The “Rossetti Valentini” School of Fine Arts, in the historic centre of Santa Maria Maggiore, was founded in 1878 with a founding act by the famous local painter Giovanni Maria Rossetti Valentini, who decided to open a free drawing and design school for children of the Ossolan valley. Thanks to this valuable artistic and pictorial tradition, the Vigezzo Valley is today known as the Painters’ Valley.
In 1954 the rich art gallery was set up, which still contains major works of Vigezzo painting from the mid-18th century to the end of the 20th century. The large room on the first floor houses the permanent exhibition of splendid works, predominantly landscapes and portraits, completed by the greatest Vigezzo painters who studied at the school: Giacomo Rossetti, Enrico Cavalli, Carlo Fornara, Giuseppe Mattia Borgnis and many others.
In the basement every winter there is a highly praised course in artistic wood carving, run by the last wood master in the Vigezzo Valley. During the summer, fans of drawing, watercolour painting and comics can attend courses designed for them, working on the original benches from the 1800s.
Today the “Rossetti Valentini” School of Fine Arts is a sign of distinction for the Painters’ Valley and is visited every year by many tourists who pass through the entrance of this historic building with its typical mountain architecture, ready to discover the stories and works of great painters of the past.