Pinacoteca di Brera

Arts Venue in Milan

Pinacoteca Di Brera
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Danielle Jansen

The Renaissance Palazzo di Brera, erected between 1651 and 1773, originally served as a Jesuit college. However, since 1776, it has housed the Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts). In addition to a library and observatory, the palace is home to the Pinacoteca di Brera, renowned as one of Italy’s most outstanding art museums.

Much of the art in the collection was acquired as churches closed or were demolished, and the museum boasts a particularly strong representation of paintings by northern Italian masters. Upon entering through the courtyard, visitors will encounter an 1809 monument to Napoleon I, sculpted by the renowned artist Canova.

Noteworthy 15th-century paintings include works by Mantegna, including “Madonna in a Ring of Angels’ Heads” and “Lamentation.” The Venetian masters are well-represented, with contributions from Giovanni Bellini (“Lamentation” and two Madonnas), Paolo Veronese, Titian (“Count Antonio Porcia” and “St. Jerome”), and Tintoretto (“Finding of St. Mark’s Body” and “Descent from the Cross”). The collection also features portraits by Lorenzo Lotto and Giovanni Battista Moroni.

The Lombard masters, who were disciples of Leonardo da Vinci, enjoy significant representation, as do artists from the Ferrarese school. Parma’s Correggio is showcased through pieces like “Nativity” and “Adoration of the Kings.” The Umbrian school is represented by Piero della Francesca (“Madonna with Saints” and “Duke Federico da Montefeltro”) and Bramante (eight frescoes including “Christ of the Column”).

Raphael’s “Marriage of the Virgin (Lo Sposalizio),” a masterpiece from his early career, is the most famous work in the gallery. Foreign masters are also prominently featured, with notable contributions from Rembrandt (including portraits of women, such as “The Artist’s Sister”), Van Dyck (“Princess Amalia of Solms”), Rubens (“Last Supper”), and El Greco (“St. Francis”).

The Pinacoteca di Brera isn’t limited to old masters, as it also houses works by modern artists like Picasso, Braque, and Modigliani. One of the Brera’s lesser-known treasures is the Orto Botanico di Brera, a delightful garden hidden within one of its inner courtyards. This secret oasis features exotic trees, ponds, flower beds, and a 19th-century greenhouse, creating a charming and secluded retreat for visitors to explore.

The Pinacoteca di Brera appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Milan!

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Visiting Pinacoteca di Brera


Tuesday – Sunday: 8.30am-7.15pm (last entrance at 6pm)

Closed: every Monday


€ 16 Adult

Address: Pinacoteca di Brera, Via Brera, Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes
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