The Pinacoteca is located inside the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti. Founded in Turin during the first half of the 17th century as a corporation called the “University of Painters, Sculptors and Architects”, starting in 1652 the institution became known as the “Compagnia di San Luca” in honor of the patron saint of painter.
On August 29, 1678, Maria Giovanna di Savoia-Nemours, the window of Duke Carlo Emanuele II, instituited the “Accademy of Painter, Sculptors and Architetcs” on the model of the Académie Royale in Paris, In 1778, King Vittorio Amedeo III revived the “Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture”. The Napoleonic reform annexed the “Ecole spéciale des artes du dessin” to the University.
On July 13, 1824, King Carlo Felice fonde the third Savoy academy. The definitive location, a portion of the city block of Via S. Francesca da Paola, was donated by his nephew and successor Carlo Alberto with two royal patents dates April 16 and August 20, 1833 in favor of the Reale Accademia delle Belle Arti, which from then on was known as the Accademia Albertina. Restructuring of the room was entraste to the architect Carlo Bernardo Mosca, follone by Ernest Melano.
The Pinacoteca, formerly the “Royal Gallery of the Accademia Albertina of Turin”, was a complement to the didactive activities of the institute. Students copied the masterpieces conserved in the art gallery in order to develop good taste and perfect their technique. The core collection of the Accademia was formed by large collection of paintings that was bequeathed to the Accademia in 1829 by the Archbishop of Casale, Vincenzp Maria Mossi di Morano. In 1832, King Carlo Alberto expanded the collegio with a donation of approximately sixty cartoons and 16th century drawings that had been conserved at the Royal Archives and pertained for the most part to Gaudenzio Ferrari and his school.
These two principal collections have been – and continue to be – enhanced by further bequests and acquisitions.
Thus, beside the specific educational role of the Accademia, over time the Pinacoteca has also become a re source for scholars and visitors who appreciate fine art.
Between 1849 and 1850, the Accademia Albertina evolved from an institution tied to the Royal Court to a State organism. Like every public art academy, 1860 it was integraed into a Ministry of Public Instruction and in 1999 it became an Institute of High Culture.
The project to restructure and reorganize the rooms of the Pinacoteca, which were opened to the public in 1996 in their present location, was designed by Studio Pagliero e Trucco of Turin. This project was made possible through the joint commitment of the Accademia, the Superintendency of Historical, Artistic and Ethno-Anthropological Heritage of Piedmont, and the Piedmont Region, with the supporto f the Commission for the Valorization of the Artistic and Cultural Heritge of Turin. Today, the Accademia has been renewed; the previous layout has been maintained and the nuclei of the collections have been enhanced with a series of panels and explanatory captions that quickly and easly orient visitors.