Casa Museo Palazzo Maffei in Verona: ancient and contemporary art in the heart of history

Interni di Palazzo Maffei

Returning to Verona, I had the privilege to explore the Giusti Garden and its beautiful related Palazzo. My curiosity also led me to the Casa Museo Palazzo Maffei, a destination I had postponed during a prior visit just two weeks earlier.

The historic building

In the picturesque Piazza delle Erbe, an ex-Roman forum, Casa Museo Palazzo Maffei stands as a true artistic gem. Inaugurated on February 15, 2020, following meticulous restoration, it houses a rich collection of 350 artworks from Luigi Carlon’s curated collection. These artworks are accurately positioned across 18 thematic rooms within the noble floor of the palace.

The curation was meticulously undertaken by the Baldessari and Baldessari studio, guided by Gabriella Belli‘s museological vision. (Kudos!)

Architectural narratives 

The palace today is the result of an expansion effort carried out during the seventeenth century by Marcantonio and Rolandino Maffei, prominent bankers of their time. Their work, prospering beside the Piazza delle Erbe, is commemorated in Rolandino’s inscription at the palace entrance. This inscription, positioned just before the elegant spiral staircase that leads to the noble floor, reported Rolandino’s quote: “May children and grandchildren learn to avoid needless expenses, to regard that which lasts forever (…).”

A timeless artistic treasure 

The Luigi Carlon Collection encapsulates an artistic treasure of remarkable diversity. This eclectic assortment of works from different eras and genres embraces antiquity and contemporary art.

Over Nature by Chiara Dynys

Among the works that particularly captivated me are:

  • “Over Nature” by Chiara Dynys, is an exclusive site-specific creation that engages in an evocative dialogue with the palace’s eighteenth-century interiors. The artist places two mirrored cages over frescoes portraying landscapes inspired by the Aeneid, adding two phrases in glass—one her own and the other by Goethe. This interplay of shadows and light proves a fascinating experience: “To understand that the sky is blue everywhere, there’s no need to travel the world.”
  • “Lotus Maffei” by Dean Roosegaarde, a renowned Dutch designer dubbed a “techno-poet.” The Casa Museo, a year and a half after its inauguration, expanded its exhibition by opening the palace’s second floor. Here, it is possible to visit eight rooms and a project room housing Roosegaarde’s creation: a technological flower, responsive to light and warmth, imparts movement to its petals, changing colour upon interacting with human touch. In this work, the artist adeptly fuses technology and poetry, drawing inspiration from the concept of organic architecture.

The eclectic collection of Casa Museo Palazzo Maffei, its atmosphere and the captivating view of the principal square, offers visitors an unforgettable experience in the art world.

The Panorama from the rooftop

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