At 512 meters above sea level, with approximately 900 inhabitants, a lovely historic center entrenched at the summit of a hill, Anticoli Corrado could seem one of the many towns of the Aniene Valley. What makes it so interesting and particular in the eyes of many artists who have stayed there, who have established themselves there, and have taken its images around the world?
It is difficult to say, foreigners were among the first to discover the location: departing from Tivoli and its wooded surroundings, the artists often went on foot or by horse to the Aniene Valley, drawing inspiration from its romantically wild landscapes and its picturesque towns. In the second half of the 19th century even Italian painters began coming here, attracted also by the pleasant beauty of the young people from the countryside to use as models
This tendency continued in the many decades that followed, and by 1935 there were 55 artist studios in Anticoli Corrado: a very noteworthy number for a small town of a little more than one thousand inhabitants. And many of the young dedicated themselves, also going to Rome and frequenting the studios of Via Margutta and Via Flaminia, as models while many acted as “secretaries” to the painters, to whom they brought their easels and paints, they cleaned their palettes and paint brushes, a type of assistant. But the Anticolane models, other than having the gift of expressive beauty, were also often intelligent, strong-willed, capable: many of them married the painters who painted their portraits, others married into important European families, others became important painters themselves reaching, in different cases, good notoriety at national and international levels.
And today, going up the center of the town, you find the pretty Piazza delle Ville, at the center of which in the 1930's was placed a beautiful fountain by Arturo Martini, one of the most famous Italian sculptors of the last century. Ask at the Museum, which is a few meters away in a little piazza recently restructured.
The Civic Museum of Modern Art of Anticoli is housed on two levels of the building donated to the town by the prince Marcantonio Brancaccio, including the area of the old castle transformed into a baronial palace. It draws its origins from the Galleria Comunale d'Arte Moderna (Communal Gallery of Modern Art) inaugurated in 1935 in two locations in Piazza delle Ville, born from the idea of artists Riccardo Assanti and Pietro Gaudenzi who wanted to organize a public collection of artwork created on location.
The original Gallery came about passing the series of years of the War and After-War, then the middle of the 1960's, years in which there were new impulses. From there the sequence of events started, thanks to the continuous will of the town, to the work that many of its inhabitants who were passionate about it, up to reaching the truly important consistency that we find today: more than 200 works, of which many from famous artists, even at the international level such as: Domenico Spadini, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Arturo Martini, Fausto Pirandello, Rafael Alberti, Ercole Drei, Adolfo De Carolis and many others, and becoming a true, actual center of culture that organizes events and exhibitions.
A guided visit is recommended because the majority of the works have their "story" behind them, sometimes funny episodes, sometimes emotional.