Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo (Asti 1745 – Turin 1820), considered a major exponent and propagator of Louis XVI style, was the most famous member of a family of Bellinzona sculptors and carvers who worked in Asti from the mid-17th century.
Giuseppe Maria began working as a carver of wooden ornaments and furniture maker in 1775, and in 1787 he was awarded a letter patent as a wood sculptor for Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia.
In the 1780s Bonzanigo was directly involved in interior architecture, with his own well-organized workshop engaged in the Savoy residences.
Bonzanigo’s production of micro sculptures brought him his greatest renown. His fame as a carver of miniatures came in the late 18th century, when Ancient Régime art was at its peak in Piedmont.
The Asti artist was also commissioned by Napoleon and the Empress Joséphine. The municipal museum’s rich collection of portraits, allegories, religious subjects in prized wood, tortoiseshell and ivory was formed in the first half of the 20th century thanks to donations from the citizens of Asti and Piedmont.