If you are something of an art enthusiast, the Italian city of Milan really should be on your list of places to visit. Not only is it home to some top art galleries, but you will also get the chance to see some of the world’s most famous masterpieces.
Already booked you flights, sorted your accommodation and organized your Milan Airport car hire with Auto Europe? All that is left to do is take a look at our guide and decide which galleries and pieces of work you definitely want to see during your holiday here.
The Last Supper
You will have certainly heard of Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper – you don’t even have to be an art fan to know that! This majestic work – thought to have been painted in around 1496 – is located in the Refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and after reading about it in books and seeing copies of it, you will appreciate finally getting to look at it up close. Da Vinci created the masterpiece on commission from Ludovico Sforza, a former duke of Milan. The painting depicts the moment where Jesus Christ tells his apostles that one of them is set to betray him, which will result in the Son of Man being killed. Everyone has their own opinion as to the artist’s style, including theories that he painted his own portrait when he drew Judas.
Basket of Fruit
Another masterpiece you will find in Milan is Basket of Fruit, by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. You will need to head to the Ambrosiana Gallery to see the painting. While the subject of the work is simply, as the name suggests, a basket of fruit, it is one of the most famous creations in the world. Did you know, for instance, that between 1983 and 2001 the painting was reproduced on 100,000 lire banknotes?
Basket of Fruit was produced between 1597 and 1598 and presented as a gift ten years later to Cardinal Borromeo. The depiction of light on the fruit is particularly praised, and when you see it for yourself, you might agree.
Lamentation over the Dead Christ
Produced in 1495 by Sandro Botticelli, Lamentation over the Dead Christ is in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli and tells the story of the grief experienced as a result of the crucifixion of Jesus. The masterpiece is thought to have been created during a time of spiritual upheaval for the artist, with the anguish on the faces of the Madonna, three Mary’s and St John clear to see. You will notice that Joseph of Arimathea is standing at the back, holding up nails and a crown of thorns towards the sky.
Rather than a painting, this giant sculpture stands over you as you enter the Duomo di Milano, the city’s cathedral. Created with gilded copper laminate by goldsmith Giuseppe Bini, carver Giuseppe Antignani and sculptor Giuseppe Perego, the Madonnina stands on a platform 108 m above the ground. It was placed there in 1774, but due to concerns over an Illuminati backlash, it was not to very much fanfare. Today’s reaction when visitors see it certainly makes up for its modest unveiling! Don’t forget to head inside the cathedral to fully appreciate the stained-glass windows, statues and half busts.