Brera Art Gallery: the masterpieces you must see

Pinacoteca di Brera opere


The Brera Art Gallery, works and artists of one of the most beautiful art collections in Italy and the most important art museum in Milan. An unmissable destination for art lovers but especially for those who want to visit the city of Milan and not to miss the works of art it houses.

The tour leading to the discovery of the works of the Brera Art Gallery consists of 38 halls and illustrates the evolution of western art throughout the centuries.
However, there are some unmissable works and during the visit it is worth stopping five more minutes in front of the great masterpieces of this museum.
That’s why I decided to make a list of the works you can’t miss.

Brera Art Gallery works:  the unmissable masterpieces 

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Before starting your visit to the Brera Art Gallery you should know that it houses a collection of artworks comprising centuries of history.
The first nucleus of the collection consists of works that were used for the education of students attending the Academy of Fine Arts but in the early 19th century Napoleon Bonaparte added masterpieces coming from the churches and palaces of Lombardy, turning the Brera Art Gallery into one of the major Italian museums.
That’s why this is one of those museums that is always on the list of each Milan travel guide worthy of its name, and is one of the 10 things you must see in Milan according to a recent article appeared on

Here are the works you can’t miss!

Andrea Mantegna | Cristo Morto

Andrea Mantegna, Cristo Morto

The Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Mantegna.
The most famous foreshortening in history of art and the most famous masterpiece by Andrea Mantegna.
Nobody can be indifferent in front of this painting in which the spectator is catapulted into the scene, thanks to an original point of view which gives the illusion of standing at the foot of the Dead Christ.
For the description and the meaning of the painting read the post The Lamentation over the Dead Christ: where you can see the most amazing artwork of the 15th century, even though my advice to you is obviously to go and see it as soon as possible at the Brera Art Gallery.

The Finding of the body of St. Mark by Tintoretto
This painting is part of a cycle of three paintings painted by Tintoretto for the Scuola Grande di San Marco in Venice.
The canvas depicts the moment in which the body of St. Mark is found, than brought to Venice to be housed inside the Basilica of Saint Mark.
The scene is busy and the painting is one of Tintoretto’s masterpieces who, thanks to the use of dark colours, a vanishing point placed in the background on the left and flashes of light, makes the scene dynamic.

Tintoretto | Ritrovamento corpo di San Marco

Tintoretto, Finding of the body of St. Mark

The Brera Altarpiece by Piero della Francesca
I’ve already describ Brera Altarpiece by Piero della Francesca, known also as Montefeltro Altarpiece or Sacra Conversazione.
It’s the masterpiece of Renaissance painting and is the manifesto of the mathematical Humanism, which with perspective and perfect proportions represented the world.
The work has been housed at the Brera Art Gallery since 1811 and it’s very exciting to admire it! 

Piero della Francesca | Pala Brera

Piero della Francesca, Brera Altarpiece (detail)

The Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael
The work was painted by Raphael as an altarpiece for the chapel of Saint Joseph in the church of San Francesco in Città di Castello.
The scene depicts the marriage between the Virgin Mary and Joseph in a landscape where each element has its precise place and everything is perfect and harmonious.
It’s a rigorous geometric composition, inspired by a painting by Perugino. 

Raffaello | Sposalizio della Vergine

Raphael, Marriage of the Virgin

The Kiss by Francesco Hayez
One of the works you must see at the Brera Art Gallery is the Kiss by Hayez, a painting which it’s impossible not to love.
The artist is considered the leading exponent of European Romanticism and with this tender kiss he painted the “manifesto” of the Italian Risorgimento.
The scene is characterized by theatricality and emotional zeal intended to overwhelm anyone who looks at it.

Francesco Hayez | il Bacio

Francesco Hayez, The Kiss (detail)


To visit the Brera Art Gallery you need at least 2 hours.
In the post The Brera Art Gallery: the works you can’t miss and how to plan your visit you’ll find all practical information to  get to the museum, book your entrance ticket and maybe a guided tour.

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2 thoughts on “Brera Art Gallery: the masterpieces you must see

  1. Pingback: Francesco Hayez – Architettura e scultori

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