The Italian-born art-collector, Carlo Bilotti, has died in New York at the age of 72. He was born in Cosenza, into a noble family connected to the Baroni di Serradileo, and after law studies in Naples and Palermo, first worked in paper mills and other industries belonging to his parents, before moving to New York in 1963 to further his studies. He married an American, started work in cosmetics and scent industries in Europe and America, in which he made a large fortune, and lived between Palm Beach, New York and Rome. His great interest in art led to friendships with some of the major artists of the 20th century, including de Chirico, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Dal, de Saint-Phalle, Rivers and Rotella. He both collected their works and commissioned many new works for himself and for the industries he was involved in.
He decided that at least part of his collection should be on display in Rome, and to this end he financed the restoration of the orangery in the Villa Borghese as a museum, the Museo Carlo Bilotti, Aranciera di Villa Borghese, which opened in May 2006. On display here are 23 of the finest pieces from his collection, including the portrait he commissioned in 1981 from Warhol of his wife, Tina, and daughter, Lisa (who died prematurely in 1989), and 18 works by de Chirico, such as the Donna bionda di spalle (1930), and other paintings and sculptures.
Museo Carlo Bilotti, Aranciera di Villa Borghese,
Viale Fiorello La Guardia, Rome. Tuesday-Sunday, 9.00-19.00.