Palazzo Abatellis possesses, in its collections, a nucleus of 19th century paintings, not exhibited or entrusted to other public bodies, of which an accurate sampling is presented for the first time. In the complex events that led to the dismemberment of the collections of the National Museum, already in the years from 1930 to 1937 - and therefore even before the birth, in 1954, of Palazzo Abatellis as the National Gallery of Sicily - almost all the paintings of the nineteenth century were already transited to the Civic Gallery of Modern Art "Empedocle Restivo".
However, a certain number of paintings remained in the Gallery, both because of their mediocre state of preservation, and because they - in the years in which nineteenth-century painting, and even more so in the south, still had little critical consideration - were considered as a sort of reserve to draw on for the requests of organizations and institutions for the furnishing of their environments representation. These are works by Sicilian and non-Sicilian painters, among the best known (Errante, Riolo, Lo Forte, Carta, Patania, Querci, Abbati, etc.) or less known (Arancio, Rindello, La Farina, Giaconia, Politi, Sottile , etc.), which deal with different genres - from history painting to portraiture, from academic exercises to landscape, to interior scenes, to sacred painting - with high quality bits and more modest pieces, but no less interesting under the historical and documentary profile.