Pinacoteca Ambrosiana Review
Cardinal Federico Borromeo, one of Milan's native saints, founded this picture gallery in 1618 with the addition of his personal art collection to a bequest of books to Italy's first public library. More-recent renovations have reunited the core works of the collection, including such treasures as Caravaggio's Basket of Fruit; Raphael's monumental preparatory drawing (known as a "cartoon") for The School of Athens, which hangs in the Vatican; and the Codice Atlantico, the largest collection of designs by Leonardo da Vinci (on display through 2015). In addition to works by Lombard artists are paintings by Botticelli, Luini, Titian, and Jan Brueghel. A wealth of charmingly idiosyncratic items on display include 18th-century scientific instruments and gloves worn by Napoléon at Waterloo. Access to the library, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, is limited to researchers who apply for entrance tickets.
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