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Fondazione Palazzo Ducale Genova

Modernity of a feeling

In 1688, the student of Alsatian origin Johannes Hofer graduated in medicine in Basel, with a thesis on a hitherto ignored illness, for which he coined a new definition – merging to words of Greek origin nostos (return) and algos (pain or sadness) – Nostalgia, or rather the «sadness generated by the ardent longing to return to one’s homeland». Certainly, Hofer could not have imagined that nostalgia would lose its medical connotation over time and would accompany humanity along the years becoming one of the main syndromes of modernity.
The exhibition, with over one hundred and twenty works among paintings, sculptures, installations and illustrated volumes, presents an artistic journey that starts from the Renaissance and reaches the present day, highlighting the different expressions of nostalgia and reconstructing its history, documenting archetypes and protagonists of this medical disorder which progressively transformed into an ambivalent and contradictory feeling, individual and collective, present in the history of humanity at all geographical and cultural latitudes.
The exhibition itinerary, divided into eleven thematic sections, recounts the different interpretations of nostalgia through the filter of art history: both as an iconographic transposition and as a reference to some paradigmatic figures (Ulysses, Aeneas, Demeter and Persephone, Dante, Foscolo, Byron, Leopardi, Piranesi and Mazzini) and, finally, as a proposal of figurative assonance in relation to the polysemic complexity of this feeling.

Opening times

Tuesday-Friday 11 am – 7 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 7 pm
Closed on Mondays
The Ticket Office closes at 6 pm


click here to buy online

Full: 14 €
Reduced: 12€
Card Ducale+: 10 euro
Kids 6-18: 8€
Under 27: 8€ On Tuesdays only

Open Tickets

Full Open: 15€, click here
Reduced open: 13€
Groups (15-25 people): 13,50€ pre-sale included