At the time
of the duchy of Charles III of Bourbon Parma (1849-1854) the Nobles' Lodge,
designed almost a century earlier by Petitot for the court of Philip of
Bourbon, was converted into the Duke's private residence. The room in
which we find ourselves was then used as a Salon de Compagnie and was
probably covered with the wooden roof that we see now.
The room is entitled with the name of
the painter and engraver from Parma, Paolo Toschi (1788-1854). Under the
guidance of Biagio Martini the young artist studied Renaissance art without,
however, neglecting his studies of contemporary European artistic culture.
In continuing his training, Toschi concentrated his interest on three
different cultural areas: the Italian Renaissance, with particular attention
to Parmigianino, Dutch painting and French neoclassicism.
His adherence, with increasing conviction,
to the poetic concept of David grew deeper during his apprenticeship in
Paris at the school of Bervic (1809-1819). On his return to Italy, Toschi
was appointed by Maria Luigia to direct the Academy of Fine Arts and supervise
all the artistic activity of Parma. In this position he was able to influence
the penetration in Parma of the French artistic culture, as can be seen
clearly in the works of urban design and architecture of the city.
In the works of his mature period, we
can discern some interest for the romantic vein that may be related to
his friendships with Hayez, Leopardi and Felice Le Monnier. The most complex
work of his later years was the engraving of the great Parmesan pictorial
cycles of Correggio and Parmigianino.
In addition to his many drawings, engravings
and paintings, the Toschi Room also contains works by the major painters
of the 19th century in Parma, and an interesting series of portraits of
Charles III of Bourbon Parma and his family.