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“Well worth a visit”

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
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Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus Admission in...
Ranked #40 of 1,001 things to do in Milan
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana was established in April 1618, when Cardinal Federico Borromeo donated his collection of paintings, drawings and statues to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, which he had founded in 1607. Inside the Pinacoteca's expositive path, articulated in 24 rooms, we can admire some of the greatest masterpieces of all times, like The Musician by Leonardo, The Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio, The cartoon for the School of Athens by Raphael , the Adoration of the Magi by Titian, the Madonna del Padiglione by Sandro Botticelli and the magnificent Vases of Flowers by Jan Brueghel. In addition to Renaissance artworks, the museum's collections include paintings by important 17th century Lombard artists (like Morazzone, Giulio Cesare Procaccini, Daniele Crespi and Carlo Francesco Nuvolone) as well as 18th century artists like Giandomenico Tiepolo, Fra' Galgario, Francesco Londonio, and also a notable cluster of 19th and early 20th centuries authors like Andrea Appiani, Francesco Hayez and Emilio Longoni. Walking from a room to another you can also discover a series of genuine curiosities, like the gloves that Napoleon wore at Waterloo, the armillary spheres from the Settala Collection, or the case that keeps a lock of Lucrezia Borgia's hair, in front of which many famous poets like Gabriele D'Annunzio and Lord Byron came to take inspiration. The ideal end of the visit is the Biblioteca Ambrosiana's old 17th century reading room, the Federiciana Room, which is the frame for the Codex Atlanticus exhibition.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

I went for the Da Vinci things, but all the other things they had there meant I spent a couple of hours happily browsing the other works, before I every made it to D.V at the end! A definite Must See. I could wish the Da Vinci pages weren't quite so low down (displayed at an optimal height for children, rather than adults), but it was so fascinating to see what a polymath he was, with a single page that might have a sketch and some notes on an invention he was considering next to some anatomical diagram and then calculations on something else. One of the highlights of my trip to Milan.

2  Thank Jmbau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"codex atlanticus"
in 37 reviews
"basket of fruit"
in 27 reviews
"da vinci"
in 60 reviews
"on display"
in 35 reviews
"audio guide"
in 31 reviews
"beautiful library"
in 6 reviews
"original drawings"
in 6 reviews
"art gallery"
in 16 reviews
"fantastic museum"
in 4 reviews
"inner courtyard"
in 5 reviews
"last supper"
in 29 reviews
"impressive collection"
in 5 reviews
"art lovers"
in 5 reviews
"italian art"
in 6 reviews
"worth seeing"
in 4 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 5 reviews
"stained glass"
in 5 reviews

316 - 320 of 1,091 reviews

Reviewed November 19, 2012

The collection is stunning, with many manuscripts, models and hand drawings. The da Vinci manuscripts alone are most certainly worth seeing!

Thank Kat L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

This is a Must see in Milan, together with the last supper, as several pages of the da vinci code are on display here. + some great paintings, including caravaggio (the still life is one of the most reknown painting in Italy, as it was on the 100.000 lira note :)
pages on display change every once on a while, so it's always worth a visit. I saw one of the first sketch (probably the first one in history??) of a parachute.. and many other nice Leonardo drawings.

Thank utente2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

They ask 15 euros per person saying that you can see the Leonardo's Atlantic code. Actually what you can see is just a poor collection of painting of almost unkown artists (except for a rough study by Raffaello) and a dozen of unreadable pages of the Atlantic code, which is less than 1% of the entire code. This is really annoying and left you with the impression of a typical "italian trick" to get money for nothing from tourists.

Thank cpt63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fcasiraghi, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2012

Dear Contributor,

we are sorry to know that your visit at the Ambrosiana was disappointing, but we would like to reply to some statements contained in your review, in particular to those regarding the quality of the Museum's collections.
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is one of the most ancient cultural institutions in Milan, founded in 1618 by Cardinal Federico Borromeo. The exhibition tour features many masterpieces by artists such as, among the others: the Adoration of the Kings by Titian and the Holy Family with Saint John and Saint Anne by Bernardino Luini (Room 1), the Madonna of the Pavilion by Botticelli (Room 2), the Madonna of the Towers by Bramantino (Room 3), the Preliminary Cartoon for the School of Athens by Raphael (Room 5), A series of exquisite paintings by Flemish masters Jan Brueghel the Elder and Paul Bril (Room 7), the Basket of fruit by Caravaggio (Room 6), the Portrait of a Musician by Leonardo da Vinci and many others.
Certainly the above mentioned painters cannot be defined as "almost unknown artists" at all.
As for the Codex Atlanticus: the exhibition project, curated by eminent art historians, was conceived to allow the display of the whole Codex in a series of thematic exhibits taking place from 2009 to 2015. Due to preservation reasons, the number of displayable sheets per exhibition is limited: the exhibits last 3 months and display 44 sheets each time (22 in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and 22 in the Bramante Sacristy).
We would also like to stress that the Codex Atlanticus folios with autograph drawings and notes by Leonardo are "unreadable" to the modern visitor as any other manuscript of the XV-XVI century would be and also because of the typical reversed writing of the master (from right to left).
We will try, for future exhibits, to transcribe Leonardo's original texts and show them on the monitors placed next to the sheets, so the meaning of the notes will be clear.
Considering the reasons explained above, we believe that your statement about the Ambrosiana art gallery being a "typical italian trick to get money FOR NOTHING from tourists" is unjustified.

Kind regards

Fernanda Casiraghi

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Reviewed October 20, 2012

This art museum ranks with the Brera and was the private collection of Cardnial Francesco Borromeo, founded in 1603. It has the largest collection of works by Leonardo da Vinci in the world, including the Codex Atlantico. Works by Botticelli, da Vinci, Raphael, Bellini, Caravaggio, Bril, Breughel, Hayez, and many others are represented here. The main advantage over the Brera is the setting for the paintings and the innovative technological spot lighting provided in several of the galleries. The building housing the museum is magnificent and is a work of art in itself. Don't miss this museum if you are in Milan. Highly recommended

2  Thank Bart B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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