Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, Brescia

Fondazione Brescia Musei


Brescia, Italy

Exhibition Gallery

2180 sqm

Leo Torri

Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo closed in 2009 for undercoming a big refurbishment project with a whole renovated lighting project. The gallery is located in a historical building in the heart of Brescia 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, resulting in a new method and order for exhibiting the artefacts, along with the new refurbished 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 lighting features.

The 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 – was common between all the halls. 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 lighting intervention. The challenge was integrating the 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 or mouldings.
The project had been extremely various and complex bringing to light different features and 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 Gallery is unique since it represents a journey in art from painting, to decorative arts and architecture and the lighting project had been a pleasant challenge especially observing this great transformation.
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