The museum
The Mazzolini Collection Museum, inaugurated on 23 November 2015 as part of the celebrations of Bobbio’s patron saint, is part of the group of museums situated in the former monastery of Saint Colombanus. The exhibition starts with three rooms that tell the story of the collectors and the collection. The museum is named after Domenica Rosa Mazzolini, a nurse who loved art, and who donated nine hundred works of modern and contemporary art to the diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio in 2005, with the wish that they be displayed in a museum.

A shared passion
The collection is the result of two art collections: Rosa Mazzolini’s personal collection and the huge collection she inherited in 1994 from the brother and sister Giovanni Battista Ettore and Federica Simonetti, medical doctors in Milan whom Rosa worked for as a medical assistant. The Simonettis’ first acquisitions, for the most part gifts from patients, were paintings from the first decades of the 20th century, but following 19th-century traditions. It was the meeting with Rosa Mazzolini, who began to work in the medical studio in 1950, that sealed their interest in the art of our time; Ettore Simonetti got to know the artistic world of Milan and his home became a meeting place for artists and intellectuals who became his friends. In this way a collection was formed, marked by a great variety of pieces coming from many different stylistic movements. Many artists needing medical attention offered in exchange one of their works to the doctor. Among those who were found in the doctor’s rooms were Ottone Rosai, Mario Sironi, Fiorenzo Tomea, the Pomodoro brothers, Antonio Recalcati and Massimo Campigli, who, in gratitude to Dr Simonetti, gave him a painting entitled Simonetta (1955) in his honour. From Giorgio De Chirico (eight of whose paintings are found in the collection) the doctor commissioned Esculapio proctologo (Aesculapius proctologist), a painting dedicated to the god of medicine, presented during a conference in Detroit in 1956. The doctor also requested Ippocrate rifiuta i doni (Hippocrates refuses gifts) from the artist, to underline the disinterested ethics of the medical profession; he also asked for the painting Piazza d’Italia.
There are also a considerable number of works by Paolo Baratella, Ercole Pignatelli and Renzo Izzi, who had his studio for a certain time in the village of Brugnello.

The collection
The Gruppo Novecento (1922) is well represented, a group who promoted the return to traditional forms of art and design: by Pietro Marussig there are works characterised by intimacy and rigorous colouring; by Mario Sironi, one of the founders of the group, the collection has mostly late works, which reveal his love of ancient art; Achille Funi is represented by the painting Bimba coi fichi (Baby with figs) (end of the 1950s). Arturo Tosi, who joined the group in 1924, Massimo Campigli, Virgilio Guidi and other artists who joined the movement in the 1920s, like Pompeo Borra and Raffaele De Grada, are represented by works from later decades.
From the 1930s are paintings executed with rapid brushwork by Filippo De Pisis, a family friend, works by Léonor Fini, a rare example of the early period of Ennio Morlotti, who formed part of the Milanese movement Corrente (1934 -1943), opposed to the Novecentista emphatic style and inspired by Impressionism and German Expressionism. From the Corrente period are Paesaggio (Landscape) by Giuseppe Migneco and some of the paintings by Fiorenzo Tomea, one of the Simonettis and Rosa Mazzolini’s favourite artists, who then continued with his own figurative style; Aligi Sassu and Italo Valenti arre documented by works created between the late 1940s and early 1950s, Bruno Cassinari and Renato Birolli are represented by works from the 1950s when they turned to abstract forms.
Chiarismo (a 20th-century Italian art movement marked by light clear colours) is among the movements best represented in the collection: Umberto Lilloni, Francesco De Rocchi, Cristoforo De Amicis, Adriano Spilimbergo, stimulated by French Impressionism and by Italians like Ottone Rosai, turned again to painting en plein air, with a preference for light colours and forms constructed by light, with subjects ranging from landscapes to portraits.
Between 1946 and 1957 works by Ottone Rosai entered the collection, along with two views by Carlo Carrà (1952) where he restricts everything to essentials, but also compositions hovering between the real and the imaginary by Gianfilippo Usellini.
During the 1950s there was an opening to abstract-geometric spatial searching connected to musical rhythms by Mario Nigro and Luigi Veronesi, introduced into the collection thanks to Rosa Mazzolini, but above all the works of Lucio Fontana: his Concetti spaziali (Spatial Concepts) enriched the collection between 1956 and 1958.
Also included are works by Enrico Baj, one of those who signed the Technical Manifesto of Nuclear Painting against all formalism and in favour of a dynamic material expressed in iconographies marked by the explosion of the atom bomb. Nor did the affirmation of informal art fail to interest the doctor, and in addition to names like Tancredi and Scanavino, the collection includes works by Giulio Turcato, Antonio Corpora and Antonio Sanfilippo. Altogether personal is the approach of Giuseppe Capogrossi, and works are included that show his figurative phase (Paesaggio (Landscape), 1938) and also that which followed his turning to abstract art (1948) towards an informal design, interpreted through a peculiar “archetypal” module (trident or forchettone) in infinite variations.
The group of sculpture is small but important: it includes the Cristo sulla croce (Christ on the Cross) by Lucio Fontana (1951), a group of compositions by the Pomodoro brothers and some of Amilcare Rambelli’s creations.

