Princess Rosina Pignatelli’s home and collections are symbolic of her times, but by the time they passed to the State upon her death in 1955, the city she once knew, Europe’s fourth largest city and one of its most prosperous, was a distant memory. That is, except for the early 19th century Pompeian style Villa she shared with her husband Prince Diego Aragona Pignatelli Cortes, adorned with enough treasures to delight a King, or at least a Prince and a Princess, left “in-situ” for posterity.
Fine art and furnishings, a 19th century silver collection, bronze statues including one signed by Vincenzo Gemito, French candelabras and clocks, and a large collection of ceramics. Pieces from France’s Sèvres and Limoges factories, 16th and 17th century bowls and vases from Japan and China, Chelsea porcelain from England, and Messen porcelain from Germany. And of course, pieces from The Royal Works of Capodimonte and Maiolica pieces by Giustiniani and Del Veccho.
Upstairs, the San Paolo – Banco di Napoli Collection features works by Neapolitan artists Giuseppe Recco and Vincenzo Gemito, to whose sculptures and entire room was dedicated and a collection of 18th century Neapolitan landscapes by Gaspar van Wittel.
Outside, a small park originally conceived of as an English garden wraps around the villa and in an adjoining building, the Museo delle Carrozze houses a collection of late 19th/early 20th century Carriages. The museum was the idea of Bruno Molajoli, who had received a donation from the Marquis Mario D’Alessandro di Civitanova and was planned in 1975 by Ezio Bruno De Felice in the ex stables of the villa. Closed for more than 20 years, the museum presents a rich collection of carriages, made richer by donations.
The Pignatelli Cortes Museum is part of the Neapolitan Museum Network Polo Museale Napoli, which is supported by Amici di Capodimonte – Friends of the Capodimonte Museum. In addition to supporting these museums, Amici di Capodimonte memberships include discounts, special tours, and more. Memberships start at €30 for students, €80 for adults.