Fodor's Expert Review Pinacoteca di Brera

Brera Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice

The collection here is star-studded even by Italian standards. The museum has nearly 40 rooms, arranged in chronological order—so pace yourself. One highlight is the somber, moving Cristo Morto (Dead Christ) by Mantegna, which dominates Room VI with its sparse palette of umber and its foreshortened perspective. Mantegna's shocking, almost surgical precision tells of an all-too-human agony. It's one of Renaissance painting's most quietly wondrous achievements, finding an unsuspected middle ground between the excesses of conventional gore and beauty in representing the Passion's saddest moment.

Room XXIV offers two additional highlights of the gallery. Raphael's (1483–1520) Sposalizio della Vergine (Marriage of the Virgin) with its mathematical composition and precise, alternating colors, portrays the betrothal of Mary and Joseph. La Vergine con il Bambino e Santi (Madonna with Child and Saints), by Piero della Francesca (1420–92), is an altarpiece commissioned... READ MORE

The collection here is star-studded even by Italian standards. The museum has nearly 40 rooms, arranged in chronological order—so pace yourself. One highlight is the somber, moving Cristo Morto (Dead Christ) by Mantegna, which dominates Room VI with its sparse palette of umber and its foreshortened perspective. Mantegna's shocking, almost surgical precision tells of an all-too-human agony. It's one of Renaissance painting's most quietly wondrous achievements, finding an unsuspected middle ground between the excesses of conventional gore and beauty in representing the Passion's saddest moment.

Room XXIV offers two additional highlights of the gallery. Raphael's (1483–1520) Sposalizio della Vergine (Marriage of the Virgin) with its mathematical composition and precise, alternating colors, portrays the betrothal of Mary and Joseph. La Vergine con il Bambino e Santi (Madonna with Child and Saints), by Piero della Francesca (1420–92), is an altarpiece commissioned by Federico da Montefeltro (shown kneeling, in full armor, before the Virgin); it was intended for a church to house the duke's tomb. Room XXXVII houses one of the most romantic paintings in Italian history: Il Bacio, by Francesco Hayez (1791–1882), depicts a couple from the Middle Ages engaged in a passionate kiss. The painting was meant to portray the patriotic spirit of Italy's Unification and freedom from the Austro-Hungarian empire.

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Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Via Brera 28
Milan, Lombardy  20121, Italy

02-722631

www.pinacotecabrera.org

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €10 (free first Sun. of the month), Closed Mon. , €12 (free 1st Sun. of month), €10 (free 1st Sun. of month)

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