From a scientific viewpoint, the Museum is divided into 14 thematic sections that allow visitors to easily comprehend the distinctive features and history of the collections. The 214 works on display - 176 paintings and 38 sculptures – reflect the trends in fashion and taste that, since its foundation, have guided the acquisition of pieces that best represented modern art in Italy at the most famous national and international events (such as the Venice Biennale) of the early 20th century or at prestigious private art galleries, or through gifts and donations.

Yet, the exhibition itinerary is only the tip of the iceberg of the GAM’s collections, their finest and most visible expression.

The storage rooms, though hidden from sight, are an equally interesting part of the museum. They are a vital repository where artworks that have been left out, mainly for lack of space, are kept and still studied and made available by guided tours (monthly, every second Sunday), through the publication of a comprehensive catalogue and thematic exhibitions, such as the recent The Museum: History and Customs. Masterpieces from the storage rooms.


Discover the most important works of the museum



 Art at the great Expositions: the historical genre in large-scale format

Mario Rutelli, Gli Iracondi (bronze, 1910)
The monumental group of bronze statues takes inspiration from the Divine Comedy by Dante. Its remarkable artistic merit makes it one of the most appreciated artworks of the Gallery’s collections.

Giuseppe Sciuti, I Funerali di Timoleonte (oil on canvas, 1874.)
The painting depicts the funeral of Timoleon, the Corinthian hero, in the ancient agora of Syracuse. In this scene of unanimous and profound feeling, the painter metaphorically evokes the values of the Risorgimento’s heroes.

Erulo Eroli I Vespri siciliani (oil on canvas, 1890-1891)
This large-format painting is the recollection of one of the most significant events in Italian history. Thanks to its great civic value, the famous uprising called the Sicilian Vespers became an episode embodying the ideals of the Risorgimento, an example of democratic and patriotic uprising that was so very seductive for many 19th-century painters.

 The portrait between Neoclassicism and Romanticism

Giuseppe Patania, Ritratto di fanciulla con colomba
This painting is one of the most important works by this artist from Palermo. The dove, which refers to innocence, gives the portrait a clear symbolic value, a recurrent theme of Patania’s portraits. The presence of the dove also evokes Renaissance portraiture from the formal viewpoint.

The long sunset of neoclassical mythology

Giuseppe Patania, Ratto d'Europa
This oil painting illustrates one of the myths dedicated to Zeus’ affairs. In particular, it depicts the version of the myth narrated by Ovid: the young Europa is abducted by Zeus, the sensuous father of the deities, disguised as a white bull. Eros holds the fearful girl, as she is withdrawing from the waves with her dress swollen by the wind.

 The celebration of Garibaldi between history and myth

Filippo Liardo, Sepoltura Garibaldina (oil on canvas, 1862-1864)
This masterpiece by Liardo was exhibited at the Salon in Paris in 1866. The painter had joined the Red Shirts on May 1860 together with other Sicilian artists, amongst whom Francesco Lojacono, Vincenzo Ragusa and Ettore Ximenes.

 Francesco Lojacono and a new image of Sicily

Francesco Lojacono, Veduta di Palermo (oil on canvas, 1875)
Popular as the ‘sun thief’ for his careful rendering of light, Lojacono depicts the town from an observation point that had been widely used by Sicilian and foreigner artists. Veduta di Palermo (View of Palermo) is the remarkable combination of attention to details and the framing of the whole with a skilful use of colours and rendering of light.



 The realism of Verga in the painting of social protest

Onofrio Tomaselli, I carusi (oil on canvas, 1905)
The artist took inspiration for this large-scale painting during a stay at the residence of Baron La Lumia, who was a friend of his and owner of sulphur mines. The combination of this "humble" subject with such a large format makes the painting part of the realism genre and characterises it as a work of social criticism.

 The poetics of "realism" in literary themes and genre scenes.

Pietro Pajetta, Le gioie della famiglia (oil on canvas, 1898)
At the end of 1800s, the pictorial production of this painter from the Veneto is characterised by an increased attention to social issues and a true visual participation in the reality of the rural world.

