Museo Vincenzo Vela
The nineteenth-century villa that the sculptor Vincenzo Vela (1820-1891) came back to build in his home town.
- Guided Tours
The realist sculptor Vincenzo Vela conceived and built the house at the height of his career, in the small border town of Ligornetto. Here he had grown up, along with his brother Lorenzo Vela (1812-1897), as the son of a farmer and a restauranteur, before travelling to Milan, where he soon found fame for his realist sculptures at a time when the Classical idiom was the norm.
The house Vela built was donated to the Swiss state by Vela's son, the painter Spartaco Vela (1854-1895) after his father's death in 1891. The museum today displays work by all three Velas, as well as their own significant art collections, comprising primarily art by their contemporaries. It also houses one of the oldest Swiss private photographic collections, all displayed in the house that combines the formality of a gallery and studio with the private qualities of Vela's original nineteenth-century residence.
Completely renovated by the architect Mario Botta in 2001, the museum is set at the foot of the UNESCO world heritage site of Monte San Giorgio, offering spectacular views onto the Swiss-Italian landscape.