A study for il Genio di Savoia

Mosè Bianchi
Monza 1840 - 1904
A study for il Genio di Savoia
1883-84
Black chalk, pen and black ink, on wove paper
518 x 412 mm

Watermark: Letter T inscribed in double circle, , surmounted by a clover

Provenance: Bernasconi family, Lugano (inscription on the verso)


The drawing is preparatory to the fresco Il Genio di Savoia painted by Bianchi between 1883 and 1884 in the Saletta Reale of the railway station of Monza. In the Musei Civici of Monza is preserved the preparatory cartoon for the composition.

The Bernasconi collection was formed by the brothers Juan and Felix Bernasconi in the second half of the nineteenth century.

The two brothers, of Swiss-Argentine origins, ran a thriving industrial activity near Lugano. They regularly visited the studios of Milan's most famous artists, from whom they bought paintings and drawings.

After the transfer of the family in Argentina, the descendants, no longer interested in art, dispersed at auction, at Christie's in London in the late '80s, the collection which included works by artists of the nineteenth century but also by Old Masters. The sales at Christie's coincided with a major exhibition dedicated to Mosè Bianchi in 1987 at the Villa Reale in Monza.