Museo di Capodimonte
Museo di Capadimonte is a heritage museum in Naples located inside the grand palace of Capadimonte. Besides the amazing architectural delights pertaining to the palace the museum is famous for its extensive collection of decorative art work, a large selection of paintings and sculptures from various Italian schools of art and painting and today is considered as the prime attraction for tourists on their Naples tour from all over the world. From ancient roman sculptures of mesmerizing artistic work to the renaissance paintings or classical art, the museum offers multitude of delights for art lovers. It is one of the handfuls of museums in Italy that offers such a wide variety of art collections from different historical eras.
This impressive palace on the Capodimonte Hill was the creation of King Charles VII of Naples and Sicily who apart from being a warring lord was also an ardent art lover and collector. It is said that the Farnese art collection, inherited directly from his mother, inspired him to build this massive palace on the Capodimonte hill for proper restoration of the art works and partly because his palace was small enough to accommodate his court. The origin of the present art collection inside the palace started to take shape roughly from 1738 and thereafter the collection only grew in size, volume and importance, incorporating newer and newer art works from many other traditions.
In 1787 for the restoration of the painting collection a special laboratory was created that made it possible for many aged works to survive the decay of time. In 1799 with the rise of the Parthenopean Republic King Ferdinand fled with many valuable artworks with him. At the beginning of the following century, during the ten years of French occupation in Naples, Museo di Capadimonte was transferred to the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. King Ferdinand returned to Sicily in 1815, took the initiative of restoring the museum to its former glory. In 1840 another gallery was added to the museum dedicated solely to the contemporary art. It became a national museum in 1950 opening its doors to the public.
What To See
This gigantic palace consists of 3 floors and 160 rooms and most of the rooms are dedicated to the art museum and historical works from different eras.You cannot see the whole Palace in one day, but you can choose a highly guided tour focusing on the must see artworks and objects of special interest which you can barely finish within one day. For the huge collection that spans over as long as whole millennium of Italian history, it is considered as the prime face of the city’s history and artistic lineage and a top priority for tourists during their Tour in Naples. The collection is divided into five broad sections, respectively as the 19th Century Gallery on the mezzanine floor comprising mainly artworks of the high renaissance period and beginning era of modernity; the Royal apartments, particularly interesting for ivory and enamel collection; the royal antique and grand porcelain collection on the second floor and last but not least a gallery dedicated to artworks from the 13th century to 19th century. On the 3rd floor, a painting gallery displays major contemporary works of famous artists. On the fourth floor a photography collection focuses on great 19th century painters and artists.
On the mezzanine floor, in the gallery dedicated to 19th Century arts, you will find some of the greatest artworks of Italian and European history. With painting from Titian. Raphael, Caravaggio, Correggio, Giovanni Bellini, Masaccio, Botticelli, Perugino, Luca Signorelli, Mantegna, Parmigianino, Guido Reni, El Greco, Carracci, Bartolomeo Schedoni this is truly an art lover’s paradise. From ‘Flagellation’ of Caravaggio to ‘Baronci Altarpiece’ by Raphael, from ‘Madonna and Child and Angels’ by Botticelli to ‘Transfiguration’ of Bellini, from ‘Danae’ by Titian to ‘A Boy Blowing a Candle’ by El Greco, this museum offers some of the greatest paintings of western artistic tradition. On the second floor you will find the renaissance period ivory and enamel pieces of Borgia collection. The antique porcelain collection of the Royal Apartments is a favorite among travelers during their Naples tour. On the third floor there is another great gallery with an extensive collection of paintings and artworks that belong to the medieval period and to the early renaissance. A part from the great collection displaying the paintings and masterpieces of Sodoma, Vasari, Tiziano, Luca Giordano, there is a great tapestry collection here. Lastly the contemporary art collection that extends from the 3rd to the 4th floor displays works of some of the greatest names in modern or contemporary art. Paintings of Alberto Burri, Andy Warhol, Enzo Cucchi, and Jannis Kounellis are displayed here. There is a photography collection on the 4th floor focusing on the life, time and works of many nineteenth century painters and artists.
How To Reach?
Museo di Capodimonte is on the Capodimonte hill within the main city limit of Naples. Take bus route 24 from Pizza Trieste e Trento or catch bus C65 from underground station Colli Aminei on Line No 1.
Timing and Tickets
You can visit the museum every day of the week except on Wednesdays. The museum remains open from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm everyday and ticket counter closes 1 hour before. A ticket to visit the entire museum costs E 7.50.