Milan is a capital of fashion, design, luxury shopping, and art. Nevertheless, we often associate this city with contemporary global culture. It is, no doubt, also the place where to enjoy classic Italian paintings too. Milan counts over eighty museums. Among these, the historic Pinacoteca di Brera is to be the best-known thanks to its wide collection in which, Francesco Hayez, Caravaggio, and Raphael are only some big names not to miss.
The Pinacoteca di Brera, unlike other museums of Italy, did not start its life as a private collection. It has always been linked to The Academy of Fine Arts of Brera. The very first set of valuable artwork was acquired by the school back in 1776 so students of the Academy could develop their talents in direct contact with lofty masterpieces.
However, during Napoleonic times the Pinacoteca grew significantly. Brera in fact became a museum to host the most important canvas conquered by the French armies. Paintings confiscated from Lombardy’s churches and convents began to pour into the museum. This explains why Brera’s collection includes mostly religious motifs and artwork often characterized by an imposing size.
Today, the Pinacoteca di Brera showcases hundreds of paintings including also its later acquisitions such as Picasso, De Chirico, and Modigliani.