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Home>Exhibitions & Events>Exhibitions>A Dream of ItalyThe Marquis Campana’s Collection

Exhibition A Dream of Italy
The Marquis Campana’s Collection

from July 16, 2019 to October 20, 2019

This exhibition enjoys the support of DS Automobiles and the International Council of the Louvre.

The Musée du Louvre and the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg are joining forces for an outstanding exhibition based on the Marquis Campana’s collection, most of which was assembled between the 1830s and the 1850s. The Marquis Campana intended the 19th century’s largest private collection to represent Italy’s cultural heritage, both ancient and modern. However, following a high-profile trial in 1857, in which Campana was convicted of embezzlement, the collection was seized and sold by the Papal States. The sensation sparked by its subsequent dispersal throughout Europe was testament to its importance in the Italian and European cultural consciousness.

Several major works from the Campana collection were purchased in 1861 by Tsar Alexander II, enriching the collections of the State Hermitage Museum. The rest of the collection—over 10,000 works—was purchased by Napoleon III and shared between the Musée du Louvre and various regional museums. Many so-called ‘primitive’ paintings from the Campana collection, such as Botticelli’s Madonna and Child, were later assembled at Avignon’s Musée du Petit Palais, which opened in 1976.

For the first time since the Campana collection’s dispersal in 1861, its richness and diversity will be revealed through this exhibition showcasing over 500 works, including many masterpieces such as the Sarcophagus of the Spouses and Paolo Uccello’s Battle of San Romano. The exhibition presents the romantic figure of Giampietro Campana, his passion for collecting, and the process of bringing together this extraordinary collection; the event also highlights the collection’s influence on artists and artisans in the second half of the 19th century.


Organized by:

Exhibition curators:

Françoise Gaultier and Laurent Haumesser, Musée du Louvre, and Anna Trofimova, State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.

Associated curators:

Françoise Barbe, Marc Bormand and Dominique Thiébaut, Musée du Louvre, and Dominique Vingtain, Musée du Petit Palais, Avignon.

Practical information

From July 16, 2019 to October 20, 2019


State Hermitage Museum
Saint Petersburg

From November 7, 2018 to February 18, 2019


Musée du Louvre
Hall Napoléon





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