Foresian Art Gallery
Open from April to November:
- From 7/4 to 11/06: 9.30-13.00 and 15.30-18.30 (Sunday closed);
- From 12/06 to 10/09: open every day: Monday to Saturday 10.00-13.00/17.30-22.30, Sunday 10.00-13.00
- From 11/09 to 5/11: 9.30-13.00 and 15.30-18.30 (Sunday closed)
During the rest of the year it is always possible to visit the museum by reservation.
At the cultural center of Laugier
Piazzale de Laugier, 57037, Portoferraio (LI), Elba Island
Tel. +39 0565 1933589
An authentic journey into the heart of Elba's artistic and cultural history. Housed in a prestigious 16th century building, the Foresian Art Gallery is an unmissable experience for those who want to experience the colours and feel the soul of this fascinating island.
The Foresian Gallery was set up in 1914 with the donation of the private collection of Mario Foresi (Pisa 1849 – Florence 1932), a local scholar and intellectual. Born to an illustrious family from Elba, Mario inherited the collection from his father Raffaello and uncle Alessandro, who were both considered great collectors and connoisseurs of the history of the figurative arts. This precious patrimony includes paintings, prints, furniture and drawings from a wide range of eras and a great variety of artists and schools, reflecting the predilections of the collector and his family.
The Gallery first opened to the public on 21 September 1924 and was initially housed on the top floor of the Town Hall, where it remained until 1943. Later, the collection moved to the two Napoleonic residences of San Martino and dei Mulini, and in 1991 it moved to its present location in the De Laugier ex-army Barracks.
The tour opens with a group of portraits dedicated to members of the Foresi family, including the 1870 Ritratto di Alessandro Foresi (Portrait of Alessandro Foresi) by Antonio Ciseri (Ronco, 1821 – Florence, 1891), the 1881 portrait of Mario Foresi by David Sani, and a portrait of Mario’s 18-year-old daughter, Maria Alessandrina.
The next section of people and places on Elba is an explicit homage to the island and the town of Portoferraio which houses the family’s collection. The series opens with the famous Ritratto di Mago Chiò (Portrait of Mago Chiò) by Telemaco Signorini (Florence 1835 – 1901), an artist linked to the Macchiaioli movement who painted many works during his holidays on Elba, where he stayed as Mario Foresi’s guest. Visitors can enjoy a variety of landscapes and views of Elba from different artists in a range of styles ranging from late Macchiaioli to cloisonné, as well as more academic styles.
The second room is devoted to the genres found in nineteenth-century art, including Orientalism, caricatures and portraits.
The third room houses copies of historical paintings, demonstrating the fascination with Renaissance and Baroque tradition and the influence of religion on nineteenth-century art. In this section we can find copies of paintings by Botticelli, Raphael and Correggio and many other famous artists.
Another section houses views of cities such as Rome, Florence (including those by Giuseppe Moricci) and Livorno.
The fifth room is dedicated to paintings with mythological themes and scenes from ancient history, while the next room explores the variety of genres which were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Ample space has also been reserved for historical works including il Lago di Nemi (Lake Nemi) by Salvator Rosa (Naples 1615 – Rome 1673).
The tenth room, which can be considered an appendix to the exhibition, contains paintings which are owned by the Municipality of Portoferraio and not part of the Foresi collection.
This section opens with the Ritratto dell’avvocato Pietro Gori (Portrait of the lawyer Pietro Gori) by Plinio Nomellini (Livorno 1866 – Florence 1945), representing a significant departure from the Livorno artist’s regular style. This is followed by some landscapes from the local artist Pietro Senno (Portoferraio 1831 – Pisa 1904). A very important piece in this room is undoubtedly the Tamerisk tree by Llewelyn Lloyd (Livorno 1879 – Florence 1949).
The visit concludes with several views of Elba and Portoferraio by Giuseppe Mazzei and Edoardo Gordigiani.
De Laugier Cultural CentreAn authentic journey into the heart of Elba's artistic and cultural history. Housed in a ... Info
Regular Ticket: € 5.00
Reduced: € 3.00 (families minimum 3 people, children 9-18 years, students, over 70 years old, groups over 10 people)
The Museum offers disabled access thanks to an entrance ramp and lift. There are no internal obstacles.
How to get there
The De Laugier Conference Centre is located along Salita Napoleone, in the heart of Portoferraio's historic centre, a five-minute walk from Piazza Cavour. Visitors should walk up a small slope on the left which opens onto a large square which houses the De Laugier Conference Centre.
To Learn More
- AA.VV, Pinacoteca Comunale Foresiana Portoferraio, Octavo Franco Cantini Editore, Firenze, 1996
- Biblioteca Foresiana, Catalogo schematico delle opera d’arte e degli oggetti notevoli compilato dal conservatore Dott.Eugenio Marini, Casa Editrice Ditta R. Noccioli, Empoli, 1932
- Biblioteca Foresiana, Bilbioteca e Pinacoteca Comunale (dal nome del donator: Foresiana), Portoferraio, Tip. Elbana G. Sassi, 1940
- Biblioteca Foresiana, Inaugurazione della “Foresiana”, 21 settembre 1924, Tipografia Popolare, Portoferraio, 1924
- Biblioteca Foresiana, Lettere scritte al Sindaco e Podestà di Portoferraio gr. Uff. Epanimoda Pasella, dal gr. Uff. Ing. Mario Foresi insigne letterato e cultore d’arte, Cittadino Onorario di Portoferraio, donator della Biblioteca e Pinacoteca Municipale (Foresiana), Portoferraio, Tip. Elbana G. Sassi, 1937
The Museum System in Portoferraio
History, Archaeology, Fortress