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About Pinacoteca Di Brera

The majestic grandeur and simplicity of Pinacoteca Di Brera welcome you with extravagant Italian paintings that are rich in nuances of the religion and culture. Its baroque architecture lures you in to witness exquisite interiors.

It is one of the finest museums that exist in the present era and yet preserves the fragrance of history. Also known as the ‘Brera Art Gallery,’ it presents to you more than 400 works of art varying from the 14th to 20th centuries. It also offers an interesting description of each painting, making it easier for you to understand them. 

Located in the stunning and happening neighbourhood of Palazzo Brera, this gallery is a centre of interest to many art connoisseurs. Some of the worth seeing pieces of art here include ‘The Marriage of the Virgin’ by Rapfillerhael, ‘Supper at Emmaus’ by Caravaggio, ‘Finding of the body of St Mark’ by Tintoretto.

The gallery also provides audio guides at €5 in several languages like French, English, Italian, German, Spanish and Russian. If that is not enough, you can let your hearts sing to the tunes of a musical evening here that happens every Thursday.

Pinacoteca di Brera also has a photographic library which was founded by Corrado Ricci, Giuseppe Fumagalli and Gaetano Moretti in 1899. Photographs with a variety of techniques like aristotypes, salted pepper, carbon prints, albumen prints, and cyanotypes can be spotted here.

Not only this, but Brera Art Gallery is also a house to Photoradiographic Laboratory which is bent on inspecting and examining the history and technique of works of art. The professional expertise of its staff has led to a significant increase in the knowledge of the nature and conservation of the works of art in the gallery. So explore this lesser-known museum and behold art in its true essence.

How to Reach Pinacoteca Di Brera

- By Bus:

From the nearest, Linate airport around 9.6 km from the museum, X73 bus to San Babila bus stop will drop you around 1 km away from the museum so that you can begin the terrific experience. 

- By Metro:
It is viable to take a metro with Lanza (M2 line), Montenapoleone (M3 line), and Cairoli (M1 line) being the nearest stations to the gallery. Trains from stations Centrale, Garibaldi, and Cadornacan can also help you on your journey to this beautiful gallery. 

Trams are other possible options to reach the museum.

Best Time to Visit Pinacoteca Di Brera

Well, it varies on your purpose of visiting Milan. Although, June and December are the best months to visit museums and galleries in Italy. The temperatures start to warm up in June and it is hot, Milan is still embraced by tourists and experiences a high footfall.

Because of this reason, the most spectacular exhibitions are put up during that time.The hustle and bustle begins in the latter part of the month, and hence you need to plan your stay well in advance. On the other hand, December is cold with not very pleasant weather, the holiday season attracts the tourists and so museums host their most exceptional shows.

What Not to Miss at Pinacoteca Di Brera

Here are some important collections at Pinacoteca Di Brera:

1. The Kiss
Being Francesco Hayez’s most renowned piece of art, The Kiss symbolizes Italian romanticism. It showcases the power of passion and intense feelings over rational and logical thought. It is one of the most evocative paintings of Pinacoteca and is also a metaphor for love for the motherland and desire for life.

It is also believed to be a tribute to the French nation that was recovering from the Second War of Independence while this was painted. 

2. Riot in the Gallery
After Umberto Boccioni moved to Paris and then further to Milan, where the spirit of technology allured him, he painted his first Futurist painting in 1910. He found his inspiration after having crossed paths with the founders of the Futurist movement.

It is one of the most exquisite paintings as it showcases pure skill, the chromatic effects through artificial light, and all this while beautifully portraying a fight scene. 

3. The Marriage of the Virgin
This painting by Raphael, painted in 1504, depicts the marriage of Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary. His perspective has been portrayed beautifully with the use of imagery and colors. The temple, very prominent in the background, is imposing and gives us a glimpse of the details illustrating the hills and the sky. 

4. Pieta
Painted between 1465 and 1470, Pieta depicts an image of Jesus in the arms of Mary and John, who are seen in a moment of lamentation. He aimed at bringing out the deep and hidden feelings of pity, pain, and solitude. He wanted to dive deep and arouse people’s souls with the hues so that they almost start sobbing on seeing the painting because of an overwhelming feeling that will take over them.

