A bit of history about the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana was founded in 1618 by Cardinal Federico Borromeo who donated his collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings to the Ambrosian Library already instituted in 1607.
La Pinacoteca was born to ensure a free cultural and artistic training to anyone with artistic or intellectual capabilities. This institution was created as a model and support for the Academy of Fine Arts, which existed in Milan from 1621 until 1776. Despite the closure of the Academy, the Ambrosiana Gallery enriched its collections over the centuries and today houses a large number of important works.
Since 2009, the Federiciana di Ambrosiana has been the home of the "Codex Atlanticus" exhibition, a collection of drawings and writings by Leonardo da Vinci.
What is the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana nowadays?
Nowadays, at the Ambrosiana Library you can find works from the collections of Federico Borromeo and numerous subsequent legacies including paintings by Leonardo da Vinci (Portrait of a Musician), Bramantino, Ambrogio Bergognone, Bernardino Luini, Titian, Jacopo Bassano, Moretto , Savoldo, Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Cerano, Morazzone, Daniele Crespi, Anton Raphael Mengs, Andrea Appiani. In addition, you can admire works of Raffaello like the drawings of the fresco "School of Athens"; of Caravaggio "Basket of fruits"; by Botticelli "Madonna con Bambino e tre angeli" also known as “Madonna of the Pavilion” and many more.
Curiosities about the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
Did you know that the treasure of the Library Ambrosiana is the manuscript with the work of Virgilio that belonged to Petrarca with a glossary, a text to facilitate its understanding with a miniature of Simone Martini.
Did you know that in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana of Milan there is a tuft of hair that belonged to Lucrezia Borgia that became since XIX century a fetishist relic of many writers and poets who visited this city.
Why visit the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana?
Today the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana has 24 rooms that follow a chronological trajectory that begins with the collection of Cardinal Federico until the beginning of the 20th century. In its interior we find more than 1,500 works in wood, canvas and copper. The collection includes 248 designs by several masters including Raffaello from whom the great board of the School of Athens, the largest cardboard existing from the Italian Renaissance, and Leonardo of whom the "Codex Atlanticus" is preserved with its 1750 technical and scientific drawings.
Other attractions in the area
A few steps from the Ambrosiana Pinacoteca is the Cathedral of Milan, better known as the Duomo, a huge Gothic cathedral located in the heart of the city, which is the main attraction as well as the most important symbol of Milan. The exterior of the Cathedral is covered in pink white marble and its top culminates with a myriad of pinnacles and towers crowned by statues that admire the city.