Chiostri di Sant'Eustorgio un luogo di storia e di preghiera
Chiostri di Sant'Eustorgio un luogo di storia e di preghiera

The Archiepiscopal collection

A significant group of works of the Museum comes from the Archiepiscopal Quadreria (painting collection) from which, thanks to Cardinal Martini, the Museum has received many paintings originally forming part of the Milanese archbishops’ ancient collections, and reflecting different cultural orientations. Among these, a portion of the Monti, Visconti and Pozzobonelli collections, as well as the whole Erba Odescalchi collection. The choices of Cardinal Cesare Monti (1593-1650), aligned to the culture of Saint Charles Borromeo and the spirit of the Counter-Reformation, lean towards the 16th-century Venetian school, the early 17th-century Lombard art and the Leonardesque and Emilian schools. Among the artworks on display at the Diocesan Museum, Cerano’s Fall of Saint Paul, Morazzone’s masterpiece Jacob wrestling with the Angel, and Saint Joseph with the Infant Jesus by Guido Reni stand out. On the other hand, the orientation of Cardinal Giuseppe Pozzobonelli (1696-1783) collection is very different – it is one of the greatest expressions of the culture of Arcadia, which propagated in Milan in the 18th century. Indeed, the works depict Arcadian themes, bucolic and marine landscapes, perspectives with Roman, Venetian, Lombard and – to a lesser extent – Tuscan, Neapolitan and Flemish figures, dating back between the late 17th century and the 1770s. Among the painters in the collection are Francesco Zuccarelli, Cavalier Tempesta, Paolo Anesi and Giovanni Paolo Panini. The works of Cardinal Visconti (1617-1693) include the board with Cerano’s Saint Charles, while the Erba Odescalchi (1679-1740) collection comprises 41 canvases portraying the Milanese bishop-saints, attributed to Francesco Fabbrica (Milan, reported 1710-1740).