The Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery in Milan is currently restructuring its rooms with a new approach to exhibitions involving a series of “Dialogues” between large paintings with related religious themes. Thanks to ERCO LED lighting each masterpiece becomes more uplifting.

What would be the conversation between Perugino and Raphael? Or between two other great masters of art history? The Pinacoteca di Brera answers this question with a series of “Dialogues”, matching a selection of masterpieces from the museum’s own collection with related pieces on loan. The first dialogue, “Perugino and Raphael, the Marriage of the Virgin”, puts the two frequently contrasted portrayals of the marriage ceremony between Mary and Joseph side by side for the first time, enabling a comparative analysis of the originals. “You could see the very calm stability of the Perugino and the increasing plasticity and fluid movement of Raphael,” says Brera Director James M. Bradburne, as he recalls the experience. The “Dialogues” have since continued with themes including “Andrea Mantegna: New Perspective” and “Dinner Conversation with Caravaggio”.

Large paintings with religious themes

Founded by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in the 18th century, when Lombardy was still under the sovereignty of the Habsburg dynasty, the Pinacoteca di Brera expanded a few decades later thanks to Napoleon, who filled it with numerous large paintings depicting religious scenes, which had been confiscated from churches and monasteries at the time of the dissolution. This explains why the collection comprises chiefly religious works that can be admired at the Pinacoteca di Brera today, many of them large altarpieces such as the “Coronation of the Virgin” by Andrea di Bartolo and Giorgio di Andrea.

“Brera has one of the most beautiful collections in Italy – possibly even in the […]