History & Heritage
HISTORY & HERITAGEIN BRIEF
The Tesoriera's central building was constructed between 1713 and 1715 for Aymo Ferrero Cocconato, director and chief treasurer of the Duke of Savoy and King of Sicily, Victor Amadeus II. On the first floor of the Villa, a cartouche painted on the south wall attributes the building's design to Jacopo Maggi (Cremona, 1658-1739), a scenographer, costume designer and impresario of the Teatro Regio in Turin.
The architectural lines of the Villa recall those of the great baroque palaces in Turin, and notably the influence of the architect Camillo-Guarino Guarini.
The frescoes and notably those of the Grand Salon have been attributed to Giovanni Battista Pozzo based on numerous stylistic comparisons. The Villa's inauguration ceremony was attended by King Victor Amadeus II and his court.
On the death of Ferrero in 1723, the Villa suffered the trials and tribulations of history and often changed hands. It was occupied by French troops in the Napoleonic era.
In 1869, the Villa became the property of Marquis Ferdinando Arborio Gattinara di Breme, Duke of Sartirana, senator of the Kingdom and director of the Accademia Albertina. A passionate book lover and important decorative arts collector, he made major changes to the grounds, commissioned French- and Dutch-style gardens, and notably extended the Villa with an east wing. At this time, the Tesoriera became an important cultural centre, housing valuable collections and a library of over 1,500 natural history and botanical books.
Several other ownership transfers ensued on the Duke of Sartirana's death in 1869.
In 1934, Prince Amadeus Umberto of Savoy inherited the Tesoriera and commissioned further extensions in his turn, including the addition of a symmetrical west wing. In 1941 the Villa took on the appearance it has today.
German troops occupied the grounds between 1943 and 1944. During the occupation valuable library and furniture collections belonging to the Marquis di Breme went missing.
In 1962, the administrators of the house of the Dukes of Aoste sold the Tesoriera to the Jesuits and it became a place of learning.
In 1971, the City of Turin bought the grounds and Villa for use as a large public open space. Extensive restoration work was planned and completed by Nicola di Aramengo's workshop in 1979.
Again, in 2009, more than ¤2 million worth of work was needed to restore the frescoes and spaces of the Tesoriera. It reopened in 2012 with joint public and private funding, housing the collections of the Andrea della Corte music library in a superb setting.
In 2014, the City of Turin entered a partnership agreement with the Villa of Composers, notably to house the scores classified in its musical works library there. The partnership includes delegation of responsibility for centralised updating and publication of composer member catalogues.