Exhibition in Villa Bernasconi: Lake Como with Antonio and Marieda

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  • November 2, 2022

The Villa Bernasconi Museum in Cernobbio hosts the exhibition “At the Lake with Antonio and Marieda,” consisting of about 20 works, including paintings and sculptures, from the Boschi Di Stefano House Museum Collection. The exhibition is curated by Claudia Taibez, head of the Villa Bernasconi Museum, and Chiara Fabi, curator of the House Museum Unit.

Antonio Boschi and Marieda Di Stefano are among the most active Italian art collectors. Their collection represents an extraordinary record of 20th-century Italian art history-including paintings, sculptures, and drawings from the first decade of the 20th century to the late 1960s.

In 1974 an impressive selection of three hundred works from the collection of Antonio Boschi and Marieda Di Stefano was donated to the City of Milan.

Throughout 1935 and 1936, Antonio and Marieda visited Lake Como several times. The exhibition in Villa Bernasconi starts with eight photographs from the couple’s travel albums, preserved at the Castello Sforzesco Photographic Cabinet (two photographs were taken in 1936 at Villa d’Este and Cernobbio).

The “villeggiatura” is part of the widespread passion of Milan’s young industrial bourgeoisie for Lombard lakes, established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and still alive today.

In fact, the focus of Lombardy’s tourist fame was the Lake Como region and the Varese territories, areas linked since the eighteenth century to the vacationing tradition of the Milanese and international aristocracy in the summer and autumn months; the emergence of a new and dynamic middle class entailed the renewal of the ancient perspectives of travel: Milan, a “reservoir of tourist “food” in the last two decades of the 19th century, discovered intensive use of the surrounding land and landscape; the latter became a destination for trips and outings in search of a “healthy climate” and in search of a “beautiful landscape” (now hidden by the growing industrial suburbs of urban areas).

Collina Giuliano Bagnanti
Collina Giuliano Bagnanti

On the second floor of the Villa Bernasconi, the “Pavone Tacchinato” Room is rearranged to house a selection of Marieda Di Stefano’s ceramic sculptures. Marieda was both a collector and an artist who debuted in the 1950s, opening a ceramics school within the same building where she lived.

The atmosphere of Antonio and Marieda’s time is also recreated by the music of that period played in the Villa Bernasconi. A selection of 24 vintage photographs from the Vasconi Historical Photographic Archive is displayed, capturing the essence of vacationing on the lake between the 1920s and 1940s: a lake landscape “unique in the world,” with enchanting views that “one would never want to leave,” as Stendhal proclaimed in a moment of ecstasy.

THE VILLA BERNASCONI MUSEUM was opened in 2017, and it is an original museum housed in the splendid Art Nouveau villa of the same name in Cernobbio, in Lake Como.

Villa Bernasconi offers an experience made of suggestions and connections guided by the #vocidivilla (voice of the villa): an innovative, multisensory and interactive path through multimedia content, objects, and historical documents on loan from the museum and private collections.

Address: Villa Bernasconi

Via Campanini 2, Cernobbio 

Until January 2023.


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Seven Books about Lake Como to Buy on Amazon

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Like a Fairy Tale: Orticolatio Returns to Cernobbio

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