The Collection

The graphic and documentary heritage found in the collection of drawings, paintings, engravings and photographs done by and collected by the painters, Michele Panebianco (Messina, 1806 –1873) and Gregorio Panebianco (Messina 1848 – 1908), made up of 1229 pieces from the nineteenth century, has been declared of exceptional historical and artistic interest as it puts together the unpublished production of one of the most well known artists of nineteenth century accademic painting in Sicily. It also brings the work of Gregorio Panebianco, Michele’s nephew, to light, of which a small catalogue is present.

At the same time, the collection provides precious information regarding historical figures and events in  Messina before the earthquake in 1908 and sheds light on the modus operandi of the “historical painter” through the relationships it uncovers with other artists and the iconographic sources from which models and figurative subjects are taken. The collection, in fact, includes drawings and paintings  belonging to prominent artists like Vincenzo Camuccini, Raffaele Carelli, Giuseppe Patania and Luigi Lojacono.

The graphic collection consists of materials collected in albums, papers and loose works, sketches painted or prints.

The Albums of drawings are altogether ten and are subdivided as follows:

Album 001, 36 drawings
Album 002, 29 drawings
Album 003, 29 drawings + 19 loose cards inserted between the pages
Album 004, 148 drawings
Album 005, 55 designs
Album 006, 53 designs
Album 007, 54 designs
Album 008, 1 picture
Album 009, 26 drawings
Album 010, 355 drawings
No. 327: painting, drawings, prints
Albums of prints, n. 6: 6 albums containing 10 prints each (60)

The total number is 1229

Michele Panebianco, Carola di putti.
Disegno a matita, metà sec. XIX.
collezione privata
Gli album dei disegni della collezione privata
Copertina originale di un Album di disegni di Michele Panebianco

The Artist’s Private Library

Together with Michele Panebianco’s important graphic heritage received by the heir, there is also a part of the artist’s private library which has survived time and disasters. The remaining book heritage, recently inventoried, is made up of 100 titles with some pubblications divided into volumes and files that make the total number of works even greater.

Without cosidering the individual value of the books in the collection, what certainly appears clear is that they are precious documents which indicate the artist’s interests and research, and an important tool to rebuild the painter’s life, some aspects of which have been ignored or about which little was known till now. Through these works, historical facts linked to the prevalent culture, or to the intellectual mood of the citiziens of the city unfold, pointing out contacts with other national or European areas.

The main topics of the library

  • Drawing and illustration
  • Art and history of painting
  • History and historical biographies
  • Literature
  • Religious books
  • Philosophy
  • English books
La genealogia.

The origin of the collection

The collection of drawings, paintings and prints, just as the volumes and the books coming from the artist’s private library were received by the current owner and collectionist after Michele Panebianco’s death, after several changes of ownership, through inheritance, shown in the family tree.