Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo

Fondazione Brescia Musei


Brescia, Italy

Exhibition Gallery

2180 sqm

Leo Torri

Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo was closed in 2009 for undercoming a big refurbishment project that would include also an innovative museum lighting system.

In the heart of Brescia and in a historical building is where the gallery lies since 1908 and owes its name to its grand donors Paolo Tosio and Leopardo Martinengo da Barco.

The refurbishment included also changing its whole curating narrative, through an extensive research program, that led to a new method and order for exhibiting the artefacts, along the new exhibition halls.

In this context, lighting played an important role since the intervention wasn’t restrained only in offering light strictly dedicated on exhibits, but also adding value on the restyled building creating also innovative features.

There was a common method for illuminating the various assets: paintings, sculptures, ornaments, ceramics by artists like Raffaello, Foppa, Savoldo, Moretto, Romanino, Lotto, Ceruti, Hayez, Thorvaldsen, Pelagi, Canella and Canova.

Combining diffuse lighting together with direct light always ensuring as much as possible the comfortable viewing of all the artefacts, is the basis of the museum lighting intervention.

However, the challenge was integrating the museum lighting components in this particular spaces, usually very much differing from one hall to the other.

Each hall is almost unique, due to dimensions and architectural particularities like painted, vaulted, or coffered ceilings and presence of perimetral moldings.

Consequently, the project became extremely various and complex bringing to light different features, qualities and situations throughout the exhibition and the visitor had the chance to discover not only an ordinary museum exhibition but an overall experience.

Fake skylights with edge lighting panels, concealed light for illuminated the ceiling raising the visitor’s glance and moving it from the artefact to the space, creating surprise, passing from bright to more quiet spaces are some of the lighting movements composing the project.

This museum’s lighting project has been a pleasant challenge especially since it contributed to this great transformation. The inaugurated PinacotecaTosio Martinengo in Brescia receives a great amount of visitors every day that admire this precious place.

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