Palazzo Montecitorio houses more than one thousand paintings and sculptures dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries, several thousand engravings and prints from various periods, a collection of archaeological finds as well as a considerable quantity of art items such as clocks, period furniture, tapestries, busts and sculptures. This extensive and varied collection was gradually put together in various ways after the palace was taken over by the Chamber of Deputies.
Many of these works are the property of the various Heritage Superintendencies and are in temporary deposit at the Chamber of Deputies. They consist mainly of 17-18th century works acquired over the years for the purpose of furnishing and decorating the parliamentary institution. The remaining art treasures, mostly modern and contemporary works, were purchased directly by the Chamber starting in the Thirties. A small part is also made up of donations by the artists or their heirs. Moreover, during the 13th Parliament, an ad-hoc Committee on the safeguard of artistic and architectural treasures has been established at the Chamber of Deputies. This Committee sets the guidelines with regard to the measures to be taken for the conservation and the enlargement of the architectural and art works belonging to the Chamber of Deputies.
Furthermore, according to a course of action undertaken during the 13th Parliament, the Committee has decided to return a large number of works that are in temporary deposit at the Chamber of Deputies to the Heritage Superintendencies to which they belong, as they were deemed essential to the reconstruction of their museum stock. An exchange programme with Museo in Capodimonte and Galleria di Arte Moderna in Rome has been started.
The art collection contains a high proportion of works by 19th Century artists, such as Anton Sminck van Pitloo "Navigli sul mare in tempesta", Antonio Fontanesi "La pastorella", Francesco Paolo Michetti "Testa di contadina", Armando Ferraguti "Il riposo di una cadine nell'harem", Nicola Parise "I feriti di Porta Pia", Carlo Bellosio "David che trattiene il braccio di Abigail", Francesco Londonio "Animali", Giuseppe Cammarano "Ercole a cavallo", Andrea Besteghi "Collenuccio condannato dai suoi cari", Enrico Bartezago "Alpi Pennine", S. Bruzzi "Tre pecore al pascolo".
Most of the works purchased directly by the Chamber of Deputies are examples of 20th century Italian art, from the Thirties to the Seventies. This collection of works covers several different periods of Italian art, such as the celebrative and figurative periods, and contains a large number of works by artists working in Rome who were known as the "Rome school".
As for the important collection of contemporary art belonging to the Chamber of Deputies, this has been further enlarged upon the initiative of the Committee on the safeguard of artistic and architectural treasures, which acquired several works by young artists who have already exhibited at cultural events such as the Quadriennale in Rome and the Biennale in Venice.Photo album