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The Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Milan’s Best-Kept Secret

Published on , by Olivier Tosseri
A 19th-century count brought together thousands of rare artworks and objets d’art in his home. The wunderkammer or cabinet of curiousity has been open to the public since his death but attracts few visitors despite its rich collection.
 
The Black Room, with Trust in God by Lorenzo Bartolini (1772-1850) in the foreground,... The Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Milan’s Best-Kept Secret

The Black Room, with Trust in God by Lorenzo Bartolini (1772-1850) in the foreground, marble, 93 x 43 x 64 cm/36.61 x 16.92 x 25.19 in.
© Milano, Museo Poldi Pezzoli

Milan is a city of art unlike any other in Italy. It does not exhibit the splendors of its past glory with serenity like Venice, its former might with nostalgic pride like Genoa, or its prestige with elegance like Florence. The country’s economic capital takes pride not in its illustrious aristocratic dynasties, but in the industrious bourgeois families that made its fortune, abandoning the brazen showiness of the former for the jealous discretion of the latter. Its artistic heritage is admired not in historic palazzi, but usually in house-museums, the most prestigious of which were linked together 15 years ago…
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