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Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera Picture Gallery)
Napoleon's ill-gotten gains form one of the world's best Italian Renaissance art collections, Pinacoteca di Brera, housed in a fine Renaissance palace in Brera. The 38 rooms are brimming with 13th-20th-century artworks by Veronese, Mantegna, Bellini, Carpaccio, and more.
When Napoleon was busy running Europe, he decided that Milan was the place for an imperial capital (after Paris of course). To this end, he ordered his armies to loot the areas of French-occupied Italy and bring back to Milan the finest works of art that they could find.
From 1799-1815 Napoleon built on the original collection, which comprised the Hapsburg's bequest of a small collection of paintings and sculptures to Milan's Accademia. Paintings came flooding in thick and fast.
Masterpieces to look out for include Veronese's Supper in the House of Simon, for which he was nearly killed by the Inquisition, Mantegna's The Dead Christ, which depicts a prostrate Christ viewed from the soles of his feet and Carpaccio's The Presentation of the Virgin.
As for non-Italians, there are pictures by El Greco, van Dyck, Rubens and Rembrandt. Modern Italian painters include Modigliani.
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