The Brera Picture Gallery

The Brera Picture Gallery

The Brera Picture Gallery is one of the most important art galleries in the world as it hosts some of the most prestigious selections of antique and modern paintings and sculptures by Italian artists of the twentieth century, including Gentile da Fabriano, Mantegna, Bellini, Tintoretto, Bramantino Piero della Francesca, Raphael, Caravaggio and Tiepolo. The gallery is home, also, the Braidense National Library, the observatory of Brera, the Botanical Gardens, the Lombard Institute of Sciences and Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts. The term “Brera” is derived from the fact that the building was constructed in the ancient and uncultivated land “Braida” (a word that in the vulgar Latin had the meaning of the suburban area), built on an ancient convent of the Order of the Humiliated, one of the the most powerful religious associations in Milan.

In 1571, with the Papal Bull of Gregory XIII, this religious order was abolished and the ancient provost of Brera was assigned to “careful hands” of the Jesuits, who made it a center of learning, giving it the name of University. Thus was born the need to build a new and larger building, which work was entrusted in 1615 to a great architect of the time: Francesco Maria Richini. With the dissolution of the Jesuits in 1773, the building became property of the State. Entrusting the work to Giuseppe Piermarini, Maria Theresa of Austria used the college of Brera as home of the Palatine schools, she placed there the National Library and decided to extend the Botanical Garden, with the idea to make it become one of most advanced cultural institutions the city.

The Art Gallery was born next to Academy of Fine Arts in order to build a collection of pieces, for the training of students and was funded with an annual contribution coming from the suppressed church property. Napoleon converted the Gallery into a museum, with the intention to expose the most important paintings from all territories conquered by the French army. So Brera, unlike other major Italian museums such as the Uffizi, for example, was not born from a private collection of princes and aristocracy but from the political and state collections.

The building opens onto a courtyard, surrounded by an elegant portico, the center of which is located the Monument to Napoleon I, designed by Antonio Canova. The Brera Picture Gallery also has a collection of drawings, not normally exposed to the public and accessible only to scholars, including: two drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, the Head of Christ preparation for the Last Supper, a manly profile from the Vitali legacy and two important preparatory cartoons by Guido Reni Ludovico Carracci.

Santa Maria delle Grazie Tickets  Milan Museums–  Last Supper Tickets

For more information on how to book entrance tickets to the Brera Picture Gallery and other museums in Milan please visit the  Milan Museum web site or call us (+39) 055-713655.
Available Entrance TicketsGuided Group ToursPrivate Guided Tours.
You may also be interested in: Last Supper Tickets

 

Schedule. From Tuesday to Sunday 8:30 am to 7:15 pm.
Closed: Mondays, New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day.

Address  Via Brera, 28 – Milan.

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