5. Christ in the Sepulcher and Three Mourners
This painting by Andrea Mantegna depicts the lamentation over the dead Christ being watched by the weeping Virgin Mary and Saint John. Arousing deep emotions of sorrow and pity, the spectator’s attention naturally drifts to the body with visible wounds and stiffened limbs. It is one of the most elegant symbols of the Italian Renaissance because of its strength and strokes.  

6. St. Mark Preaching in Alexandria
Started by Gentile Bellini 1504, it depicts the reception room of Scuola Grande di San Marco in Venice but was left incomplete on the death of the artist. It was finished by his brother Giovanni but the parts of the work done are still unknown and debatable.

The painting portrays conciliation between cultures with mysterious white-veiled Arab women in the picture. The image doesn’t hint any conflict and is rather serene, alluding to the potential possibility of peace. 

7. Discovery of the Body of Saint Mark
Painted by Jacopo Tintoretto, this painting depicts the moment of the discovery of the body of Saint Mark when the Venetians were in search of his body and were removing corpses from the tombs. They stop when a man appears, asking them to stop the search. The body was then lying at their feet and has already been found. It is a very dark painting but beautifully portrayed. 

8. Madonna and Child Blessing
Painted by Giovanni Bellini in the fifteenth century depicts Virgin Mary and Jesus. The painting has a devotional significance signifying one of the best works of art for this painter. Bellini has tried to compare the calmness of the landscape with solemn and reverent Mary. The painting also unveils the days of rural life by painting a shepherd and a peasant. 

9. Adoration of the Magi
This oil on canvas painting by Correggio depicts a long procession moving forward from the left background. Emphasis is also placed on instability which is clearly illustrated in the painting. The centre of the painting has been intentionally kept significantly empty so that the viewer's attention is captured by the figure of the lansquenet.

The expression on Mary’s face is that of a surprise due to the unexpected homage by the king.  Adoration of the Magi is full of intricate details if observed closely, one example being the ivy behind Mary. 

10. The San Luca Altarpiece
Painted by an Italian Renaissance writer, Andrea Mantegna, depicts the figures in various sizes in the painting. All the twelve figures are in their own arches. The seven figures on the top can be seen facing Jesus Christ while the other seven face Saint Luke.

The adhesion of the monastery of Saint Giustina to the Benedictine rule is also portrayed in this beautiful painting. The San Luca Altarpiece demonstrates a dialogue as well, between two brothers-in-law during Mantegna’s marriage with Nicolosia. Being a polyptych panel painting, it is also known as ‘San Luca Polyptych.’

Exhibitions at Pinacoteca Di Brera

1. The Primacy of Drawing

Held from 9th May 2015 to 18th May 2015, The Primacy Drawing compared the paintings in Pinacoteca Di Brera to the drawings of the great masters.The exhibition revolves around the art of drawing as an expression and a tool for reading and understanding painting.

It also focused on bringing together exclusively chosen examples of art because of their close relation to the pictures in the art gallery.

Places to Visit Near Pinacoteca Di Brera

1. Brera Botanical Garden

A bewitching walk on your way to this garden is like experiencing a slice of heaven. A small gate at the end of the street brings you to an exquisite, hidden corner of the city of Milan: the Brera Botanical Garden. You can walk around, enjoy innumerable flowers and fragrances, and just be on your own.

You will feel completely at peace forgetting all the problems in your life. The chirping of birds is like music to your ears, and you can just sit there reading a novel, hypnotized in the arms of nature. 

2. Basilica di San Simpliciano
One of the major tourist attractions located in the heart of the city, this church has gained popularity over the years because of its historical significance. Dedicated to Saint Simplician, a bishop of Milan, it possesses a classic Romanesque architecture.

With a splendid, vintage beauty because of the mullioned windows and adorning arches, it captivates the visitors and enchants them so they do not pass without visiting the church.

3. Teatro Alla Scala
Built in 1778, it is a world-renowned opera house that offers a soothing musical atmosphere. A pleasing experience that lets your hearts sing to the tunes of authentic, old-style music-an opportunity you should not miss. Teatro Alla Scala is also famous because many acclaimed composers like Rossini, Puccini, Toscanini, and Verdi wrote and performed here. 

4. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
A famous landmark of Milan, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, is named after the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It is a magnificent and vibrant shopping mall for people who are fond of luxury shopping. It is a must-visit if you are one such person, and even if you aren’t, just stop by and mesmerize yourself with the architecture and beauty of it.

The main attraction is the stunningly enthralling glass ceiling and the high-end fashion brands like Prada, Louis Vitton, and many more. 

5. Santa Maria del Carmine Church
Built in 1446, Santa Maria del Carmine Church is a hidden gem with a beautifully decorated interior. Also known as Chiesa Carmine, this is a must-visit tourist spot with beautiful baroque architecture. 

6. Piazza Del Duomo
Being one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, Piazza Del Duomo is always vibrant and busy. You can experience pure art and culture here. The surrounding shops and eateries make it one of the most famous tourist places to explore. 

7. Sforzesco Castle
At a distance of only a kilometer from the gallery, this beautiful castle is home to five museums. This castle captures your attention and you cannot help but admire its size and beauty. Restoring the glories of the past, Sforzesco Castle offers you insights into the city of Milan. Being one of the largest citadels in Europe, it is one of the must-visit places near the museum.

8. Arco della Pace
Inspired by Napoleon, Arco della Pace is admired by one and all. Attracting the tourists with its monumental structure, it is visually striking and admirable. The triumphal arch signifies peace and therefore Arco della Pace is also known as ‘Arch of Peace.’

9. Parco Sempione
Located in between the Sforzesco Castle and Arco della Pace, Parco Sempione is rich in flora and fauna. With its tranquil surroundings, it is a perfect spot for relaxation, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. After you are done enjoying the paintings in the Brera Art Gallery, you can just come here for a stroll by the lake or witness varieties of trees.

Other Essential Information About Pinacoteca Di Brera


Pinacoteca Di Brera is located at Via Brera 28, 20121, Milan.

Opening Hours:
Pinacoteca Di Brera is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 7:15 pm but remains closed on Monday.

This gallery charges a standard fee of €15, but there’s also a little surprise for you. The first Sunday of the month is free, and there are reductions on the fee with valid documents based on a few terms and conditions. 

Distance from Nearest Airport:
Linate Airport which is the nearest to the museum is just 9.6 km away. It is also viable to take a metro with Lanza (M2 line), Montenapoleone (M3 line), and Cairoli (M1 line) being the nearest stations. Trains from stations Centrale, Garibaldi, and Cadornacan can also help you on your journey to this beautiful gallery. Trams, buses, and cars are other possible options to reach the museum.

History of Pinacoteca Di Brera

Pinacoteca Di Brera was founded by Napoleon I and was established in 1809. This gallery is located in Palazzo Di Brera which was initially built by Francesco Maria Ricchino as a Jesuit college. It is also a house to other Milanese cultural institutions like the Academy of Fine Arts and Braidense National Library.

The very first collection that existed here was solely for educational purposes. Mary Therese requested those paintings to provide the students with a fantastic opportunity of carefully studying the extraordinary works of art.

Brera was initially only to display the works of art conquered by the French armies. Hence, this museum opened as a result of a deliberate policy decision. However, it expanded later when the works of art that were confiscated from churches started pouring in this museum in the early 19th century.

In 1882, it became a state gallery and was separated from the Academy of Fine Arts. Pinacoteca Di Brera is also home to artworks from various areas of Italy, thus making it one of the essential museums. It also delineates how the collection at Pinacoteca Di Brera is that of masterpieces by the most talented artists in Italy.
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People Also Ask About Pinacoteca Di Brera

  1. How long does it typically take to cover the entire museum?

    You will need at least one day to visit the museum. With over 400 works of art to see and read about, you cannot enjoy it all in its true essence if you are in a hurry to go somewhere else. And if you are interested in interpreting paintings on your own, well, then that depends on you. Take out a day or two, and you still won’t get enough of it.
  2. Is the camera allowed in the museum?

    Mobile phone cameras are allowed in the museum. However, flashes and any professional equipment like tripods, steady cams and selfie sticks are strictly prohibited inside.
  3. Is there a locker to keep my belongings?

    The Brera Art Gallery provides you with luggage lockers to enjoy the experience with a peaceful mind while you are at ease.
  4. Is photography allowed in the museum?

    Amateur photography is allowed in this museum for personal and academic use only.

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