 Aestheticism and exoticism between the 1800s and 1900s

Paolo Vetri, Fanciulla che esce dal bagno (oil on canvas, 1870-1873)
This portrait of a very young girl wound in a soft towel is mainly an opportunity to play with colours and light. The subject is depicted with great freedom of expression and the language the painter uses is in line with the latest themes and styles of European taste.

 Antonino Leto and the fortune of the Mediterranean landscape

Antonino Leto, Case bianche, grande marina di Capri (oil on canvas, 1882)
A very remarkable painter, Antonino Leto was educated between Palermo, Florence, Naples and Paris. Despite his great success in Palermo and although the Florio family commissioned him many artworks, he decided to leave the town. This seaside landscape painting depicts a glimpse of Capri, the island where the painter retired to already in the 1880s.

 Ettore De Maria Bergler and lyrical Naturalism at the end of the century

Ettore De Maria Bergler, Taormina (oil on canvas, 1907)
Donated to the newly established Gallery by Vincenzo Florio in 1908 who had purchased it at the Venice Biennale, this painting depicts Taormina drenched by the sunlight with the imposing snow-capped Mount Etna overlooking it. His ease in spreading colours combines quickly with the background colours consisting of tiny filaments and juicy and thick brushstrokes.

 Arab-Norman Palermo and the rediscovery of Selinunte in the landscapes between the 1800s and 1900s

Rocco Lentini, San Giovanni degli Eremiti (oil on canvas, 1876)
During the 1800s, San Giovanni degli Eremiti was one of the most favoured sites by European travellers and one of the most loved subjects by painters. Rocco Lentini’s canvas depicts the eastern front with its apses, bearing evidence to the original blue colour of the domes prior to the restoration works the church underwent in 1882.

 Michele Catti and the inner landscape

Michele Catti, Autunno (oil on canvas, 1905-1910 ca.)
Catti focused here on the theme of the solitary road immersed in the glimpse of a village, almost a separate genre within landscape painting. The subject, full of sentimental nuances and emotional comparisons, thus becomes a melancholic visual metaphor of human existence.

 Michele Catti and the urban view on the wave of recollection

Michele Catti, Porta Nuova (oil on canvas, 1908)
Under an unusual autumnal light, Palermo looks like a European capital city in a neo-impressionist painting. Michele Catti combines the impressions of French painting with the themes of recollection and melancholy.



 The taste of the Venice Biennale between symbolism and modernism

Franz Von Stuck, Il peccato (oil on canvas, 1909)
This painting was purchased at the Venice Biennale where it caused great sensation due to its disturbing expressive power. Franz von Stuck, the only foreign artist present in the museum collections, often dealt with themes linked to the conflict between Good and Evil, centring on bewitching female creatures such as the woman wound by the snake in the painting titled Il peccato.

Ettore Tito, Amore e le Parche (oil on canvas, 1909)
The painting depicts a fatal Eros who dominates on a subdued pair of lovers in agreement with the Fates. In his paintings Ettore Tito often dealt with allegorical subjects of symbolist taste that are often epically shaped and steeped in the Dionysian classicism of Nietzsche’s writings. Here Tito shows to have taken some themes from Aristide Sartorio and also looks to German painters.

Giovanni Boldini, Femme aux gants (oil on canvas, 1901)
The Femme aux gants (The glove-wearing girl) is Emiliana Concha De Ossa who was often portrayed by Boldini in Paris. In this painting, Emiliana is depicted above the waist and her dress is sketched with very quick strokes of colour. Boldini gives life to a quivering female figure, a symbol of "Parisianism and modernity".

 Pathways of 20th century Italy

Felice Casorati, Gli scolari (oil on canvas, 1927-1928)
In this painting, which was purchased at the Venice Biennale in 1928, the space is steep and altered. The figures inhabit Casorati’s ‘suspended world’ and are often isolated, silent, withdrawn when they are in a group. The geometries of the world map, the marks on the blackboard and book in the foreground, almost still lifes, are probably the echo of a complex geography of a world suspended between the two Wars.

