The Ambrosiana Museum and Library

The Ambrosiana is one of the oldest “Milanese” institutions. Founded by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, it combines a Library (1609) and Picture Gallery (1618) into one integrated structure.

The Library was conceived as a centre for study and culture and the Gallery was added to serve as a model for an art Academy and aimed at the “formation and education of aesthetic tastes”. The room itself is just amazing, with its vast collection of first editions, codices, and books, which fill the entire room from floor to ceiling making it undoubtedly one of the most important libraries in Italy and in the world.

The Quadreria (Picture Gallery) now houses more than 1500 works on panel, canvas and copper. Perhaps the most impressive and majestic of all works is the great cartoon by Raphael, to which almost an entire room is dedicated, depicting the School of Athens, a fresco he painted in the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican.

The Codex Atlanticus by Leonardo da Vinci with 1750 drawings of technical-scientific nature is also here on display.

If time for your visit here is short, do not miss the Portrait of a Musician by Leonardo, the Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio, the Portrait of a Lady by Ambrogio de Predis, or the Madonna of the Pavillion by Boticelli. Hopefully you will have more time to wander through the 24 rooms, and admire the other works as well as the magnificent interiors of the building itself.

The Ambrosiana
Piazza Po XI, 2
20123 Milano
Tel: + 39 02 80692.1
Fax: + 39 02 80692.210

AM Nov. 08

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