The Brera Art Gallery hosts one of Lombardy's most important permanent art collections. Though modest in breadth, the collection is outstanding in quality covering the works of acclaimed Italian artists from the 13th to the 20th centuries including masterpieces of Bellini, Raphael, Carvaggio, and Bramante.
The Pinacoteca was established as a study collection initially with plaster casts and drawings for the students at the Accademia di Belle Arti in the same building. The paintings were later gathered from churches and monasteries suppressed during the Napoleonic Era.
Both the gallery and the academy are housed in the grounds of the Palazzo Brera which owes its name to the Germanic 'braida', denoting a grassy opening in the structure. It was built in 1651 for the Jesuits who wanted to house their college, astronomical observatory and botanical garden.
Today, the gallery's 38 rooms are arranged in a circuit that starts and ends with 20th-century Italian painting. Two of the 38 rooms are glass-walled art restoration chambers where you can see how works progress on the paintings.
Watch out for
Masterpieces in this important collection include Andrea Mantegna's The Dead Christ, Rafael's The Marriage of the Virgin, Bellini's Pietà, Caravaggio's Supper at Emmaus, Francesco Hayez's The Kiss, Pellizza's Human Flood, Boccioni's Riot in the Gallery and Modigliani's Enfant Gras.
- "A gallery of incredible beauty with some very special pieces on display. It is a large building and takes a few hours to do it justice." - Trip Advisor
- "Went there on the first Sunday of the month, and the entrance is FREE! Spent around 2h30 taking the tour with very interesting works of art, all well organized and perfectly explained. An interesting point: the "office" where the paintings are restored is "open" for you to see how it's done, and it's so amazing!!" - Trip Advisor
- "Spacious, well organised - what a treat. The top of the gallery has incredible views of the Duomo! Visit highly recommended." - Trip Advisor
When to come
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 08:30 to 19:15 (ticket office closes at 18:40. On Thursdays, from June 30th to September 29th, the museum closes at 22:15 (ticket office closes at 21:40).
Closed on Monday, January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.
How to get passes
Tickets cost 10€. Reduced to 7€ for EU citizens between 18 and 25 years. Free for under 18, EU citizens with disabilities, as well as EU journalists, humanities teachers and students, and tourist guides. 2€ for late Thursday evenings from 18:00.
Free every first Sunday of the month. Audio guides, available in Italian, English, French, Spanish and German, cost 5€.
- Via Brera 28