Forgotten by many persons and - some people claim - mistreated by the establishment. Defended by its managers and by supporters.
Blamed by those who love it but would like to see it more improved and working. We are talking about Brera Art Gallery, an inestimable treasure in the city of Milan, recently involved in a rebirth process, totally deserved for one of the most valuable and charming museums devoted to International painting.
A rebirth that gained some major momentum in 2009, recurring the bicentenary of a collection demanded by Maria Theresa of Austria, who had a particular relationship with the other great institutions located at Via Brera: the magnificent Renaissance building hosting the Art Academy, the historical Astronomical Observatory, the Botanical Gardens and the Brera National Library. A lot of cultural events, involving different kinds of arts, take regularly place at Brera such as the annual Quartet for Brera, Verdi's concerts that took place last May and free openings on the last Thursday of every month. These are only some of the initiatives aimed at drawing up citizens to the treasures of the Gallery.
The expositive path develops through thirty-eight halls, offering a wide perspective on the art of painting, from Medieval-Gothic style to 20th Century one. A special consideration is given to the masterpieces of Lombardy-Veneto painters, but Brera collections also include fundamental works of Florentine Renaissance and Central Italy, besides hosting very important foreign painters.
In Brera Art Gallery you can admire timeless masterpieces such as Lamentation over the Dead Christ and Madonna with sleeping Child by Andrea Mantegna. A whole hall is dedicated to Lorenzo Lotto, Tiziano and Tintoretto, hosting the wonderful Finding of the body of St. Mark.
Here you can find works of the greatest Renaissance painters: Piero della Francesca's Brera Madonna, his very last picture, some works of Bramante - who was the founder of the Milan Renaissance during his stay in the Lombard city, period in which he painted the Christ at the Column - and last but not least Raffaello, whose Marriage of the Virgin is undoubtedly one of the most notable paintings in the Collection.
Caravaggio’s works are equally famous. To this painter from Bergamo is dedicated the 29th hall, that hosts really important paintings such as The supper at Emmaus and the Basket of Fruit, besides many other works by Caravaggian 17th Century artists.
In the gallery you can also admire works of Foreign painters. An entire hall exhibits the works of two of the most influential artists belonging to the Flemish School: Rubens and his friend and pupil Antoon Van Dyck.
Eventually, Brera Art Gallery include works by 19th Century Macchiaioli artists, the famous Romantic painter Hayez – whose best known work, The Kiss, is hosted here – and contemporary works of great artists as the Futurist Boccioni (The city rises), Modigliani (L’Enfant Gras) and even Picasso with his Bull's Head.
A visit to Brera Art Gallery represents a valuable experience, a well planned tour across the history of painting, marked by immortal masterpieces and other important works made by less known artists, but equally important for the vitality and the development of the Italian painting all throughout the centuries.
Brera Art Gallery is open from Tuesday through Sunday, from 8.30 a.m. to 7.15 p.m. (the ticket office closes at 6.30 p.m.). Audio guides and guided tours are available on-demand.