A centuries-old Royal Residence in the heart of Piedmont
With more than a thousand years of history in a 19th-century park overlooking the stunning landscape of the Moraine Amphitheatre of Ivrea, The Castello di Masino lies in an inspiring corner of the Canavese area.
The former residence of the Counts Valperga, descendants of Arduino, the first King of Italy, the castle maintains the charm of its glorious past. This comes alive again today in its sumptuous salons, private rooms, and priceless library. The decorative scheme is an impeccable example of late 18th-century taste inspired by knowledge and re-use of the motifs of Greco-Roman painting rediscovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum.
FAI UK has accepted FAI’s call for support in the restoration of the room known as the “Sala delle Tre Finestre” (Room of Three Windows). Following an initial clean of the frescoed surface, work will continue in 2019 with the consolidation of all the walls, the restoration of the ceiling, the rice-powder door and the reinstallation of the Castle’s historic furnishings.
This room was created at the behest of Count Carlo Francesco II Valperga di Masino, Viceroy of Sardinia, in the last decade of the 18th century. With the assistance of the architect Filippo Castelli, the Count decided to modernise the new rooms situated in the eastern wing. This room was originally a loggia, facing out over the internal terrace, which was closed off and incorporated into the Count’s Apartment as a place given over to guests’ leisure and conversation. The in-depth research carried out on the historic furniture archives confirms that the room originally played host to numerous card tables. In the early 20th century, the room was then used as a study for the displaying of the mementos of the Valperga family.
The credit for the decorative scheme of the “Sala delle Tre Finestre” goes to Gaetano Vigna (and his studio), a painter and set designer active in Turin in the 1790s. He was responsible for the subtle grotesque decoration with caryatids, and the small glimpses of landscapes with figures of animals, sphinxes, and dragons. The fixtures and furnishings – including the marble fireplace, sofa, chairs, armchairs, small mahogany tables with motifs made using white rice powder and stucco, and the impressive wooden door with plaster “plating” – complete the modern decorative scheme, updated to match the taste of the late 18th century.