Palace filled with art treasures is a major attraction in Bergamo
One of the biggest jewels in Bergamo’s crown, the prestigious art gallery Accademia Carrara, is shining even more brightly now it is open to the public again.
The magnificent palace just outside the Città Alta, which was built in the 18th century to house one of the richest private collections of art in Italy, had been closed for renovation work for seven years.
It is the only Italian museum to be entirely stocked with donations and bequests from private collectors. Visitors can now view a broad-ranging collection of works by the masters of the Venetian, Lombard and Tuscan renaissances as well as great artists who came later, such as Lotto, Titian, Moroni, Rubens, Tiepolo, Guardi and Canaletto, to name but a few.
|Restored Accademia the day it reopened
The reopening of the Accademia Carrara in April this year sparked great celebrations in Bergamo, after the museum had been closed for so long for restoration and maintenance work.
Following a spectacular opening ceremony and party the museum opened its doors to the public for the first time on 24 April. Thousands of people were waiting outside in Piazza Giacomo Carrara to get their first look inside the refurbished building.
Visitors can now walk through 28 rooms to view more than 600 major works by artists and sculptors spanning five centuries.
Highlights include: Madonna and Child by Andrea Mantegna; Portrait of Leonello d’Este by Pisanello; Three Crucifixes by Vincenzo Foppa; Madonna and Child by Giovanni Bellini; The Story of Virginia the Roman by Sandro Botticelli; The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine by Lorenzo Lotto; Madonna and Child in a Landscape by Tiziano Vecellio; Madonna with Baby and Saints by Palma il Vecchio; Portrait of an Elderly Man seated by Giovan Battista Moroni; The Grand Canal from Palazzo Balbi by Antonio Canal Canaletto.
The Accademia Carrara was established in Bergamo in 1794 on the initiative of Bergamo
aristocrat Count Giacomo Carrara as a combined Pinacoteca and School
of Painting. In addition to his collection of paintings he left his entire estate to the Accademia to secure its future.
The number and quality of works in the Accademia increased over the years thanks to the many donations and bequests received from private collectors.
From being a museum dedicated to Renaissance painting, the Accademia grew into an art gallery that also provided a broad representation of pictorial genres from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
For part of the time the gallery was closed, the gems of the collection went on show in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. And visitors to Bergamo were able to see some of the paintings on display in the Truss Room of Palazzo della Ragione in Piazza Vecchia.
|Painting depicts the death of Bergamo composer Donizetti
But now one of the richest collections of art in Italy is back where it belongs, in the Palace built specially to house it, in Bergamo’s Città Bassa.
Accademia Carrara in Piazza Giacomo Carrara is just outside the walls of the Città Alta, a short walk from Porta Sant’Agostino.
Accademia Carrara is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm; Friday from 10 am to 12 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm. It is closed on Tuesday. For more information visit www.lacarrara.it.