Brera Art Gallery

The Brera Art Gallery is the main public gallery for paintings in Milan. In this gallery one can find extensive collections of Italian paintings including a lot of renown and legendary works of art.


Visiting of this gallery is of great importance and is an extremely beneficial experience. This place offers a fantastic opportunity to see the works of great masters of Italy.

Also, while visiting the gallery we had a great chance to see the exhibition of paintings by Bramante.  Despite the fact that Bramante is better known as an architect from the Renaissance period who accomplished such incredible projects as Belvedere courtyard, the church of Santa Maria del Popolo and also most likely one of the most notable works in the biography of Donato Bramante, the project of St. Peters, an impressive huge domed structure.

Nevertheless, Bramante’s paintings are truly outstanding. As a true genius, Donato was original. The exhibition celebrates the 500th anniversary of Donato Bramante’s death (1443 / 44-1514), who was one of the main architects and artists of the High Renaissance. Bramante’s ability to skillfully depict the architectural space had a great influence on the Lombard’s artists such as Vincenzo Foppa, Ambrogio Bergognone, Bartolomeo Suardi (Bramantino), Bernardo Dzenale.

Apart from their works at the exhibition one can see the painting”The Marriage of the Virgin” by Rafael and also the Montefeltro altarpiece by Piero de La Francesca from the Brera’s collection – the creations that in fact had left their stamp on the master himself, as well some of Rafael’s & Bramante ‘s drawings from the Turin ‘s Royal Library  collection, the Windsor Palace collection and  the Copenhagen States museum’s collection. There will be altogether around 50 works of art presented at the exhibition

The exhibition itself in Brera Art Gallery is not large but it shows very important works of the great artist. One of the most famous and significant is «Christ at the Column» с.1490.

This was painted for the Abbey of Chiaravalle, near Milan. Mentioned by Lomazzo in Idea as Bramante’s  work, other critics ascribe the painting to Bramantino.  Others still see it as a fruit of collaboration of the two artists.


Christ’s torso, carved like a column, is a fine example of the geometrical monumentality that was Bramante’s inspiration not only as an architect but also as a painter. Through the window we can see a landscape with many watercourses. Light glints realistically on Christ’s curly hair. Both of these features can he related to similar work by Leonardo during his stay in Milan.

Also, the work named «Heraclitus and Democritus.» is a well-known Fresco transferred to canvas made by Donato Bramante was  shown at the exhibition.

Democritus (c. 460 – c. 370 B.C.) and Heraclitus (c. 540 – c. 475 B.C.) are known as the ‘laughing and crying philosophers.’

Democritus, a Greek philosopher, born at Abdera in Thrace, was known as the laughing philosopher because he found amusement in the folly of mankind. (The citizens of Abdera were proverbially stupid.) His philosophic system was contrasted with that of the earlier Heraclitus of Ephesus, who was known as the ‘Dark’ or ‘Obscure’ and was reputed to be melancholic. They were linked as a contrasting pair by Seneca, by Juvenal and others. Florentine humanists, to whom such classical texts were well-known used the pair to support the view that a cheerful demeanour was proper to a philosopher.


The two philosophers are widely represented in European painting of the Renaissance and Baroque period, either in one picture or as companion pieces. Bramante represents Democritus with his attribute, the terrestrial globe.

Looking at these pictures one contemplate the genius, fine work  and the talent of the one of greatest artists of Renaissance. The exhibition offers a good range of well-chosen works and beautiful masterpieces. Exhibition tamed to 500 anniversary of the death of the artist will be held from December 3, 2014 – March 22, 2015, and everyone will be able to observe the great creations in Brera Art Gallery.

Bibliography –   Infromation provided by Brera Art Gallery.

Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.


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