In its initial conception, the Brera Gallery was a collection of works providing support for the training of young artists at the Academy of Fine Arts.
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Introduction by Sandrina Bandera Entries by Paola Strada In its initial conception, the Brera Gallery was a collection of works providing support for the training of young artists at the Academy of Fine Arts. Its actual birth, however, was an initiative of the Napoleonic government in Italy to create a Royal Gallery based on the model of emerging national museums such as the Louvre. Officially inaugurated in 1809, it soon acquired numerous masterpieces: in particular, works of Venetian and Lombard artists from the 15th to the 18th century, coming from the churches suppressed and looted as the Napoleonic army made its way across the territory. The museum’s collections have grown over the years, thanks partially to generous donations, now making it one of the most important institutions of its kind in Italy for the quantity and quality of the works exhibited, ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Outstanding among the most important works are the Montefeltro Altarpiece by Piero della Francesca, The Wedding of the Virgin by Raphael, Dead Christ by Andrea Mantegna and Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio.