Map of Barra Mansa for Much of the house was destroyed by Allied bombs and only Gian Giacomo’s study was left unscathed; the reconstruction is somewhat soulless in places, but the early twentieth-century photographs of the original in each room help evoke the atmosphere of the past. There’s a lot to take in, with room upon room of timepieces, archeological remains, Venetian glassware and jewellery, but dipping in where you fancy, you can become entranced by individual pieces exquisite Lombard embroidery, for example, or a seventeenth-century carved ivory chest. The Salone Dorato upstairs contains a number of striking paintings, including a portrait of a portly San Nicola da Tolentino by Piero della Francesca, part of an altarpiece on which he worked intermittently for fifteen years. St Nicholas looks across at two works by Botticelli, one a gentle Madonna del Libro, the other a mesmerizing Deposition, painted towards the end of his life in response to the monk Savonarola’s crusade against his 71 1 THE QUADRILATERO D’ORO GIARDINI PUBBLICI MILAN earlier, more humanistic canvases. Also in the room is the museum’s best-known painting, Portrait of a Young Woman by Pollaiuolo, whose anatomical studies are evidenced in the subtle suggestion of bone structure beneath the skin of this ideal Renaissance woman. The Quadrilatero d’Oro Bordered by Via Manzoni to the west and Via Montenapoleone, Via Sant’Andrea and Via della Spiga on the other sides, the so-called Quadrilatero d’Oro (Golden Quadrangle) is home to the shops of all the big international and Italian fashion names (see p.92), along with design studios and contemporary art galleries. This is Milan in its element and the area is well worth a wander if only to see the city’s better-heeled residents in their favourite habitat. For a break from the latest trends, head for the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi for a glimpse of Renaissance living through nineteenth-century eyes. Map of Barra Mansa 2016.
Map of Barra Mansa Photo Gallery