Our story

Finarte was founded in 1959, by the Milanese banker Gian Marco Manusardi, with the purpose of assisting collectors in the acquisition and trade of artworks

From the very beginning the strategy of the auction house appeared to be clear: focusing on specialized auctions, from old masters to contemporary art, from silver to jewelry, from numismatics to porcelains and all other main collecting sectors.

Within a few years Finarte managed to stand out as a leader in the Italian art market. By the end of the ‘60s there were around 15 auctions, this number duplicated in the ‘70s.

Finarte was growing so quickly that in 1972 a new headquarter was launched in Rome and a second one opened in Milan in 1981. In 1986 a capital increase occurred and the company grew from 8 billion to 42,5 billion.

In 1989 Finarte achieved its most important historical period with a declared sales volume of about 150 billion. In 1993 Finarte opened a new headquarter in London.

In March 1997 Finarte hosted its 1000th auction in it’s 35th year. Two years later Finarte launched the website www.finarte.it.

In 2000 Finarte published its first online catalogue and started selling artworks online.

The 10th of April 2001 Casimiro Porro is re-elected for the third time as President of A.N.C.A. (Associazione Nazionale Case d’Aste). During these years Finarte had embraced every aspect of collecting and gained invaluable experience.


  • Main Auctions
  • 1961: first modern art auction, with artworks from the Estorick collection in London paintings from Picasso, El Lissitsky, Kandinsky, Morandi.
  • 1962: first old masters auction and second modern art auction (in collaboration with  Ketterer ).
  • 1963: first auction of archeological objects, first auction of interior design and first majolica auction.
  • 1964: interior design auction from Palazzo Labia in Venice in collaboration with Maurice e Philippe Rheims, Commisseurs Priseurs of Paris.
  • 1964: first works on paper auction.
  • 1965: auction of interior design from Villa Borromeo  and  Palazzo Del Drago .
  • 1966: first auction dedicated to XIX century paintings.
  • 1967: first auctions dedicated to vintage jewelry and cars.
  • 1967: auction of interior design from Palazzo Dario, in Venice.
  • 1968: first auctions dedicated to coins and medals, silver and contemporary graphics.
  • 1968: auction of interior design from Villa Le Colonne.
  • 1969: auction of Palazzo Mazzuoli in Città della Pieve.
  • Important exhibitions
  • 1961: “Mostra della Critica Italiana” at the Museo d’Arte Moderna  in Milan and the  Quadriennale in Rome.
  • 1966: exhibition of 32 unreleased paintings by Giacomo Ceruti curated by Giovanni Testori.
  • 1967: exhibition dedicated to Giovanni Boldini (Visconti di Sanvito collection) curated by Giorgio Mascherpa and Enrico Piceni.
  • Happenings
  • 1968: foundation of Eunomia Gallery that organizes exhibitions dedicated to paintings and sculptures in order to integrate this activity with Finarte auctions (exhibitions were dedicated to Vespignani, Ferroni, Chagall, Klee, Redzwill, Morandi, Modigliani, Morlotti).
  • Main Auctions
  • 1970: first watch auction, first rug auction and first post-impressionist auction.
  • 1970: auction of the Astarita collection.
  • 1972: first auctions dedicated to african sculptures and ancient books.
  • 1978: first auction of nativity scene sculptures.
  • Important exhibitions
  • 1976: exhibition of XIV and XV century paintings (catalogues curated by Carlo Volpe).
  • Happenings
  • 1972: opening of the new Finarte headquarter in Rome, at Palazzo Hercolani del Drago alle Quattro Fontane.
  • Main Auctions
  • 1981: auction of interior design from Villa Caracciolo di Brienza in Rivarolo Canavese.
  • 1981: auction of interior design from Villa La Rotonda, ex Villa Castiglioni, in Induno Olona.
  • 1984: auction of the private collection of Achille Lauro in Naples.
  • 1985: auction of Villa Ottolenghi Wedekind in Acqui Terme.
  • 1986: auction of XIX century paintings and the purchase of Fiumana by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo reaching the record of 1 billion and 400 million (the artwork was then donated to Brera Museum).
  • 1986: auction of modern and contemporary artworks from the private collection of movie producer Alberto Grimaldi in Roma.
  • 1988: first auction of vintage cars in Modena.
  • 1988: auction of the most important collection of Gallé vases that have ever appeared on the market.
  • Important exhibitions
  • 1989: exhibition of the sculptures from the private collection of Professor Federico Zeri at Poldi Pezzoli.
  • 1989: exhibition “Sant’Elia e l’ambiente futurista” at Brera.
  • 1989: exhibition “The art of Patek Philippe: legendary watches”.
  • Happenings
  • 1981: the auction house Manzoni is purchased by Finarte.
  • 1981: opening of a second headquarter in Milan.
  • 1982: the first volume of “Arte all’incanto” is published in collaboration with Longanesi.
