentieth century are displayed on three floors. The most significant is the collection of German, Flemish and Dutch paintings, displayed on the second floor, which focuses on works from the seventeenth century.
The majority of the paintings are interiors, landscapes, and still lifes. In only a few years, more than 70 paintings by northern artists from the sixteenth and seventeenth century were purchased to create a collection of remarkable quality and importance, to which Borgogna added his nineteenth-century Flemish, Dutch, and Belgian collection, which was quite rare among Italian collectors.
His choices were influenced by his visits during the 1870s and 1880s to the great museums of Europe, his travels in Flanders, which began in 1885, and by attending auctions and world fairs, such as those in Antwerp. The flower still lifes on copper by Ambrosius Bosschaert and Jan Davidsz De Heem and The Rape of Proserpina by Bartholomeus Spranger are among the gems of the collection.
The restoration work and research performed in connection with the archiving by Prof. Bert W. Meijer, with the support of the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence (2001), have made it possible to recover the signatures of some painters, such as in the case of Village of Farmers by Joost C. Droochsloot and Battle by Palmedes Palamedesz.
Alessia Meglio, Registrar (May 2022)
Piedmont and Valle D’Aosta in Repertory of Dutch and Flemish Paintings in Italian Public Collections III
Meijer, B.W.; Sluiter, G. and Squellati Brizio, P.
Museo Borgogna. Dipinti fiamminghi e olandesi
Cologno Monzese, 2001