Poldi Pezzoli Museum

Via Alessandro Manzoni, 12. (Open Map)


The Poldi Pezzoli museum belongs to the Circuit of Historic House Museums of Milan. A city museum network established in 2008 with the aim of promoting the Milanese cultural and artistic heritage through the history of its protagonists by conserving the personal collections in unique ambiences.
The extensive Poldi Pezzoli museum collections may seem an indication of the museum’s extremely long traditions but, in actual fact, the museum was established at the end of the 1800s and was originally a real home; it was the residence of an aristocratic nobleman, Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, an avid collector of paintings, sculptures, weapons, porcelain, glass, textiles, watches and jewellery. It is an exceptionally beautiful house; the decorative art and furnishings embellish the interiors with innovative juxtapositions and fill them with colours and shapes.
The gothic floral style Dante study and the Sala dei Vetri di Murano (Murano glass room) were, respectively, the private study and bedroom of the collector himself. The Sala delle Armi (Gun Room) conserves ancient Lombard armour and German firearms that are famous for their accuracy. A closer look at the walls reveals some important works of art. Particularly worthy of attention are the "Portrait of a Woman" by Pollaiuolo - the flagship and symbol of the museum - plus, the "Madonna of the Book" and the "Deposition" by Botticelli.
The house-museum was opened to the public in 1881 on the occasion of the National Exposition in Milan and has since become an archetype for other famous collectors.
Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli inherited a passion for collecting from his mother, Rosa Trivulzio, who was in turn daughter to Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, who owned a fine art collection.
The Sala d’Armi was the first room to be furnished as a collection, and it was originally on the first floor of the museum-home. During the Second World War, the Museum and its collections were extensively damaged. In 1951, it reopened, but with a different layout. The Sala d’Armi had been moved to the ground floor, to where it is still today. At present there is a new layout created by sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro.