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A page from the diary of a design lover - Milan (part 1/4)

Milan - the world capital of fashion and art. Luxury fashion houses such as: Armani, Chanel, Hermes, Cartier and many others present their collections here. It is a place filled with fashion, breathtaking monuments, design and simply, art. There is a lot to see in such an amazing city. I have encountered opinions that  Milan begins and ends with Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II and the Duomo Cathedral. I absolutely disagree with this. Milan is a city full of art and contrasts, you just have to look for it.   

source: Pinterest

One day I went for a walk around this charming city. I squeezed through the crowds in the center, walked along the side charming streets, passed through the Sempione park and that's how I ended up in the Brera. The artists' district. At every turn, you'll spot local boutiques, show rooms with beautiful furniture and ceramics. There are also plenty of traditional Italian cafes and restaurants.   

source: Pinterest

Walking along one of the streets, I noticed a beautiful gate, behind it the cloisters of the palace and the courtyard, with a bronze sculpture in its center. Intrigued, I went inside, and it turned out that I had arrived at Pinacoteca Brera. I used to learn about it in art history classes so I was very happy to get there.   

Pinacoteca Brera 

source: Pinterest

The history of this remarkable site dates back to the 13th century, when the Humilites, lay monks, began building a monastery and later the church of Santa Maria. After 

a decision by Pope Pius V, the order was dissolved, and their property went to the Jesuit order for the next 200 years. The Jesuits transformed the medieval monastery into 

a monumental palace complex. The reconstruction project was designed by the famous Baroque architect Francesco Maria Richini. In 1773 when Pope Clement XIV announced the dissolution of the Jesuit order, history came full circle. As a result of the dissolution of the order, the palace passed into the hands of the Habsburgs - an influential family ruling all of Lombardy. Italian architect Giuseppe Piermarini, at the request of Empress Maria Theresa, redesigned the inner courtyard and created 

a monumental new facade facing via Brera. The empress also decided to change the building's previous purpose. Inside, she created a library, schools and a modest art gallery to serve the students of the Academy of Fine Arts.  


source: Pinterest

What did I see?  

As I mentioned above, my attention was drawn to the sculpture standing in the center of the square. As I later learned, it is a bronze sculpture depicting Napoleon as a peace-bringing Mars. The French emperor was famous for his excellent understanding of the meaning of symbolism, so he wished to immortalize himself on

a monumental marble sculpture. His wish was to be fulfilled by Antonio Canova-one of the most outstanding sculptors of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The artist opted for

a classicist form, in which he combined Napoleon's face and the naked body of the Roman god of war. However, the idea did not please the emperor, who ordered Canova to "put on" a uniform over the naked body. The artist reportedly refused, and cited as his reason that he saw no way to depict the ruler dressed in French breeches with dignity. The marble sculpture was not well received in France. One of the few who appreciated the work was Viceroy Eugene de Beauharnais of Italy. He commissioned a bronze casting, which was realized by Francesco Righetti and his son in 1811. On the occasion of the entry into the city, after the victorious battle of Napoleon III and Victor Emmanuel II at Magneta, the sculpture appeared in the courtyard in 1859. The original marble sculpture is in the Apsley House residence in London.  

source: creazilla

 And back to the gallery itself...   


The museum is located on the second floor of the building. Before I started the real tour,

I noticed through the glass the Teresa Room, which is by far the most beautiful room in the Biblioteca Nazionale Braindese. Giuseppe Piermarini, who is the designer of the famous La Scala, was responsible for the arrangements of this room. After the breathtaking view,

I went to explore. The exhibition was divided chronologically on the basis of regional schools (including Venetian, Lombard, Central Italian). Next to the more famous paintings, I found interesting trivia and little-known facts about the painting or its author (fortunately for me, they were written in English). 

I began my tour with a visit to a room filled with 16th century frescoes that were taken from the Mocchirolo oratory. Then I walked through the rooms one by one; there are 38 of them and each focuses on a different theme. I found there such themes as the Middle Ages, Venetian painting from the 14th-16th centuries (including Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, Titian, Giovanni Bellini), Lombard painting from the 16th century (including. Bramantino, Vincenzo Foppa - their art alluded to the work of Leonardo da Vinci), Venetian portraits from the 16th century, frescoes from 14th-15th century churches and chapels of Lombardy, painting of central Italy from the 15th-16th century (e.g. Raphael, Donato Bramante, Piero della Francesca, Carlo Crivelli, among others), Mannerism, between Naturalism and Classicism (Caravaggio, Annibale Caracci, Guido Reni, among others), Rubens - towards the Baroque and many others.   

source: Instagram

source: Instagram

I also noticed another "interesting" glass (or rather, what is behind it). During the tour you can see the restoration studio and two warehouses where the artworks are stored. The museum's collection is so extensive that many works will never be on display. However, several times a year the museum presents works from the warehouses as part of the Brera mai vista action. I have to go back.  


source: Instagram


After so much sightseeing, I turned back toward the center, passed the La Scala theater (which is definitely a must-see), walked through the Vittorio Emanuelle Gallery and ended up in the square in front of the Duomo Cathedral. I sat down on the steps in front of the cathedral and while listening to Sara per che ti amo, as befits a true tourist,

I noticed an interesting distinctive building on the corner of the square, with large windows. Intrigued, I walked up to the entrance and found that I had arrived at another great place - the Museo del Novocento...


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