Artistic endeavours

Collezione M and subsequently Fondazione Sorgente Group were born in consequence to the constant endeavours which Paola Mainetti and her husband Valter devote to the world of culture and art.

Collezione M, referring to Mainetti, has its origins in the Thirties, and was then expanded at the end of the Seventies, focusing primarily on the collection of works of art of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth century, with particular focus on the Guercino paintings. Apart from the artistic masterpieces, the collection also includes archeological artifacts, such as Roman and Lombard furniture of the Eighteenth century, antique books and jewelry pocket watches of the 19th century, Fabergè enamel and silver, and recently a collection of Art Nouveau furniture and objects.
In January 2007, with the financial support of Sorgente Group, Fondazione Sorgente Group, an art and cultural institution, was set up as a non-profit organization with the objective of preserving and promoting the most important expressions of Italian culture both at national and international level.

Through their work of research and selection of archeological and artistic works of art, both on the antiques market as well as from international auctions, today the Foundation owns an archeological collection which consists of Greek and Roman sculptures in marble and bronze of considerable stylistic and iconographic importance. The sculptures and the Roman portraits dating back to the Julio-Claudian dynasty, represent the core of the collection. Of notable interest is the portrait of Marcellus, nephew of Augustus, a masterpiece subject to decree of the Special Archeological Service in Rome, already exhibited at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme in December 2008, and the rare bronze portrait representing Papposilenus displayed at the Museum of Palazzo Altemps in April 2010.

On the other hand, the Collection of antique paintings embraces a different time frame which spans from the Renaissance to the late 18th century, with particular attention given to the Emilian school of the XVII century with paintings by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, better known as the “Guercino from Cento” and of the other great Bolognese master, Guido Reni. Of notable importance is the painting “Diana the Huntress”, a work originating from a more mature period of Guercino, exhibited in June 2011 at the Pinacoteca Civica of Cento on occasion of the temporary exhibition dedicated to the painting: “Guercino 1658. Diana the Huntress of Fondazione Sorgente Group” . The Collection includes 18th century Roman Landscape paintings, a current followed by Giovanni Paolo Panini and Andrea Locatelli, two of its major exponents.

The Foundation primarily deals with activities of research, enhancement and promotion of its own art Collection through the direct organization and participation in temporary exhibitions in museums in collaboration with private and public entities and institutions such as Superintendence, Universities, Museums, and Research Centers, accepting requests for loans of their works of art for important exhibitions.

As occurred in 2008 with the painting “Madonna with Blessing Child” by Bernardo di Betto known as Pinturicchio, given on loan to the National Gallery in Umbria, Perugia, for the monographic exhibition on the artist and which was subsequently requested on occasion of the Christmas Festivities in 2011 of the Capitoline Museums in Rome. The interest for the painting “Diana the Huntress” was confirmed by the the loan thereof for the exhibition “Guercino 1591-1666. Capolavori da Cento e da Roma” (Palazzo Barberini, December 2011 – April 2012), as homage to Sir Denis Mahon, deep connoisseur of the artist from Cento, who recently passed.

Thanks to the strong collaboration with the academic and institutional world, scientific publications of great interest have been realized, such as the “Marcello” by Valerio Massimo Manfredi and the study by Antonio Giuliano; “The Smile of Dionysus” edited by Prof. Eugenio La Rocca and with the collaboration of numerous academics; “Guercino 1658. Diana the Huntress”, for the analysis of the painting; “La Galleria di Piazza Colonna” with an architectural and archeological in-depth study of the building on the recent discoveries resulting from the excavation.

Of fundamental importance for the Foundation as a private reality, has been the adherence to the Romaexhibit protocol, Art and Exhibitions in Rome, a system which collects the principal museums and exhibition areas of the Capital, harmonizing between them the dates of the different cultural appointments. The Foundation has adhered to such initiative following the realization project of its own exhibition space, situated within the new headquarters of Sorgente Group, at 132 via del Tritone in Rome.

The impending endeavour regarding the planning, restoration and realization of the space has been necessary so that the Foundation could have an environment in which it would be possible to organize cultural events and temporary thematic exhibitions, directly promoted with the aim of enhancing the art collections directly owned by the Foundation and for cultural initiatives and manifestations. The artistic promotion and scientific analysis are amongst the principal objectives on which the activities and organizational efforts of the Foundation are based.