Scalvini Collection

On the first floor of the villa, the collection of Giuseppe Scalvini donated in 1999, is housed by the apartments once reserved for the bedrooms, of which only the ceiling decorations remain.

The collection consists of 35sculptures in stone, bronze and plaster and in 2003, 16 charcoal drawings and engravings were added. The artworks are by Giuseppe Scalvini, a Milanese artist who donated part of his collection to the city of Desio where he worked on several occasions during his long career. For example in 1937, he did the two angels placed as crowning elements on the pediment of the 17th-century Basilica of San Siro and Materno.
After attending evening classes at the Brera Academy, the school of Applied Arts for Industry and Commerce at the Castello Sforzesco and the courses for perspective and shadow theory, he joined the artistic movement, “15 Borgonovo,” with Giovanni Fumagalli Aldo Brizzi, Gino and Antonio Meloni Ramponi, a group of artists who exhibited at Gallery 15 at Borgonovo in Milan, and then went on to existential realism of the 1950s.
His reputation as an international artist was confirmed with the invitation to the Venice Biennale in 1948 and 1954. In Milan, he worked with the greatest architects of the period and had the opportunity to work in important sites, such as the Central Station designed by Ulisse Stacchini. For this architectural complex, for example, he made some zoomorphic elements, including the eagles placed in several points of the building. Scalvini is also the creator of the Statue of Justice inside the Court of Milan and some sculptures of funerary statues for the Monumental Cemetery and the Cemetery Major.
As evidence of the close link with Brianza and in addition to the donation of 35 artworks in Desio, we have the works he achieved on the church of Giussano Verano. Some of the works on display were donated by the Benedetti family in Rome, the Tuscan Merculiali family and the Plicato Desio family, making up the first collection, and subsequently completed by the purchase by the municipality of Desio of two other works: “Il Saio/The Habit” and “The Pieta Rondanini revisited.”
The works belonging to the Scalvini collection also include a sculpture and drawings that pertain to a long span of time, from 1925 to 1998. The “Friends of the Scalvini Museum” supervised the valorization of the collection with the aim of promoting knowledge of the artist, placing alongside the permanent exhibition of his works also temporary exhibitions of 20th century artists.