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Art & History

Gallerie d’Italia: the nineteenth and twentieth centuries art for free in Piazza della Scala

News > Art & History | Gallerie d’Italia: the nineteenth and twentieth centuries art for free in Piazza della Scala

We must thank Intesa San Paolo for opening the Gallerie d’Italia. The bank, in fact, is engaged in the artistic promotion through the Progetto Cultura, a “strategic container” of cultural activities and interventions, temporary and permanent, with the aim to exploit the considerable Italian historical, artistic and architectural heritage.

Among the various activities carried on, the construction of the Gallerie stands out. They are places where visitors can enjoy art and cultural production and include the Gallerie of Piazza della Scala in Milan, the Palazzo Leoni Montanari in Vicenza and the Gallerie of Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano in Naples.

The one of Milan represents a true artistic treasure: although central and free, it is still little known and popular. Do not make the mistake of many Milanese and give it a go!

The buildings of the Gallerie della Scala

The buildings that preserve the artistic treasures of the Galleries di Piazza della Scala have a significant cultural value. They were, in fact, designed by Italian architects in vogue between the eighteenth century and the early twentieth century.

The Palazzo Anguissola encloses the section of the museum dedicated to the nineteenth century. It was the Count Anguissola to ask for its construction to architect Carlo Felice Soave: the Count wanted to launch the talented young architect, as well as the artists who decorated the interior of the building, which includes stylish furnishings with different decorative themes like bronzes, mirrors and marble. Anguissola’s entrepreneurial spirit reflects the active character of Milan, remained intact until these days.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Palazzo Anguissola was flanked by Palazzo Brentani: the interiors show the radical change in the taste of the time, passing from the aristocratic elegance, to the gentry’s modern efficiency.

Another great building is the historic home of the Commercial Bank, which presents the collection of the twentieth century and that of Intesa San Paolo. Although built almost two centuries after Palazzo Anguissola, it fits harmoniously into the architectural landscape of the square, from which it has borrowed some styling cues. The vault, once closed and inaccessible, is now open to the public and contains about 500 paintings.

The exhibitions in the Gallerie della Scala

The route starts in the galleries of Italy Palazzo Anguissola, re-modernized by De Lucchi in the ’90s. Within this elegant and aristocratic frame, stand the artistic creations of the nineteenth century. The permanent exhibition has the title of From Canova to Boccioni. The collection of the Fondazione Cariplo and Intesa Sanpaolo. Canova’s bas-reliefs represent the starting point of the route that covers an entire century; to mark the symbolic passage to the twentieth century there are four works of Boccioni’s pre-futuristic season. This part of the museum is divided into 13 thematic sections ranging from romanticism to symbolism.

The views of the ancient Milan are also extremely impactful: the highlights of the Risorgimento, the canals still navigable and the announcement of the death of the King in a snowy Piazza della Scala.

Because of the Expo, the galleries have opened a new exhibition dedicated to the twentieth century and called Cantiere del ‘900. Consisting of 79 works, the Cantiere appearance changes constantly, according to the works exposed: that’s why the organizers chose the name of “cantiere” – building site – to represent an ever changing place, always investigating new artistic paths.

Although the different “editions” of the Cantiere present different works, they are all united by some main themes, like the one of space, time and colors.

The Gallerie organize guided tours in the Cantiere, as well as cultural talks and artistic happy-hours

The gallerie official webstie: http://www.gallerieditalia.com/en

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