On November 5, 2021, the Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti and the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea present The Cerruti Collection Catalogue, published by Umberto Allemandi Editore and edited by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. This two volumes publication of over 1,200 pages is the result of three-year long research project involving 89 Italian and international scholars.
Research for the Cerruti Collection general catalog began in 2017. It has involved numerous Italian and international scholars over three years, who have contributed according to their specific fields of expertise. This has led to an extraordinary polyphony of views, translating into multiple different standpoints well suited to the multifaceted nature of Francesco Federico Cerruti’s art collection.
Francesco Federico Cerruti (Genoa, 1922 – Turin, 2015) moved to Turin in 1923 where, since late 1950s, he expanded his father’s small binding business, turning it into a success.
From the 1960s until his death, Francesco Federico Cerruti collected some 300 works of sculpture and painting, ranging from the Middle Ages to today, plus approximately 200 rare and ancient books, and over 300 furnishings including carpets and desks by renowned cabinet makers. Cerruti assembled a primarily European collection – very strong in Italian art – that provides a journey into the history of art, from furniture to historic art, from the Renaissance to today. It is a private collection of immense quality, like very few in Europe and the world, including extraordinary works ranging from Bernardo Daddi, Bergognone, Pontormo, Ribera and Batoni to Renoir, Modigliani, Kandinsky, Giacometti, Picasso, Klee, de Chirico, Severini, Boccioni, Balla, and Magritte, as well as Bacon, Burri, Fontana, Warhol, De Dominicis, and Paolini.
The Cerruti Collection Catalogue focuses on his unique collection, which opened to the public in 2019. The first volume opens with a visual essay, taking the reader on a journey through the rooms and garden of Villa Cerruti, a few hundred meters away from Castello di Rivoli. This is followed by essays on the following themes: The Art Collection; The Manuscripts, Books and Bindings; The Furnishings, Carpets and Decorative Arts; The House Museum. This publication aims at understanding the artworks in the collection and their provenance as well as establishing a relationship between the collector and the building where he decided to house his treasures. Volume one of the catalog begins with a section on Manuscripts, Books, and Bindings. Volume one also includes entries for Painting, Sculpture, and Works on Paper from the 14th Century to the 19th Century. In volume two, the Catalogue continues with Painting, Sculpture, and Works on Paper from the 20th Century, Furniture and Furnishings, Carpets and Other Textiles, and Decorative Arts. In each section, the works are chronologically presented except for the works by the same author, which are grouped together starting with the oldest piece. Lastly, the End Matter section comprises a biography of Cerruti and of the authors.
Authors of the catalog include: Vivian Endicott Barnett, Independent art historian and curator, author of four volumes of the Kandinsky catalogue raisonné; Marcella Beccaria, Chief curator and collections curator, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Turin; Fabio Belloni, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History, Università degli Studi di Torino; Achille Bonito Oliva, art critic who developed the theory of the Transavangardia, giving rise to the eponymous artistic movement; Emily Braun, Distinguished Professor, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, Cuny, New York; Fabio Cafagna, Art historian and catalog editor, Cerruti Collection, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Turin; Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti per l’Arte, Rivoli-Turin; Ester Coen, Art historian, expert in Futurism, Metaphysics and international art from the avant-gardes to contemporary art; Andrea De Marchi, Full Professor of Medieval Art History, Università degli Studi di Firenze; Carlo Falciani, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History, Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze; Flavio Fergonzi, Full Professor of Contemporary Art History, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa; Mirjam Foot, DLitt, FSA, former Director of Collections and Preservation at the British Library, London; Marie Kakinuma, Art History Researcher, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern; Veronica Peselmann, Researcher and Lecturer, University of Bielefeld, Department for Art History and Historical Image Studies; Emilia Philippot, Chief Curator and Curator of the Collections, Musée National Picasso, Paris; Salvatore Settis, Emeritus Professor, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa; Marco Vallora, Journalist, essayist and friend of Francesco Federico Cerruti; Claudio Zambianchi, Full Professor of Contemporary Art History, La Sapienza – Università di Roma, among others.
Italian and international authors of the catalog taking part in the Conference include: Vivian Endicott Barnett, Emily Braun, Giorgina Bertolino, Virginia Bertone, Andrea De Marchi, Mirjam Foot, Marie Kakinuma, Veronica Peselmann, Emilia Philippot, Aurora Scotti, Salvatore Settis, Claudio Zambianchi, among others.