P. Chiesa Foundation
Pietro Chiesa is one of the greatest artists from Ticino, working from the late 19th to the mid 20th century. He trained at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, and lived in this city until 1917.
Between 1920 and 1950 he became a major exponent in artistic circles in Ticino, and is also considered an important artist at national level in Switzerland. Until 1950 he was the most emblematic artist in Ticino, following in the footsteps of Vincenzo Vela. The quality of his work, at its very best, and his importance as a man of culture have secured him a key position in Ticino's history in the first half of the 20th century.
A friend of Amiet, the Giacometti, Haller and Baud-Bovy, Pietro Chiesa played a fundamental role in the delicate relations between the Italian and German-French cultural environments.
The Museo d'arte Mendrisio possesses the largest collection of works by Pietro Chiesa, a key figure in the history of art and in 20th century culture in general, above all in the first half of the 20th century.
His works in store at the Museum cover a vast range of production (1895-1959), and there is no aspect of his artistic creativity which is not represented here.
370 of Chiesa's works (including preparatory studies for important public works) and some works by friends and colleagues from Italy and Ticino.
Due to the exhibition held at the Museo d'arte Mendrisio in 2004, part of which was shown at the National Musuem of Prangins (Nyon), the study of archive material has shed light on the major role played by Pietro Chiesa not only in the history of art in Ticino and Lombardy from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century, but also in the wider political and cultural environment of Ticino.
The large and varied archive of material and documents (photos, notebook, catalogues, periodicals and newspapers), now kept with the works which the Museo d'arte has acquired, provides an extremely valuable source of information for those studying the history of Ticino.