Società di Belle Arti

Galleria Le Muse 2, Cortina d'Ampezzo. Courtesy Società di Belle Arte

Società di Belle Arti, with branches in Viareggio, Milan and Cortina, is a reference point for the sale, purchase, evaluation, management and intermediation of Italian paintings of the 19th and 20th centuries. Founded by Giuliano Matteucci in 1961, and at present managed by Francesco Palminteri, it has achieved a leading role as a contact for some of the most important museums, bank foundations and private art lovers, thus contributing to enrich their collections with authentic masterpieces.

Galleria Le Muse 1, Cortina d’Ampezzo. Courtesy Società di Belle Arti

In its main location in Viareggio, Società di Belle Arti periodically sets up historical monographic exhibitions featuring works by the most important masters of 19th- and 20th-century Italian painting. In its Milan branch, Società di Belle Arti mainly conducts an artistic consulting activity.

Società di Belle Arti, Milan. Courtesy Società di Belle Arti

Società di Belle Arti, present in Cortina for over forty years in the historic gallery in Corso Italia, has recently expanded to new exhibition spaces in Piazza Silvestro Franceschi.

“The quality of the work and study will be key to overcoming the challenges of the future.”
Francesco Palminteri. Courtesy Società di Belle Arti

In conversation with Francesco Palminteri, Società di Belle Arti

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

Given the current, delicate situation, I am convinced that the passion for art will not die, it is innate to human nature. That is why I adopted the phrase “nothing gives meaning to a person’s life like owning a work of art”. The gallerist will play a decisive role in forming the taste of the new generations. The quality of the work and study will be key to overcoming the challenges of the future.

The name of your gallery is not eponymous. Tell us about how you chose it.

The Società di Belle Arti is an explicit reference to the historical societies for the promotion of the fine arts that were founded in the main Italian cities during the second half of the nineteenth century, thanks in part to the support of prominent citizens, and were fundamental for the promotion of and comparison between the new expressive forms, always keeping a finger on the pulse of the art of the time.

What kind of art do you deal with?

As director of the Società di Belle Arti, I deal with nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italian painting. Our attention is increasingly focused on the work of the leading figures of the first half of the twentieth century, given the growing interest in this period. Thanks to the strong relationships with private collectors that we have built up over the years, we are in a position to offer works that have not been seen for a long time or outside traditional circuits.

Galleria Le Muse 1, Cortina d’Ampezzo. Courtesy Società di Belle Arti
A gallerist from whom you learned the tricks of the trade and a younger one whose “mentor” you would like to be?

Without a doubt, Giuliano Matteucci, whose name is inextricably tied to nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italian art and publications, exhibitions and important national and international initiatives realised over the course of an ever more distinguished career. As for young gallerists I would like to mentor, I would definitely say my two children, in hopes of continuing the family tradition.

Are you a collector?

Yes, I would call myself a passionate connoisseur of the leading artists of the first half of the twentieth century. As for the artists who are most to my taste and the works with which I feel the closest connection, I would say Moses Levy’s beaches, Oscar Ghiglia’s glazed still lifes and Llewelyn Lloyd’s light-filled views. Beyond these preferences, I consider Giovanni Fattori to be one of modern art’s most brilliant and representative artists.

Read the full interview


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