Fausto Pirandello, Maternità. Mosè salvato (oil on canvas, 1934)
Like other works by this artist, Maternità (Motherhood) expresses an accurate and indirect knowledge of both European avant-garde movements and classic tradition. The reference to the Bible hints at the human, everyday nature of history and possibly also at the artist’s experience. His wife Pompilia with his newborn son Pierluigi perhaps posed for him.

Massimo Campigli, Le nozze (oil on canvas, 1934)
Having started as a self-educated painter, Campigli discovered Etruscan art at the Museum of Villa Giulia. In this Le Nozze (The Wedding), playful and serious at the same time, he has placed his ‘hourglass-shaped women’ around the bride, who is at the centre and portrayed from the front, solemn and completely white. These women evoke a world "elsewhere" and "otherwise".

 Renato Guttuso and the "Group of Four"

Renato Guttuso, Autoritratto (oil on canvas, 1936)
This Autoritratto (Self-portrait) comes from a productive season, one rich in stimuli and characterised by an intense and deep use of colours. Having adopted a close and angled look, the artist takes on his traditional pose as a ‘melancholic’ man, with his hand holding up his face, a contemptuous and lazy cigarette in his mouth, and his sharp and lively look.

 The 1900s in Sicily

Elisa Maria Boglino, Donna e bimbo (oil on canvas, 1930 ca.)
As Pippo Rizzo wrote, the painting of Elisa Maria Boglino features universality typical of fourteen-century classic art in Italy with a style full of life and humanity. By developing a very essential painting with well-mastered tones of colour and an almost rhythmic and balanced use of chiaroscuro, her figures exude a strong temperament already from the way their hands and feet are sketched.



In over a century of history, the Gallery of Modern Art has gone through a long evolution towards increasing its collections by acquiring new pieces and, most of all, gaining credit as one of the most modern and vital cultural institutions in Palermo. The Museum, named after Empedocle Restivo as a tribute to the man who promoted its foundation at the beginning of the last century, opened in the foyer of Politeama Theatre on May 24, 1910. It immediately set as its main goal that of offering people the opportunity to enjoy the heritage of the exciting period of the Belle Epoque when cultural life was in ferment owing to the new projects that were being outlined for the city.

Its history has been written year after year, by always looking at the future, and since 2006 it has continued in its new venue at the architectural complex of Sant’Anna, which has been furnished to provide the most advanced services to the public and comply with the requirements of a 21st century Museum.

In its renovated spaces, with a new scientific display-plan, more than two hundred works of art, including both paintings and sculptures, distributed in fourteen thematic and monographic sections, illustrate the evolution of Italian figurative arts in the period between the 19th and the 20th centuries. They bear witness to the role that painters and sculptors of national renown played in Modernist Palermo.

Among the numerous masterpieces, it suffices to mention the large-scale paintings by Giuseppe Sciuti, the landscapes by Francesco Lojacono, the naturalist works by Antonio Leto, the art nouveau taste of the paintings by Ettore De Maria Bergler, and the beaming and glowing touch of the canvases by Giovanni Boldini. The intense season of the Novecento Italiano movement in the 20th century is presented through the works of artists like Massimo Campigli, Felice Casorati, Mario Sironi, Renato Guttuso, and Franz von Stuck, who succeeded in putting the atmosphere and distinctive signs of a genuinely European capital on canvas.

The overall project of the Museum scientific display-plan has been worked-out under the direction of Lidia Savoja and Antonio Gerbino and it has been curated by a group of scholars lead by Fernando Mazzocca and including Gioacchino Barbera, Luisa Martorelli, Antonella Purpura and Carlo Sisi. Corrado Anselmi has drawn up the set-up plan and Leonardo Adragna the lighting project.








