Details of Greatness

Cuts from canvases of Brera’s Pinacoteca in MILAN

Walking surrounded from centuries of masterpieces can be boring.

Yes its true, lets face it.

A few spark of excitement (or delusion) and the rest is just a walk through … the exit.

Guides can wort the price, but lots of us are often so tight with budget that they go under the extra category, and alway the first to be cut, especially if you are in a not in an organized group.

Museums are often one of the most visited attraction for big cities and nobody would miss the opportunity of watching some of the most celebrated art pieces that they preserve.

Moma, Prado, National Gallery, Louvre, Galleria degli Uffizi, Musei Vaticani, are often a must visit place when you come to see the city where they are paced.

Nobody wants to go back home being unable to answer to the class question : “ have you been to,,,”

BUT Beauty is a very easy language and even if you are not an art expert the visit to one of these places often unveil hidden and unknown sensitiveness to this kind of things.

The real problem in this kind of approach is that it takes easelly to boredom and straight to the exit.

Yes you may pick some nice things going fast through the door but you are going to lose most of the good that any kind of museum can give you.

Which is not culture,

So what ?

Court Yard of Palazzo Brera

This big Cauliflower has recently been to one of the most impressive art collection in Italy (= of the world), The “Pinacoteca di Brera”, a former Convent of the “Ordine degli Umiliati” (Order of the humiliated) one of the most powerful congregations of that era in milan (despite of the name). The Gran palazzo di Brera pass to the “capable” hands of the Gesuiti order (the pope one you know…) then pass to the Queen of Austria who empowered the library and stated up the school (which is still running as school of Arts), since Napoleon came down conquering north of Italy at the beginning of the 19th century. The French man decided that in that palace should be collectect some of the most important art pieces of his kingdom and took here some of the stuff he didn ’t take to the Louvre. But that started the collection that kept on growing surviving to the empire fall, second war bombing (thanks to Fernanda Wittgens), and Italian way of stopping great idea such as the Grande Brera, started before the II world world from Modigliani (Wittgens Predecessor).



Okay I am becoming  boring.

So what?

Which is the best gift you can get from a museum

I stepped in the Gallery finding the Biblioteca Braidense,but didn’t know that is the third in Italy per number of books, then watch on the walls the directors (James M.Bradburne) presentation of the gallery.I Walked in the reconstruction of the “Cappella di San Giuseppe in Santa Maria della Pace” in Milano, with e paintings of Bernardino Luini.

The passing to the Medioevo rooms was sending clear signals of what the whole expositions is about. Almost the same scenes and the same configuration (Pollittici= series of wood tables painted and decorated with episodes from the Vangels).

But even though I didn’t have an idea of why there where dfferences between the paintings. Tecniques,expressions and perspective.

What was giving me such feeling ?

I decided to start photographing from the impulse of the details that were  catching my eyes first.

The result was a jump into paintings, people and places of centuries ago. A real travel in space and time.

Looking deeper I was able to place painting and artist into a personal rank and start making differences.

That is what I was talking about.

CURIOSITY.

Finding a key of interest is the way of literally building a time machine.

Going back home and watching at the pictures  I wanted to know more about those details where about.

Suddenly that time passed as a total ignorant, took me back to the Museum site discovering the stories of the paintings and the history of the gallery itself.

The first pick was the way richness of fabrics are represented in many paintings of the medieval period.

Real material where applied directly on the canvas making an iper realistic effect.

Colors and fabrics follow the evolution of tecnique and expression, becoming often pathfinders.

As the white veils of those women in the Alessandria Place (“Predica di San Marco in una piazza di Alessandria d’Egitto __  https://pinacotecabrera.org/collezione-online/opere/predica-di-san-marco-ad-alessandria-degitto/ ) or the black hats of the men give direction to show better the saint position, the clear color of the clothes of the kid playing music at the bottom of the painting is a kind of display of the new way of using colors and cromatic variations to transfer a realistic feeling,

Follow the line of the folds of the long dresses and you’ll find the new sensuality of, hands arms, legs and feet, in a time where holy inquisition where deciding life or dead of common people and nobility.


Follow the brightness and the darkness of the shadows and you ‘ll pass from Raffaello to Caravaggio and Van Dick, landing on the sweet and romantic kiss of Hayez, finding a reason to search on the internet about this and that and to spend time to write something on it 🙂

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