Cultural Italy Blog: Art, Coffee & Love

Andy Warhol at Palazzo Reale in Milan

Runs through March 9th, 2014.

The Palazzo Reale di Milano was the seat of government in Milan for many centuries, going back to the medieval communes of the Middle Ages, but today it is a vibrant and important cultural center, home to expositions and international exhibitions. The one we would like to present to you here is the Warhol exhibition, which goes on till March 9th, 2014.
Andy Warhol’s works from the Peter Brant collection will be hosted in the Palazzo, and the artist’s major periods will be on display, from his early Death and Disaster series to his celebrity portraits of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, until the 1986 self-portrait. A little-known fact about Mr. Brant is that not only does he own the most extensive Warhol collection, but he was also one of Andy’s dearest friends until Warhol’s death in 1997, despite a 20-year age gap and significantly different walks of life.

Business prodigy Peter Brant bought his first Warhol when he was just 20 years old, a drawing of the now überfamous Campbell’s soup can in 1967 for $500. A few months later, he acquired a painting called Blue Shot Marilyn for $5,000. One year later Brant was introduced for the first time to Warhol, and even though the two seemed like an unlikely duo, they became friends for life, finding common ground in the arts. “I learned ever so much from him,” Brant says. “Andy was a person who had an eye for beauty, whether it was a great piece of furniture or a Coke bottle. He saw the best in things.” Nowadays Brant’s Warhol collection consists of close to 200 pieces and is considered to be one of the most extensive collections held in private hands, and includes major works Thirty Are Better Than One and The Last Supper.  Prior to 2013, his collection had never been shown in public. If you happen to be traveling to Northern Italy between now and the beginning of March, this exhibition is not to be missed. Take a moment break from the Italian beauties and other gems of the city of Milan for half a day – or actually you don’t have to: as we say in Italian, you can prendere due piccioni con una fava (the English “kill two birds with one stone”) and pair a visit to the ancient beauty of Palazzo Reale with a unique exhibition of the American culture.

by Nicoletta Paganucci

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