  • 1986: Finarte becomes a Public Company.
  • 1987: establishment of Finarte S.A, Swiss Company with the goal of integrating Finarte in the international market.
  • 1988: acquisition of Pitti auction house in order to expand Finarte’s business in Italy.
  • Main Auctions
  • 1990: thanks to Finarte and Il Ponte the sculptures of the monument to Gaston de Foix by Bambaia is sold for more than 3 billion to the District of Milan.
  • 1991: first auction in Lugano, dedicated to works on paper by Boccioni from the Malbin collection , etchings by Morandi and a Swiss collection of modern and contemporary art.
  • 1992: thanks to Finarte forty artworks from the Jucker collection are purchased from the District of Milan.
  • 1992: four auctions hosted in Lugano, two of modern art and two of old masters paintings.
  • 1993: important house sale of the interior design from Villa Prinetti in Montesiro.
  • 1994: auction of the jewelry collection by Lea Massari.
  • 1995: the District of Milan purchased two important artworks by Canaletto, “Il molo verso ovest con la colonna di San Teodoro sulla destra” and “La riva degli Schiavoni verso Est” for 9.5 billions
  • 1995: auction of the interior design of Castello di Perno.
  • 1995: auction of interior design from villa Stella Maris in Camogli.
  • 1996: auction of the private collection of artworks by Giorgio Morandi (120 incisions from the Bolognese artist, drawings, miniatures, prints and some jewelry owned by his sister Maria Teresa).
  • 1996: auction of the majolica from the private collection of Vigand Besner.
  • 1997: auction of the private collection of Guido Le Noci.
  • 1997: auction of vintage jewelry and interior design of Ottone Rosai and Giovanni Carnovali in favor of the Institute of Pharmacological Research Mario Negri.
  • 1997: auction in Rome of modern and contemporary artworks and an important collection of paintings by Giorgio De Chirico.
  • 1997: auction “dipinti disegni e grafica - Nuove tendenze: 1980 - 1990”.
  • 1998: auction in Mantova of artworks and paintings from Villa Maraini Guerrieri di Palidano di Gonzaga.
  • 1998: auction in Rome of furniture and paintings from a Florentine home.
  • 1998: auction of a collection of lombard painters in favor of the Foundation “La Benefica Ambrosiana” in Milan.
  • 1999: auction dedicate to ancient and modern books from the library of J.B. Hartmann.
  • 1999: auction of drawings from the archives of the magazine “Valori Plastici”.
  • 1999: participation with Tajan, Kollere Dorotheum, to the Esposizione dell’Association of Auctioneers (IA) in Monaco di Baviera in the prestigious Palazzo della Residenza.
  • Important exhibitions
  • 1990: important conference about Leonardo studies in honor of Madonna Litta in Milan, lent by the Ermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.
  • 1994: important exhibition in London dedicated to Giorgio De Chirico followed by another exhibition of modern art.
  • 1994: exhibition of artworks by Edward Lear in Milan and Rome.
  • Happenings
  • 1990: Finarte Casa d’Aste is estimated at the stock exchange in Milano.
  • 1993: opening of a London headquarter.
  • 1994: joint venture with Afinsa (spanish company): foundation of Finarte Casa d’Aste España.
  • 1999: launch of the website: www.finarte.it and online catalogues
  • Main Auctions
  • 2000: first auction in Catania of modern and contemporary artworks and a collection of XIX century paintings in the prestigious Palazzo Biscari.
  • 2000: old masters auction during which a painting from Alessandro Bonvicino (Moretto) was sold for 987,5 millions. A record for an old masters painting sold in Italy.
  • 2000: auction of an important collection of European porcelains in Milan for a total record of 57 million Lira.
  • 2001: auction dedicated to Italian and French wines.
  • 2001: second auction of modern art in Catania.
  • 2001: record at auction for the artwork by Paolo Uccello, “Santa Monaca e due fanciulli oranti”, for 3.075.500.000 lira (Euro 1.588.363), Italian record for an artwork sold at auction.
  • 2001: participation for the third time at the Modern art auction together with the other auction houses associated to International Auctioneers.
  • 2001: “Young Art” auction, dedicated to young artists, at the ex-cantiere Vannucci in Milan.
  • 2002: auction of the private collection by Giorgio Manzardo in Rome.
  • 2002: third auction of modern art in Catania.
  • Happenings
  • 2000: first online catalogue (of ancient and modern books from the private collection of Santo Varni).
  • 2000: first modern art auction connected directly with the other auction houses associated to International Auctioneers.
  • 2000: agreement between Finarte-Kataweb to start selling artworks online.
  • 2001: Casimiro Porro  is elected for the third time as President of A.N.C.A., Associazione Nazionale Case d’Asta.
  • 2001: Casimiro Porro dismissed from Presidency of Finarte.