The picture gallery at Castello Sforzesco (one of the many museums housed within the castle grounds) originated in 1878 and over the centuries, has been enriched by major donations. It now comprises over 1,500 paintings that date from the 13th century to 18th century, including masterpieces by the likes of Bronzino, Tintoretto and Titian. A large section is dedicated to late Lombard’s gothic paintings, reflective of the patronage of Milan’s Visconti and Sforza dynasties. Collection highlights include Vincenzo Foppa’s Madonna del Libro (1475) and Canaletto’s The Pier towards Riva degli Schiavoni with the Column of Saint Mark (before 1742). Spread across six halls, just 230 works from the collection are on display at one time, which makes for a very manageable tour.
Castello Sforzesco, Piazza Castello, Milan, Italy, +39 02 8846 3700
2017 marks the 30-year anniversary of Massimo De Carlo, a commercial gallery renowned for bringing big international artists to Milan. It first opened on Via Ventura in 1987 and now has an additional space in Palazzo Belgioioso in the historical centre of the city, as well as in London and Hong Kong. The Palazzo Belgioioso gallery space was designed by Giuseppe Piermarini (who also designed La Scala Theatre) in 1787 – the ornate features create a beautiful environment to view innovative contemporary artwork by the likes of Maurizio Cattelan, Elmgreen & Dragset, Jim Hodges and Laari Upson. The original Via Ventura gallery is a more typical white cube space.
Massimo De Carlo, Via Giovanni Ventura 5, Milan +39 02 7000
This commercial gallery originated in 1986 as Studio Marconi 17, an experimental space for emerging international artist and critics directed by Gió Marconi. Gió’s father, Giorgio Marconi, had previously founded Studio Marconi, which they ran together between 1965 and 1992. Today, Gió Marconi Gallery continues to champion contemporary artists from around the world (for example, Franz Ackermann, Nathalie Djurberg, Allison Katz) as well as promoting the historical work of the former Studio Marconi programme. It holds an important place in Milan’s contemporary art history and is still one of the best places in in the city see bold, often challenging new art.
Gió Marconi Gallery, Via Alessandro Tadino, 20, Milan +39 02 29 40 43 73