A new light spreads onto the artworks of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, bringing them back to their original splendor.

From July 11 2015, a new lighting design allows visitors to better appreciate the artworks and the rooms of the gallery.

The project, now in its first realization phase, is designed by architect and lighting designer Alessandro Colombini and developed by Lumen Center Italia (, with the support of Banca Centropadana and E.ON.

The work involved the lighting of the grand staircase of the Ambrosiana, the drawings of the Codex Atlanticus of Leonardo da Vinci in the Sala Federiciana, as well as the paintings kept in the Rooms 2 and 7. This is just the first step of a great requalification project of the whole lighting system of the Pinacoteca, both aiming saving energy and reducing operating costs, as well as enhancing the collections’ set-up.

According to Monsignor Franco Buzzi, prefect of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, “The new lighting design has renewed the perception of the masterpieces preserved in the Ambrosiana. Each work is now more accessible and immediately understandable in the inspirational force that generated it. The balanced mixtures of hot and cold light exalts the paintings’ colors as never before, while ensuring a perfect preservation of the works.”

Augusto Grillo, president of Lumen Center Italy, states: “The continuous search for a better visual comfort while enjoying the great masterpieces of art and of human ingenuity has been the main motivation for Lumen Center Italia to produce new generation lighting devices.”

To enable proper and better reading of the masterpieces, a team of experts has made a thorough study of the paintings’ pigments, with the aim to fine-tune the spectrum of LED lights. In this way, it was possible to obtain the best lighting for each work on display.

Visitors will then be able to appreciate the shape and the light of ancient masterpieces, and see them exactly as they were created centuries ago. Among them, in Room 2, there are the Madonna of the pavilion by Sandro Botticelli, the Altarpiece of San Cristoforo by Bartolomeo Vivarini or the paintings of Bergognone and Bernardino Zenale. In Room 7, housing paintings of Flemish artists such as Jan Brueghel and Paul Brill collected by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, the new system brings out the real “light” of each work.

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