Ambrosiana gallery – room 2 and 3

February 3 – May 20 2014

Admission included in the Ambrosiana Gallery ticket

The seven panels attributed to Bonifacio Bembo from the collection of Ludovico Pogliaghi feature ideal portraits of young men and maids, all dressed in the fashion of the court of Francesco Sforza:  they are all wearing the giornea, a kind of sleeveless tunic open on the sides and lined with fur, thus showing the brocade robe worn underneath. All characters, both male and female , flaunt the same eye-catching jewel pinned above the forehead, chest or shoulder. The jewel is known as the clip ” with the angel”, a type which also appears as a ” shoulder clip “  in the portrait of Bianca Maria Visconti (Milan , Brera), wife of Franscesco Sforza.

The vertical format and the curvature of the paintings clearly show the destination of these artifacts . They are, in fact, ceiling panels, i.e. painted panels that were hung the ceiling beams , according to a common fashion extensively documented in Lombardy and the neighboring areas in private and public buildings during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. They are attributed to the circle of Bonifacio Bembo, painter and miniaturist active between 1447 and 1477.

The collection of Ludovico Pogliaghi

An eclectic and very fruitful artist,  Pogliaghi bought a house in 1885 on the Sacro Monte of Varese , where , over the years, he gathered a large collection of art. Since 1904, after a meeting with Achille Ratti, then Prefect of the Ambrosiana Library, Pogliaghi began to cultivate the idea to donate his house and his collections to the prestigious institution founded by Federico Borromeo.

On 7 April 1937, the house was donated to the museum by Achille Ratti, who, in the mean time, had become Pope Pius XI.

Ambrosiana Gallery, Room 2 and 3
February 3 – May 20 2014
Admission included in the Ambrosiana Gallery ticket