The Gallery of Modern Art in Milan is located in a beautiful villa which was even once the residence of Napoleon. The beauty of this building can completely be enjoyed only from the nearby park, which is probably the reason why this art gallery stays hidden to tourists even today. Inside the building visitors will have the chance to enjoy numerous art pieces of Antonio Canova, Francesco Hayez, Andrea Appiani etc.
The building of the Gallery of Modern Art was built between 1790 and 1796 by Leopoldo Pollack, a famous Austrian architect, and it was meant to be a residential villa of the Count Lodovico Barbiano Belgiojoso (a European diplomat). After the death of the Count the villa was transformed into the Napoleon residence, who, at the time, became the ruler of the new Italian Republic. In 1921, under the patronage of the city of Milan the villa was inaugurated as The Gallery of Modern Art.
The villa has two facades. The first one, the official entrance into the museum, is actually the back side of the building. It houses three rusticated arches on the ground floor, reproduced on all four sides of the courtyard. However, the second facade, hidden from the front view, is more beautiful and significant from the artistic point of view. You need to enter the left side doors (facing the museum entrance), where there is a gorgeous park and you will be able to enjoy the stunning nature and the building view.
The museum houses Italian and European art pieces of the 19th and the beginning of 20th century, where you may see the neoclassic masterpieces of Andrea Appiani and sculptures of Antonio Canova supplemented with the collection of portraits by Francesco Hayez. The most stunning collections of the museum are the collection “Grassi” and the collection “Vismara”. The first one, includes ceramics, sculptures and an important group of paintings made by most famous Italian and French painters from the 19th and 20th century such as Van Gogh, Manet, Cezanne, Balla and Boccioni. The Vismara collection involves the paintings of the French art masters such as Matisse and Picasso, along with great works of Italian avant-garde artists.
(!) In order to enjoy the beautiful park and the second facade of the museum, you need to show the tickets that you previously bought in the museum. However, if you decide not to visit the museum, you may visit the park only in case you are a parent of a child younger than 12 years. Otherwise, the man in the green uniform in charge of the park protection will not let you in.