Museum of international stature, the Brera Art Gallery was officially established in 1809, although a first heterogeneous collection of works was already present since 1776 - and expanded in subsequent years - for educational purposes, alongside the Academy of Fine Arts commissioned by Maria Theresa of Austria. The corpus must in fact be a collection of exemplary works, for the training of students. When Milan became the capital of the Italian kingdom collection, by order of Napoleon, it was transformed into a museum that he intended to explain the most significant paintings from all territories conquered by the French army. Brera therefore, unlike other large Italian museums such as the Uffizi, for example, does not come from the private collections of princes and aristocracy, but from what politician and statesman. Starting from the nineteenth century, even after the suppression of many religious orders, there flowed requirements paintings from churches and monasteries in Lombardy, which were added works of identical provenance stolen from various departments of the Italian Kingdom. This explains the birth prevalence, in collections of sacred paintings, often of great size, and gives the museum a particular character, only partly offset by acquisitions. The gallery collects some of the greatest masterpieces of Italian and foreign artists from the fourteenth to the nineteenth such as Piero della Francesca with Pala Montefeltro, Andrea Mantegna, (Dead Christ), Raphael (The Marriage of the Virgin) Bramante, (Christ at the Column) Caravaggio (Supper at Emmaus) as well as Tintoretto, Bellini, Rubens, Van Dyck and Francesco Hayez. In 1976 and again in 1984 he became part of the collection of paintings and twentieth century sculpture, thanks to the donation of Emilio and Maria Jesi, whose collection includes among other masterpieces by Picasso, Boccioni, Modigliani, Arturo Martini, Marino Marini, Morandi , Carra, de Pisis. The corpus of twentieth-century works will expand with the donation Vitali and subsequent purchases (Arturo Martini, Giacometti). In the main courtyard which is the entrance to the Palazzo di Brera stands the bronze Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker of Antonio Canova, commissioned by the Viceroy Eugenio de Beauharnais starting from the original marble.

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Via Brera, 28
20121 Milano


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