The Pinacoteca Foresiana was born in 1914 thanks to the donation of the private collection of the scholar and intellectual Mario Foresi, born in Pisa from an illustrious Elban family (Pisa 1849 – Florence 1932), who collected the inheritance of his father Raffaello and his uncle Alessandro, great collectors and lovers of the history of figurative arts.
The Pinacoteca Foresiana was opened to the public on 21 September 1924, initially it was housed on the top floor of the Town Hall where it remained until 1943. Subsequently the works were transferred in the two Napoleonic residences of San Martino and the Mills. In 1991 it was finally moved to its current location.
Visit to the Foresiana Art Gallery
The visit opens with a group of portraits dedicated to the members of the Foresi family, among which we find the Portrait of Alessandro Foresi of 1870 by Antonio Ciseri (Ronco, 1821 – Florence, 1891), that of Mario Foresi by David Sani of 1881, and one of Mario’s 18-year-old daughter, Maria Alessandrina.
Images of Elban characters and places follow. This series opens with the famous Portrait of Mago Chiò, created by Telemaco Signorini (Florence 1835 – 1901), an artist linked to the Macchiaioli movement who painted numerous works during his holiday in Elba, as a guest of Mario Foresi.
Elban landscapes and views of various kinds follow one another with different signatures and styles, ranging from post-staining to cloisonné, to more purely academic settings.
The second room of the Pinacoteca Foresiana is instead dedicated to the genres of nineteenth-century painting, ranging from orientalism, to caricature, to portraits.
The third room houses copies of paintings from the antique, testifying to the charm and influence that the Renaissance and Baroque tradition has exercised on nineteenth-century painting and paintings on sacred subjects. We find in this section, among the many, copies of paintings by Botticelli, Raphael and Correggio.
Glimpses of Rome, Florence and Livorno at the Pinacoteca Foresiana
Another part of the Pinacoteca Foresiana welcomes the views of the city where we find glimpses of Rome, Florence (including those by Giuseppe Moricci) and Livorno.
The fifth room is dedicated to paintings with a mythological theme and episodes of ancient history, and the subsequent to the variety of genres between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Ample space is also reserved for old-fashioned landscapes, in which there is also the Lake of Nemi by Salvator Rosa (Naples 1615, Rome 1673) .
The tenth room, conceived as a sort of exhibition appendix, houses paintings not belonging to the Foresi legacy, and integrates the collection with works owned by the Municipality of Portoferraio . This last section opens with Plinio Nomellini’s Portrait of the lawyer Pietro Gori (Livorno 1866, Florence 1945), representing a unicum in the history of the Livorno painter.
Here are some landscape works by the Elban painter Pietro Senno (Portoferraio 1831, Pisa 1904). A very significant detail of this room is undoubtedly represented by Llewelyn Lloyd’s Tamerice (Livorno 1879, Florence 1949).
The visit to the Pinacoteca Foresiana concludes with various views of Elba and of Portoferraio by Giuseppe Mazzei and Edoardo Gordigiani.
How to reach the Picture gallery
The Pinacoteca Foresiana is located in the De Laugier building inside the historic center of Portoferraio, entered from Porta a Mare, we follow the Town Hall where the Salita remains clearly visible Napoleon . Halfway on the left we find the large square and the De Laugier Cultural Center.