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“well staged and lighted”

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
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Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus Admission in Milan
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Ranked #31 of 859 things to do in Milan
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana was established in April 1618, when Cardinal Federico Borromeo donated his collection of paintings, drawings and statues to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, which he had founded in 1607. Inside the Pinacoteca's expositive path, articulated in 24 rooms, we can admire some of the greatest masterpieces of all times, like The Musician by Leonardo, The Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio, The cartoon for the School of Athens by Raphael , the Adoration of the Magi by Titian, the Madonna del Padiglione by Sandro Botticelli and the magnificent Vases of Flowers by Jan Brueghel. In addition to Renaissance artworks, the museum's collections include paintings by important 17th century Lombard artists (like Morazzone, Giulio Cesare Procaccini, Daniele Crespi and Carlo Francesco Nuvolone) as well as 18th century artists like Giandomenico Tiepolo, Fra' Galgario, Francesco Londonio, and also a notable cluster of 19th and early 20th centuries authors like Andrea Appiani, Francesco Hayez and Emilio Longoni. Walking from a room to another you can also discover a series of genuine curiosities, like the gloves that Napoleon wore at Waterloo, the armillary spheres from the Settala Collection, or the case that keeps a lock of Lucrezia Borgia's hair, in front of which many famous poets like Gabriele D'Annunzio and Lord Byron came to take inspiration. The ideal end of the visit is the Biblioteca Ambrosiana's old 17th century reading room, the Federiciana Room, which is the frame for the Codex Atlanticus exhibition.
Prague, Czech Republic
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“well staged and lighted”
Reviewed 21 May 2012

I have seen quite many picture galleries but this one surprised me. All the canvases and sculptures are very well staged and lighted, so it is a very atractive exposition. You will find the pieces in the rooms and also outside in the courtyard. The library itself not overwhelming, I found a czech translation of Danteś Comedy (who on Earth would like to read this in Milano????), So, my impression was the quantity, not quality, but anyway: the Leonardo Da Vinci Codex Atlanticus, which is now being shown in series (until 2013) is very well worth seeing.

Visited May 2012
Thank andy s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Lewisville, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
1,031 reviews
262 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 333 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit - if only to see Da Vinci's famous drawings”
Reviewed 30 April 2012

This is a great little museum and library filled with works by Italian masters. In additions to numerous famous paintings, the library (beautiful in itself) displays several of Da Vinci's drawings and notes - it was fascinating to see these documents close up. It is very well worth an hour or so of your time.

Visited April 2012
Thank Mohsman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thessaloniki, Greece
Level 6 Contributor
91 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Great art, little English!”
Reviewed 30 April 2012

Place is packed with masterpieces including one Leonardo's painting and pages of his works with drawings and comments. If only the stuff could speak some English everything would be way more pleasant. They should allow use of the elevators. Great atmosphere in the Library!!!

Visited April 2012
Thank Stavrospgr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Well worth visiting”
Reviewed 2 April 2012

Although an easy walk from the Duoma, this is not well sign-posted and can be difficult to find. However, it is worth the effort of persevering. The Pinecoteca (Art Gallery) houses works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Titian, Bruegel and Raphael.

Caravaggio's Basket of Fruit is there and beside it is a video panning across the canvas, showing the work up close with all its intricacy. This is also the case with Da Vinci's Portrait of a Musician. You can really pick out the details and the brushwork.

The drawings for Raphael's School of Athens - depicting Greek Philosophers - are housed here and there is an animated screen which shows the cartoon in front of you and then colours each character as they are seen on the finished picture in the Vatican. The animation also illustrates how Raphael used the features of Da Vinci for Plato and Michaelango for Heraclitus. He also paints himself into the picture on the right, in the black hat. Although it can't be seen by visitors, apparently there are pinprick holes where the cartoon was held up to the walls in the Vatican and brushed to leave a mark on the wall for the painter to complete the frescoe in situ.

The lighting in the gallery is superb and very non-intrusive, showing the pictures to the best advantage.

When you have finished viewing the pictures the tour takes you through into the Biblioteca. Amongst other famous publications and manuscripts, this houses the greatest number of Da Vinci's original drawings and there is currently an exhibition of these. Apparently there are various revolving themes but when we went it was the drawings illustrating his interest in flight. These show details of bird's wings, and his famous anticipation of parachutes and flight by man.

It is certainly well worth a visit.

Visited March 2012
5 Thank JaneOManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Worth the difficulty to actually find it”
Reviewed 28 March 2012

The Pinacoteca/Biblioteca Ambrosiana can be a little difficult to find if you're not using a map, but it's so worth going. The art and the building are beautiful and being able to see so many original Da Vinci drawings up close is amazing. Definitely worth the trip!

Visited September 2011
1 Thank VF79Ams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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