Brera Gallery

Milan, Italy
Kirker Holidays

Museums abound in Milan, from the municipal art collections on display in the Castello Sforzesco – once the seat of the Dukes of Milan – to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, the Poldi-Pezzoli Museum’s collection of arms, armour, clocks and portraits and the Galleria d’Arte Moderna (Modern Art), housed in the Villa Reale.

The highlight of these is the Pinacoteca di Brera, housed in a 17th century palace and home to one of Italy’s best collections with an emphasis on the schools of Lombardy (The Madonna of the Rose Bush by Bernardino Luini) and the Venetian schools of which the gallery holds an exceptional collection. Highlights include Veronese’s Last Supper, Baptism and Temptations of Christ, Lorenzo Lotto’s Pietà, St Mark Preaching in Alexandria by Gentile and Giovanni Bellini and the gallery’s pride and joy, Mantegna’s Lamentation over the Dead Christ, to name but a few.

Much less-visited than the museums of Rome or Florence, the collection is well-displayed in a grand palace, which also houses several important institutions including the National Library, the Brera Observatory, and a Botanical Garden. An elegant two-storey portico surrounds the museum’s courtyard, where you should pause to admire the Monument to Napoleon, designed by Antonio Canova.


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