The idea of establishing a museum dedicated to arms was born after the founding of the Royal Art Gallery, which opened in 1832 in Palazzo Madama. The future Savoy Gallery presented to the public the collections of major works of art dynasties: it had so depleted the great Gallery of Beaumont, attached to the Royal Palace, where from 1833 they began to collect "all the old weapons possessed by different establishments” and in particular those from the arsenals of Turin and Genoa together with those from the University and those from the Royal private collections. In the same year, King Carlo Alberto acquired an important collection of the Milanese scenographer Alessandro Sanquirico. It was sold by captain Victor Seyssel d'Aix, which increase in the following years the Armory with several pieces from the antique market in Paris. The museum, that opened to the public in 1837, had a charming display in which the eighteenth-century decoration of the gallery, designed by architect Filippo Juvarra and adorned by the court painter Claudio Francesco Beaumont. The objects in the windows and on the walls were arranged according to the taste of the Gothic revival, dear to European Romanticism.
In 1839 the museum acquired the extensive collection of weapons and armor of the accounts Martinengo of Brescia; three years later the architect Pelagius Palagi completed the Round, in whose windows were placed neoclassical weapons and flags, that were placed in the museum after 1848 and those related to the Risorgimento wars. This area was enriched further after 1878, with the donation of the collection of Carlo Alberto and Vittorio Emanuele II. During the first half of the twentieth century, the Armory’s heritage was enhanced with the collections of Umberto I and Vittorio Emanuele III and with the objects related to the wars of Africa and the World wars.
Since 1998, the Armory was the subject of a series of operations. It began with the restoration of the main staircase, designed by Benedetto Alfieri, continued with the return of the Medagliere and it ended in 2005 with the reopening of the Gallery of Beaumont and the recovery of historical construction, which had been previously modified to adapt to museological criteria more strictly philological.
Director: Alessandra Guerrini
Piazza Castello, 191 - 10122 Torino
Tel. 011 54384358 - Fax 011 5188063