Pinacoteca di Brera – Time Travel Through Art in Milan

Milan, as a city whose significance throughout centuries is indisputable, is rich in monuments, museums and art in general. Even though, it is a modern cosmopolitan city, Milan has retained most of its ancients buildings, that nowadays serve as famous tourist attractions. On the site of one such building, a 14th century convent is located the Brera Art Gallery and the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, which is one of Italy’s best academies of fine arts.

Brera Art Gallery

01-Pinacoteca di Breravia flickr by AlWiPa licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Pinacoteca di Brera

The art gallery is housed in the Palazzo di Brera, together with other institutions. It is the home to the Brera Library, the Astronomical Observatory and the Botanical Garden as well. The palazzo has a distinct Neoclassical appearance. In the center of the yard there is a statue of Napoleon as the god Mars, as he was the one who founded the Pinacoteca di Brera and later contributed to the expansion of its collection. A statue of the first dean of the Academy, Giuseppe Parini can be seen in the Pinacoteca as well.

02-Pinacoteca di Breravia wheremilan

The Brera Academy was first formed in 1776 where students were taught architecture and sculpting, while the first paintings were only brought to the pinacoteca more than a hundred years later, at the beginning of the 19th century. It opened for the public in 1809 and since then has been enriching its collection of paintings as a result of donations and purchases.

03-Pinacoteca di Breravia flickr by Olivier Bruchez licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

Today, for a small fee of just 6 euro, Pinacoteca di Brera will open up a view of countless masterpieces dating back to the 14th century. It houses some of the best Renaissance works of art as well as some more modern ones. The walls are covered in huge and some smaller-sized paintings that will get your attention from the moment you set foot inside this art gallery. Each of the 38 rooms contains artwork from different periods or styles.

Brera Library

04-Pinacoteca di Breravia flickr by Alessia Damone licensed CC BY 2.0

While walking from room to room, you’ll have a chance to admire the works of world-renown artists like Tintoretto, Hayez, Bellini and Caravaggio, as well as some famous sculptures. Most of the paintings has a Biblical themes, but regardless of your religion, you will be amazed by their complexity and masterful execution. You can sit down while admiring the paintings and soaking in the art surrounding you. It will take some time to see every piece of art the gallery has on display, so plan an earlier visit (though it works until 7:15 pm).