From the Medici to the Rothschilds. Patrons, collectors, philanthropists


Gallerie d'Italia - Milano


From 18 November to 26 March 2023

From Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 19:30, Thursday until 22.30

Monday: closed

Last admission 1 hour before closing


Full price €10, €8 reduced price for over-65s, under-26s; free admission for pass holders, schools, under-18s and  Intesa Sanpaolo Group employees


The Intesa Sanpaolo Gallerie d’Italia in Milan presents an exhibition that explores the roles of buyer, collector and philanthropist that many great bankers - or banking families - played from the Renaissance onwards and for the entire modern era.

Many of these bankers were among the greatest patrons of all time; their collection activities and, more generally, their artistic patronage were strategic decisions adopted with the goal of boosting their image and social success, striking examples of the clever transformation of economic capital into cultural and symbolic capital that still stand out today. Cosimo and Lorenzo de’ Medici, the Giustiniani and Torlonia families, Enrico Mylius, Moritz von Fries, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Wagener, Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild, John Pierpont Morgan: numerous works of art that belonged to the collections of these men bring them, their lives, often marked by important initiatives for the benefit of the community, their patronage activities and their choices as collectors back into the spotlight.

Agnolo di Cosimo, known as Bronzino, and workshop, Portrait of Lorenzo il Magnifico, 1552-1553 circa, Florence, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Statue and Painting Gallery, Photographic Archive of the Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence-Photo Roberto Palermo. With the permission of the Ministry of Culture

A special section recalls the brilliant figure of Raffaele Mattioli, “humanist” banker and protagonist in Italy’s post-war economic and cultural revival. Great admirer of Giacomo Manzù, Giorgio Morandi and Renato Guttuso, Mattioli’s important acquisitions for Banca Commerciale Italiana, which later became part of what is now the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, and his work in the field of mainstream publishing make him a shining example that “Progetto Cultura”, the Bank’s multi-year programme of cultural initiatives, aims to follow and emulate.

The exhibition presents important works, some very famous, by Verrocchio, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Gherardo delle Notti (Gerrit van Honthorst), Valentin de Boulogne, Antoon Van Dyck, Angelika Kauffmann and Francesco Hayez, as well as an unseen work by Giorgio Morandi. Those masterpieces dating to different periods belong to prestigious Italian and international museums.
The exhibition, sponsored by the Municipality of Milan, is organised in partnership with the Musei del Bargello and the Alte Nationalgalerie Staatliche Museen zu Berlin with the support of the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la Città metropolitana di Milano. It is curated by Fernando Mazzocca and Sebastian Schütze.


Watch the videos on the exhibition: discover the connections between patrons and artists through stories ever disclosed before

Lorenzo de' Medici and the Farnese Cup

Nathaniel Von Rothschild collector of Boucher

Vincenzo Giustiniani great collector of Caravaggio

JP Morgan and the America of Hiram Powers

Angelina Kauffman paints Joseph Johann Von Fries

The Medici family and Michelangelo

Giorgio Morandi for Raffaele Mattioli

Allestimento mostra Mecenati

Ph. Duilio Piaggesi

Allestimento mostra Mecenati

Ph. Duilio Piaggesi

Allestimento mostra Mecenati

Ph. Duilio Piaggesi

Allestimento mostra Mecenati

Ph. Duilio Piaggesi

Ph. Duilio Piaggesi