Bridgeman Images represents the exceptional Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana collection thanks to a partnership between Mondadori Portfolio and Ambrosiana.
Founded in 1607 and the oldest public library in Italy, the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana is known as one of Italy’s most important ecclesiastical institutions. It preserves around 30,000 manuscripts, 12,000 ancient parchments and stunning works of Christian, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and Indian heritage. Notably, it includes the Codex Atlanticus, the largest anthology of drawings and writings by Leonardo da Vinci, a book of 12 volumes and 1,119 pages, fully digitized and available on Bridgeman’s website.
Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Bramantino, Brueghel, Raphael ... the great names of the Renaissance
In addition to the library, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana houses an impressive selection of Italian and European art, thanks in particular to its support of the Academy of Fine Arts of Milan which existed from 1621 to 1776. As a result, the gallery holds a number of notable works, including but not limited to Leonardo da Vinci's Portrait of a Musician, Brueghel's Expulsion from Paradise, Bramantino's Adoration of the Child, Caravaggio's Basket of Fruit and the preparatory carton for "The School of Athens", for the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican - commissioned by Julius II. The latter is a real chef-d'oeuvre of the Italian Renaissance painter Raphael – the most imposing Renaissance drawing that has survived from its creation to the present day (285 x 804 cm).
The vision of another era through the lens of ancient maps
The Renaissance was a decisive period in the evolution of Western cartography. Magnificent examples of these territorial, regional or more general maps of our universe are available from the Pinacoteca collection. These exceptional documents help us to understand population flows, the perception of space and the landscapes of yesteryear compared to those of the present day.
Architectural plans: the genesis of historical monuments
Ornately detailed sketches surviving on weathered scrolls give us a clear idea of how architecture was thought of at a time of revolution in the field. From the details of mouldings to the facades of religious buildings, to period ground plans, the collection brings together incredible documents of technical representations of buildings. Each work enables an understanding of the characteristics of the time, whether it is a built construction or a project never fully realized.
The Renaissance, or the discovery of science to understand the world
The treasures found in the collection of the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana include several remarkable works which are testimony to the scientific revolution during the Renaissance, such as the drawings of instruments by Leonardo da Vinci, as well as numerous illustrations of astrology from several scientists in this golden age of early cartography.
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