Antonella Purpura

Tel: +39 0919828927

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Antonio Di Lorenzo

Tel: +39 0919828928

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Antonio Gerbino

Patrizia Opipari

Maria Grazia Patronaggio

Rosanna Piscione

Gaetana Rogato

Gabriella Sciortino

Tel: +39 0918431605

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Serafina Di Gangi

Tel: +39 0917402355

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Gaspare Simeti

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Renzo Botindari

Tel: +39 0919828929

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Since December 2006, the architectural complex of Sant'Anna alla Misericordia has been the venue of the Gallery of Modern Art. Before then, from 1910 to its opening, the collection was on display in the Foyer of Politeama Theatre, a monument of great symbolic value, testifying to the days of the Belle Epoque, a distant and exciting season for the city. Today as then, the Museum is located in the historic part of the city, a symbolic area of the social and cultural dynamics of our time. Here, the Palermo's different cultures that contribute to making it a big and genuinely multi-ethnic city meet and coexist.

The Museum entrance is located in Palazzo Bonet, the oldest part of the building and a sort of prototype for aristocratic residential buildings in the 15th century. Next to it, there was an old Franciscan convent. The Catalan merchant Gaspare Bonet started its construction around 1480. In the following century the Jesuits settled there but after a short while the palazzo returned to the Bonet family. In 1618 it was sold to the Franciscans who decided to enlarge it to make it their convent.

During the 1700s the building was damaged by two earthquakes and underwent further alterations and enlargement works in order to build new dormitories for the friars.

However, transformations had not finished yet. During the 19th century, the severe financial crisis of the Franciscan community led to the alteration of some parts of the building into houses for rent. And following the creation of the Regie Scuole Normali and the abolition of the religious orders in 1866, the building was radically changed, once and for all.

In 1996, the Municipality of Palermo started a ‘workshop of knowledge’, which allowed the 15th Palazzo to be rediscovered. Then, thanks to long and demanding restoration work, all the rooms were recovered. This extraordinary site was returned to the city with its charming internal courtyards and magnificent cloister surrounded by a colonnade connecting the building to the baroque church to Sant’Anna.

In a place so filled with history and charm, all the rooms have been equipped with the latest technology to make them suitable to host permanent collections, temporary exhibitions, and museum services and activities. There are more than 1,300 square metres of exhibition spaces, and rooms for educational activities, conference halls, a library, historical archive, bookshop and cafeteria/restaurant.

The Municipality of Palermo, and its special office for the Old City Centre, has supported the restoration work under the direction of Tonino Martelli and Roberto Termini, while Alessandra Raso, Stefano Testa and Matteo Raso of the Cliostraat company provided expertise on the museographic set-up.



Galleria d'Arte Moderna - via Sant'Anna, 21 - 90133 Palermo



Tuesday to Sunday, 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Ticket office closes at 5:30 pm.

Closed Mondays (also on public holidays).



General information: +39 (0) 091.8431605 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To reserve a guided tour: +39 (0) 091.8431605 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Full price 7,00 euro

Special price 5,00 euro for groups of at least 15 people, visitors aged 19 and 25 years, senior citizens (65 and older), university students, Unipa SmartCard, and holders of special discount cards (valid in Italy).

Free Admission for all visitors on the first Sunday of each month and for the permanent collection only; on all other days free admission for visitors under the age of 18, school groups, teachers, disabled people and their escorts, accredited journalists, students of the Palermo School of Fine Arts, ICOM members, tour guides, travel and tour operator agents.

The Museum is provided with electronic ticketing system.


Once the purchase is finalised, you will receive a reservation code via email to be shown at the ticket counter to collect the tickets, thus avoiding queues.


TicketOne Call Center: 892.101


  • Mostre


    La Galleria d’Arte Moderna dispone di uno spazio espositivo, prospiciente il chiostro al piano terra del complesso di sant’Anna, di circa 1300 metri quadri. Ha ospitato importanti mostre monografiche dedicate a grandi artisti del passato, ma anche progetti dedicati ai giovani talenti dell’arte contemporanea (progetto Sicilia Under 40), o alla riscoperta delle opere custodite nei depositi del museo. 


  • Exhibitions



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