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The Pinacoteca of Sassari


The Pinacoteca is located in the historical centre of Sassari, between the Church of Santa Caterina and the Palazzo Ducale, and hosts more than 400 artworks, mainly paintings, representing the artistic production of different Italian and European schools from the Middle Ages to the 21th c. It also includes an important section dedicated to Sardinian artists from the beginning of the 19th c. and a rich section of graphic works.

The History

Opened in 2008, the Pinacoteca shows off to the public the rich collections donated by private citizens to the state. In 1875, businessman and politician Giovanni Antonio Sanna donated his personal collection of archaeological findings and paintings, which was initially preserved in a building known as”€œPinacoteca Comunale” and later in the Palazzo Ducale.
During the eighties of the 20th c. the State acquired the College of Canopoleno (“Convitto Nazionale Canopoleno“)  which, thanks to its 17th c. ample spaces and thorough restoration works and arrangements, later became the Pinacoteca of Sassari.

The Building

The building housing the Pinacoteca was built between the end of the 16th c. and beginning of the 17th c. by the Jesuits. In 1860 it became an exclusive college owned by the state, the Royal College of Canopoleno attended by aristocratic families.
During the seventies of the 20th c. the college moved to a new location. The old building was abandoned until it was acquired by the state, which is today in charge of preservation and exhibition setting, also thanks to the contributions of the Gioco del Lotto.
The tuff masonry building which hosts the Pinacoteca has austere and essential spaces, where visitors enjoy a picturesque and solemn atmosphere.
The flooring shows different phases of construction. The most ancient flooring is made of terracotta, marble and Venetian clay floor, while the 20th c. spaces are covered with graniglia tiles.

The Collection

The rich and articulated collections, which include items dating from the 13th c. to the 21st c., make the Pinacoteca of Sassari the largest exhibition of artworks in Sardinia.
The Polychrome Wooden Cross dating to the end of the 13th c. is the oldest item in the Pinacoteca, even though the Triptych of the Books (Trittico dei Libri) from the end of the 14th c., the Madonna with Child by Bartolomeo Vivarini and the Maddalena by Andrea Vaccaro are all noteworthy and flaunt the richness of the museum.
A special mention must also be made for paintings by Sardinian artists dating back to the 19th c. and beginning of the 20th c.  – such as Giovanni Marghinotti, Antonio Ballero, Filippo Figari, Giuseppe Biasi, Carmelo Floris, Pietro Antonio Manca, Mario Delitala, Stanis Dessy and Eugenio Tavolara and of graphic works by Giuseppe Biasi and Stanis Dessy.

Deacon Saint by the Master of Castelsardo

The collection includes the wonderful painting representing a Deacon Saint and dating to the 15th c. It is attributed to the Master of Castelsardo, a painter active in Sardinia who has the merit of having spread the Catalan gothic and the novelties of Italian and Flemish Renaissance.

Panicali – Battaglia Donation

n 2010 nine paintings by Carlo Battaglia (1933-2005) from La Maddalena were donated to the Pinacoteca. The painter portrays sea landscapes and Sardinian islands (particularly the island of La Maddalena, where he spent the last years of his life) which reveal his artistic inclination in the second half of the 20th c.

Panattara by Giovanni Marghinotti

The 1942 painting by Giovanni Marghinotti portrays a traditional bride of Cagliari as she puts on her dress. She is one of the symbols of the city. She prepares or sell bread and is identified through her traditional clothing, known as “de Villanova”, from the district located in the very centre of Cagliari.


Via Santa Caterina, 4
07100 Sassari