The Gruppo Novecento (1922) is well represented, a group who promoted the return to traditional forms of art and design: by Pietro Marussig there are works characterised by intimacy and rigorous colouring; by Mario Sironi, one of the founders of the group, the collection has mostly late works, which reveal his love of ancient art; Achille Funi is represented by the painting Bimba coi fichi (Baby with figs) (end of the 1950s). Arturo Tosi, who joined the group in 1924, Massimo Campigli, Virgilio Guidi and other artists who joined the movement in the 1920s, like Pompeo Borra and Raffaele De Grada, are represented by works from later decades.
From the 1930s are paintings executed with rapid brushwork by Filippo De Pisis, a family friend, works by Léonor Fini, a rare example of the early period of Ennio Morlotti, who formed part of the Milanese movement Corrente (1934 -1943), opposed to the Novecentista emphatic style and inspired by Impressionism and German Expressionism. From the Corrente period are Paesaggio (Landscape) by Giuseppe Migneco and some of the paintings by Fiorenzo Tomea, one of the Simonettis and Rosa Mazzolini’s favourite artists, who then continued with his own figurative style; Aligi Sassu and Italo Valenti arre documented by works created between the late 1940s and early 1950s, Bruno Cassinari and Renato Birolli are represented by works from the 1950s when they turned to abstract forms.
Chiarismo (a 20th-century Italian art movement marked by light clear colours) is among the movements best represented in the collection: Umberto Lilloni, Francesco De Rocchi, Cristoforo De Amicis, Adriano Spilimbergo, stimulated by French Impressionism and by Italians like Ottone Rosai, turned again to painting en plein air, with a preference for light colours and forms constructed by light, with subjects ranging from landscapes to portraits.
Between 1946 and 1957 works by Ottone Rosai entered the collection, along with two views by Carlo Carrà (1952) where he restricts everything to essentials, but also compositions hovering between the real and the imaginary by Gianfilippo Usellini.
During the 1950s there was an opening to abstract-geometric spatial searching connected to musical rhythms by Mario Nigro and Luigi Veronesi, introduced into the collection thanks to Rosa Mazzolini, but above all the works of Lucio Fontana: his Concetti spaziali (Spatial Concepts) enriched the collection between 1956 and 1958.
Also included are works by Enrico Baj, one of those who signed the Technical Manifesto of Nuclear Painting against all formalism and in favour of a dynamic material expressed in iconographies marked by the explosion of the atom bomb. Nor did the affirmation of informal art fail to interest the doctor, and in addition to names like Tancredi and Scanavino, the collection includes works by Giulio Turcato, Antonio Corpora and Antonio Sanfilippo. Altogether personal is the approach of Giuseppe Capogrossi, and works are included that show his figurative phase (Paesaggio (Landscape), 1938) and also that which followed his turning to abstract art (1948) towards an informal design, interpreted through a peculiar “archetypal” module (trident or forchettone) in infinite variations.
The group of sculpture is small but important: it includes the Cristo sulla croce (Christ on the Cross) by Lucio Fontana (1951), a group of compositions by the Pomodoro brothers and some of Amilcare Rambelli’s creations.

The collectors
Domenica Rosa Mazzolini was born in 1930 at Brugnello (Corte Brugnatella, Piacenza) and moved to Milan in the 1940s. Having completed her training as a nurse, she found work in 1950 in the medical studio of the brother and sister Giovanni Battista Ettore and Fede Simonetti, with whom she shared a passion for art and collecting art works.
Giovanni Battista Ettore Simonetti (1909-1992) was a proctologist of international renown, an austere and cultured man, a sensitive and enlightened art collector who enjoyed direct relationships with the artists. He had his rooms in Milan, at via San Raffaele 3, together with his sister Fede Simonetti (1906-1994).


Opening time

MARCH, APRIL, MAY, JUNE, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER

Saturday: 3.30pm-6pm
Sundays and holidays: 10.30am-12.30am / 3.30pm-6pm

JULY and AUGUST

from Wednesday to Saturday: 3.30pm-6pm
Sundays and holidays: 10.30am-12.30am / 3.30pm-6pm

Possibility of extraordinary openings for a group of at least 10 people.


Prices

Combined ticket ABBEY MUSEUM + MAZZOLINI MUSEUM:

Full price ticket: € 6.00
Reduced price ticket *: € 4.00

*over 65, children from 7 to 14 years old, groups minimum 10 people, FAI members


Info: 340 5490674
340 5492188
info@cooltour.it
Fb e IG: @collezionemazzolini