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Gabrielli, Noemi

    Full Name: Gabrielli, Noemi

    Gender: female

    Date Born: 30 September 1901

    Date Died: 09 July 1979

    Place Born: Pinerolo, Torino, Piedmont, Italy

    Place Died: Asti, Piedmont, Italy

    Home Country/ies: Italy

    Subject Area(s): art history and conservation (process)

    Career(s): art historians

    Institution(s): Galleria Sabauda


    Art historian and art conservator during World War II. Noemi Gabrielli was born in Pinerolo, Italy. She initially studied piano graduating from a Neapolitan conservatory, but later received her undergraduate degree from Turin in 1926, with a thesis on Paolo Veronese written under Lionello Venturi. She continued to specialize in art history at the La Sapienza University of Rome graduating in 1928 with a doctorate degree. Her relationship with Venturi allowed her to take his place in reorganizing the Pinacoteca at the Accademia Albertina after his resignation in 1934. 

    Gabrielli’s early years in her career were marked by the second World War. She worked to safeguard important artworks from RAF bombings throughout the war. Her main project consisted of accompanying the paintings, after the bombing of Genoa, while they were being transferred from the Galleria Sabauda and from churches in the Susa and Aosta Valleys to safer locations such as Castle of Guglia and Isola Bella. Inside the forty-one crates of art that were transferred in these operations are some notable works from El Greco and Veronese. When the locations eventually became unsafe the art was returned back to its original holders in 1943. These operations were often dangerous as Gabrielli frequently had to evade Nazi authorities, but she remained committed to protecting cultural heritage, even receiving the nickname “Noemi Jet” for the force that she had become within the profession. Her efforts were later acknowledged after the war, in 1948, when Gabrielli was awarded a commendation award from the Ministry of Public Education. 

    In 1952, Gabrielli was appointed as the Superintendent for medieval and modern art of the Piedmont and Liguria regions for the gallery where she worked until her retirement in 1966. Under that position, she reinvented the Galleria Sabauda making space for 7 rooms to be dedicated to the Riccardo Gualino collection which she brought from the Italian Embassy in London. She wrote a book on the gallery called Galleria Sabauda a Torino in 1959 and then later in 1961 focused her writing on the Gaulino collection in her book Collezione Gualino that details those works included in the gallery. 

    Gabrielli’s work for the gallery continued to inspire her many publishings. Her book Museo dell’Arredamento/Stupinigi, published in 1966, comments on the Stupinigi royal hunting lodge which she helped refurnish in preparation for the centenary Italian unification celebrations. Gabrielli died in Asti in 1979 and is survived by a street named in her honor in her hometown Pinerolo and a dedicated room to her in the Civic Museum of Casale Monferrato.

    Selected Bibliography

    Le pitture romaniche. Torino: Soc. anonima tipografico editrice Torinese, 1944;

    Galleria Sabauda a Torino. Roma:  Istituto poligrafico dello Stato,1959;

    Collezione Gualino. Torino: Galleria Sabauda, 1961;

    Museo dell’Arredamento/Stupinigi. Torino: T. Musilini,1966;

    Racconigi. Torino: Istituto bancario, 1972;

    Arte e cultura ad Asti attraverso i secoli. Torino: Istituto bancario, 1977


    Borghetti, Francesca. “Paladine Podcast.” Episode Puntata 1: Noemi Gabrielli, May 2022, 21 Jan. 2023. 

    “Noemi Gabrielli.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Apr. 2021,

    Ragusa, Andrea.” I Giardini Delle Muse: Il Patrimonio Culturale Ed Ambientale in Italia Dalla Costituente All’Istituzione Del Ministero (1946-1975).” FrancoAngeli, 2014: 278;

    Contributors: Octavia Chilkoti


    Octavia Chilkoti. "Gabrielli, Noemi." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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