King Carlo of Borbone, fascinated by the position on a hill, had the area utilised as a hunting reserve in 1738. After which, he had the Royal Palace constructed there. The design was projected by an architect from Palermo named Giovanni Antonio Medrano. An imposing building was developed around three courtyards with adjoining arches between them and opened externally with numerous porches. The huge grey tranchite pillars stand out on the brick red façades. The royal collection, coming from Parma, was transferred to Capodimonte. During the French occupation, the collection was separated and reconstituted during the Bourbonist restoration period. The Royal armoury collection was transferred to the museum, along with the small living room of Queen Maria Amelia and the marble flooring which came from the imperial villa in Capri. The Royal Palace was utilised as their main residence until the beginning of the 20th Century and became a museum when, in 1957, the Farnese collection was transferred there. Amongst the most representative works, we can find the Portraits of Francesco Gonzaga (around 1460), of Andrea Mantegna in a pure Medaglist tradition – a luminous profile standing out on a dark background. La Danae by TIZIANO, one of the most fascinating pieces in the collection, in which one can admire the research for light by Tiziano. The painting depicts Danae seduced by Giove (Jove) transforming into golden rain. In the 19th Century, the high erotic charge of this painting saw it locked away in the Cabinet of obscene paintings.
The Flagellation of Christ, work of Caravaggio, coming from the Chapel of St Domenico Maggiore, placed there for precautionary reasons, is expressed together with the other works regarding the Flagellation by the artist; they represent the dramatic power of his visions, and furthermore, are an excellent testimony of the evolution of Parthenope painting towards naturalism.
The monumental Madonna del Rosario, the greatest artistic expression of Luca Giordano was inspired by the Baroque style. The museum hosts works from the great schools of Italian and European art from the Medieval period to the 17th Century; works bought under the Bourbon reign and after the Unison of Italy. The sector of the Borgia Museum contains eastern and western objects of art, coming mainly from the Medieval era. In the contemporary art section, inaugurated in 1997, one can enjoy Andy Warhol's Vesuvius.
Opening hours: 8.30 - 19.30 Working days. 10.00-17.00, Saturday and Sunday 13.00/17.00.
Closed on Monday
Ticket: To visit the Pala d'Oro ; to the treasure.
Web Site: www.capodimonte.selfin.net