This museum is located in the middle of the artists' district of Milan, Brera, where you will find more sights that are worth a visit, such as Orto Botanico di Brera. Pinacoteca di Brera has one of the most important and fascinating collections of Italian artists, including masters such as Rafael and Caravaggio. The museum is housed in an impressive Baroque palace from the 17th century and has forty rooms.
When Napoleon was king of Italy, he imposed taxes on churches and monasteries, which paid their debts by donating works of art. Most of the works in the Pinacoteca di Brera come from churches and monasteries. Napoleon opened the collection to the public. A bronze statue of him stands in the courtyard of the palace.
Sposalizio della Vergine by Rafael tells the story of the 'engagement' of Joseph and Mary. Joseph wins her hand because the stick he is holding suddenly begins to bloom. Other masterpieces are Cristo Morto of Mantegna and Supper at Emmaus of Caravaggio. There is also an earlier version of this last painting that Caravaggio made some five years earlier. It's in the National Gallery in London.
Although the emphasis is on Italian art, this museum also features foreign artists such as Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt and El Greco. In the courtyard of the museum you can see a bronze statue of Napoleon.
Website: Pinacoteca di Brera
Address: Via Brera 28
Opening hours: 08.30-19.15 (closed on Monday)
Consult the website of Pinacoteca di Brera for up-to-date price information and opening hours.