Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Lugano’s Splendid Villas

Executive summary by darmansjah

One of Lugano’s special pleasures is a walk along the shady lakefront promenade and up to the magnificent 17th-century Villa Favorita. Built by Prince Leopold of Prussia, it is now the home of the prestigious Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. In 1992 there was a much-publicized sale of a staggering 800 Old Masters to Madrid’s Villahermosa Museum (at the behest of the Spanish-born wife of the late owner, Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza). A powerful Swiss industrialist with a passion for art, the baron was the son of the original founder of this eclectic, remarkable collection of more than 150 “leftover” major works from 19th- and 20th-century European and American masters such as De Chirico, Munch, Hopper, Schiele, Wyeth, and Pollack. The oldest part of the collection includes imposing pieces of furniture from the 16th and 17th centuries.

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