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Torino 1798 . Torino 1866

Massimo D'Azzeglio

"Muzio Attendolo Sforza che lancia l'accetta sull'albero" - Olio su tela 177 x 247 cm

Massimo d'Azeglio, son of the Marquis Cesare Taparelli d'Azeglio and Cristina Morozzo di Bianzè, was born in Turin on 24 October 1798.
Following the conquest of Turin by the Napoleonic government, the d'Azeglio family moved to Florence, where they began to frequent the house of the Countess of Albany, Marie-Caroline de Stolberg, who counted many artists among her guests, including the French painter François Xavier Fabre. In 1807 the family returned to Turin and Massimo had the opportunity to attend the Royal University in the physics class.

In Turin he had the opportunity to meet some of the most influential figures of the Savoy city between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

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During a stay in Rome he frequented illustrious artists, including Canova, Thorwaldsen, Rauch, Camuccini, Landi and Chauvin, who contributed to giving rise to Massimo's desire to dedicate himself to painting.

In 1815 he returned to Turin and became second lieutenant in the "Cavalleria della Stanza a Venaria Reale".
However, intolerant of the rigid military life, he decided to dedicate himself to painting: thanks to his friend Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts, he entered to work in the studio of the painter Daniele Revelli, with the intention of refining his artistic technique and deepen the practice of painting from life.

In 1819 he left for Rome and moved to the Roman countryside, where he frequented the prestigious artistic environment gathered around Villa Cybo; he met the Flemish painter Verstappen, whose studio he attended as a pupil in Rome.

In 1820 he exhibited some works at the University Palace of Turin and in 1826 he ended his stays in the Roman countryside. During a trip to Naples in 1827 he met Anton Sminck van Pitloo; D'Azeglio's notebooks from that period are full of sketches of the Neapolitan city and Sorrento.

Having returned to Turin, between 1819 and 1820, he dedicated himself to one of his most famous historical paintings: The Challenge of Barletta and to the novel Ettore Fieramosca published in 1833.

In 1831 he moved to Milan, where he met and began to frequent Alessandro Manzoni assiduously; Not much time had passed since then when D'Azeglio's wedding was celebrated with the poet's daughter, Giulia, who made him the father of a little girl.

D'Azeglio became a successful painter and until 1843 his landscape paintings, with historical, literary and chivalric subjects, were well displayed in various artistic events. From the second half of the 1840s, he embarked on a political career, accepting the direction of the liberal movement in Romagna. In 1845 he obtained an audience with Carlo Alberto and on that occasion the king pronounced the famous phrase: "Let those gentlemen know that they remain quiet and do not move, as there is nothing to do for now; but let them be certain that if the opportunity presents itself, my life, the lives of my children, my weapons, my treasures, my army, everything, will be spent for the Italian cause".

When Cardinal Mastai Ferretti was elected pontiff in June 1846, d'Azeglio rushed to Rome to meet him and began a political campaign in support of a dual plan: to induce him to become the leader of the Italian princes to free Italian territory from the foreign presence, and convince progressives and conservatives to join forces in this direction.

In his writings between 1846 and 1848 he outlined his project for state reform, and denounced the heavy Austrian interference in Italian affairs, which was particularly harsh following the Congress of Vienna.

On 5 March 1848 Carlo Alberto granted the Statute and took to the field, realizing d'Azeglio's dream of seeing Piedmont at the head of the fight for freedom, for which he committed himself to fighting in the papal army. But the dream was shattered when Pius IX reneged on his support for the Italian cause.

D'Azeglio did not abandon politics; after being elected deputy, the new king Victor Emmanuel II appointed him president of the Council of Ministers on 6 May 1849, a position he held until 1852. As prime minister, he moved skillfully in the peace negotiations with Austria and as Foreign Minister obtained the moral support of France and England, managing to achieve approval of the peace treaty.

Following the fall of his government, he returned to painting and in 1855 assumed the position of director of the Royal Art Gallery. He wore the uniform again in 1859, with the rank of general, when a new war with Austria loomed. Massimo d'Azeglio died in 1866 at the Accademia Albertina in Turin, in which he owned a room.



The project will be accompanied by an important concert series entrusted to the talent of some of the most successful Italian concert players.


All of them had the good fortune to know Maestro Angelo Gilardino; for some he has represented a fundamental teacher in their artistic career and they have had the privilege of extending the didactic and professional relationship to a relationship of deep esteem and friendship.

All of them have masterfully performed compositions by the master of which they were often the direct dedicatees, of which they have given the absolute "premiere" and recorded interpretations of great quality.

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