Cantore Galleria Antiquaria

Galleria Cantore Antiquaria, Modena. Courtesy Galleria Cantore Antiquaria, Modena. Photo: Andrea Parisi

Founded in the late 1970s, Galleria Cantore is located in the very central Via Farini, in the prestigious Palazzo Solieri.

Pietro Cantore, who has directed the gallery for almost two decades now, although he has acquired great experience in the decorative arts, has shifted his attention and research to Old Masters painting dating from the 14th to the 18th century, with a particular regard for Emilian art.

The gallery is a cultural reference point where books are presented and exhibitions are organized ranging from antiques to contemporary art and, until recently, almost always presented by the owner’s friend and art critic Philippe Daverio. The gallery has always supported museum institutions, and since 2014 is home to the Amici delle Gallerie Estensi association, of which Pietro Cantore is founder and where he holds the position of Vice President.

Galleria Cantore Antiquaria, Modena. Courtesy Galleria Cantore Antiquaria, Modena. Photo: Andrea Parisi

After ten years of experience in New York in the 1990s, Pietro Cantore continues to follow the international market. Fundamental was his contribution to the relaunch of Modenantiquaria, the reference exhibition event for Italian antiques. He also participates with great enthusiasm in the Florence Biennale, the most important exhibition of Italian Old Master art in the world.

“This is an extraordinary historical moment for acquisitions and building a collection.”
Pietro Cantore. Courtesy Cantore Galleria Antiquaria. Photo: Andrea Parisi

In conversation with Pietro Cantore, Cantore Galleria Antiquaria

Is there a way of being a gallerist in Italy that differs from other countries? Is there a specifically Italian approach to your work? What characterises the Italian art scene?

Being an art dealer in Italy is a privilege: you get to have a steady relationship with museums, collectors, restorers and art historians of the highest level, without forgetting the unique relationship that you get to form with the extraordinary architectural beauty of Italian cities. This makes Italian gallerists among the most proficient and sophisticated in the world.

What are your predictions for the future of the art world in the area you work in? What is the biggest challenge that you will have to face?

The prospects for the market for pre-modern art are good. This is an extraordinary historical moment for acquisitions and building a collection. A lot of paintings and objects are coming back on the market due to the dispersion of private collections built in the last decades. The prices are quite palatable with respect to quality and rarity. The selection of works of art will be fundamental.

How did your path in art begin?

Born into a family devoted to art, I had the privilege of being introduced, through my family’s activity, to the wonderful world of pre-modern art going to galleries, antiquarian exhibitions and auctions from a very young age, full of enthusiasm.

Galleria Cantore Antiquaria, Modena. Courtesy Galleria Cantore Antiquaria, Modena. Photo: Andrea Parisi
Talk to us about the space you chose for your gallery and its location.

I was dazzled by this space the moment I saw it, it is perfect for my gallery. It is located in an important eighteenth-century building on a prestigious street in the city’s old town. It starts with the classic shop windows and then has very large spaces at the back: visiting the galley is a very discreet, drawing-room-like experience, brightened by a lovely courtyard with a fourteenth-century well.

Is there an Italian institution that you have a particularly close tie to, a project that you would like to mention?

The museum that I have the closest ties to is the Galleria Estense in Modena: I have formed strong connections with its various directors for years. This close association inspired me to found, almost ten years ago by now, the Friends of the Gallerie Estensi, which has the mission of directly supporting the museum’s activities.

Read the full interview

Artists

  • Ludovico Carracci
  • Pietro Berrettini (detto Pietro da Cortona)
  • Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (detto Guercino)
  • Giovanni Lanfranco
  • Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli (detto Morazzone)
  • Elisabetta Sirani