The year is 1921. Twenty-year-old Mario Rimoldi, born in Cortina on 13 April 1900, and a student at the Catering School in Rome, starts taking an interest in art and, above all, buying a number of pictures. Back in Cortina, his love for "beautiful" things has strengthened and prompted him to look, with a keen and untiring eye, for new works of art.
A major milestone in this quest was his encounter with Filippo De Pisis in 1929. Cortina became a regular appointment for the artist and Rimoldi invested extensively in his paintings.
The works, exhibited in the privileged Hotel Corona, became so numerous that in the Sixties, a catalogue was compiled. When the first Italian Collectors' exhibition opened in 1941, the centre piece was Rimoldi's collection of about 700 works. In that same year, 150 copies were published of the “Raccolta d'arte di Mario Rimoldi” (Mario Rimoldi Art Collection) catalogue.
The untiring commitment of this man was not however restricted to collecting, but also involved the organisation of cultural activities in Cortina. It was thanks to him that various awards were established and he was a joint-founder of the Artistic Club. He also organised major exhibitions (Sironi, De Pisis, De Chirico), and was an active member and chairman of numerous institutions (Art School, Tourist Board, Musical Body...)
In 1951, he was elected Mayor of Cortina and played a lead role in the event that represented a turning point in the life of the Ampezzo town: the 7th Winter Olympics.
For the way he organised these, and other events, he received recognition and awards of all kinds.
Large offers continued to be made in that period to buy his paintings (now more than one thousand): galleries the world over asked to purchase them, but even the most prestigious only managed to obtain them on loan, for specific periods of time.
These works had by now become a vital part of our Art lover's life. It should be pointed out that, while in the beginning Rimoldi's tastes were centred on 19th-cent. art, after the war his interests had extended to the artists of his century. The collection had therefore gradually become more complete and more highly prized. All this, together with the fact that his works were gradually included in catalogues of international importance was the most significant upshot of a singular intuition.
His growing interest in an increasingly more varied artistic world also stemmed from his direct relations with the Venice Biennial and the many trips he made in Italy and abroad to visit exhibitions of all kinds. This variegated life, so full of emotions, never managed however to take him away from his mountains and, in his heart, until his death, he continued to foster the dream of being able to set up a Gallery in his beloved Cortina.
His wife, Rosa Braun, after Rimoldi's death in 1972, donated part of his prestigious collection to the Regole d'Ampezzo, the oldest expression of the community spirit that has always distinguished our people and which, as we have been able to appreciate, was never missing in the highly intense life of Mario Rimoldi.
Thus, since 1974, part of the works he collected can be seen in the Ciasa de ra Regoles, where they stimulate new emotions in visitors and continue to kindle the artistic spirit of their "adoptive father".