The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Vittorio Emanuelle Taparelli, 1816-1890

Nationality: Italian
Date of Birth: 1816.09.17
Place of Birth: Turin
Date of Death: 1890.04.24
Place of Death: Rome


Vittorio Emanuelle Taparelli, Marquis D'Azeglio, was the Sardinian Ambassador and a collector. The last of his line, he was nicknamed 'Minimo', his brother's Christian name being Massimo.


After the Marquis D'Azeglio achieved his degree in law, he began his diplomatic career in 1838. In August 1839 he was part of the legation to Bavaria in Munich, then Vienna, and in 1842 he was Secretary (third class) of the legation at The Hague. In 1844, as Secretary (first class), he unified the Dutch and Belgian legations in Brussels. Between 1847-48 he was Counsellor of the legation at St Petersburg, then between June - October of 1848 he was in London. The next year he was in Paris, and between 1850-68 he was the Minister plenipotentiary. He was in London in 1868, retired in 1871 and was made a senator.

D'Azeglio presented his collection of art to the Museo Civico in Turin in 1875. He acquired the Casa Cavassa in Saluzzo in 1883 and presented it to the Comune as a museum. He spent a lot of time collecting in Venice, and was the first amateur to discover 'coloured glass pictures'.

One of Rossetti's earliest purchases was of the whole collection of blue and white china formed by the Marquis d'Azeglio for £200, which he sold just before returning to Italy.

D'Azeglio was an intimate friend of the Shaftesburys and Palmerstons, and one of Count Cavour's principal confidants. He was also associated with the Countess de Castiglione. He shared rooms with Lord Granville in Bruton Street, and later lived in The Albany. With Lord Granville, he was one of founder members of The St James' Club in Charles Street, Berkeley Square, in 1857. He was on the committee of the Burlington Fine Arts Club during 1867-68, when Seymour Haden campaigned for Whistler to be excluded.


Rossetti, W. M., D. G. Rossetti, Family Letters, 1895, p. 263; Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, Vol. 1, [direttore, Alberto M. Ghisalberti], Rome, 1960.