The Art Nouveau style building that was the house/study of Rinaldo Carnielo (Biadene, Treviso, 1853 - Florence 1910) houses over three hundred of the artist’s sculptures and paintings by some of his contemporaries, including Silvestro Lega, Michele Gordigiani and Arturo Calosci.
The collection is an important illustration of the artist’s work, his great technical skills and eclectic versatility: his works reflect the interweaving of various artistic currents that characterised Italian sculpture of the late nineteenth century. The numerous bas-reliefs reflect the pureness of Renaissance shapes, expressing the influence that fifteenth-century Florentine art exercised on the artist, originally from the Veneto region. His great plaster casts or preparatory sketches strive for an at times extreme realism. The bronze ornaments (vases, centrepieces, door knockers) show his taste for the capricious and fanciful shapes of the Art Nouveau style.
The sculptor was an outstanding exponent of the late nineteenth-century celebratory statue. He was at once a realist and a symbolist, the interpreter and promoter in Florence of an avant-garde artistic language with a European outlook. He took part in the most important international exhibitions. He had a close relationship with both the Macchiaioli circle, of whom he was a friend and enthusiastic collector, and with the cosmopolitan community which lived in Florence at the time.
The gallery, as well as the building which will house artist’s studios, were acquired by the Florence City Council in 1957 through a bequest from the sculptor’s son Enzo Carnielo.