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The Museo del Novecento: Italian masters of the 20th century

The Museo del Novecento (the 20th century art museum) is one of the most important museums in town and features an impressive collection of artworks of the 20th century.

  • The building
  • The collection
  • Surroundings

The building

The museum is hosted within the Palazzo dell’Arengario right next to the cathedral. The Arengario was built between 1936 and 1956 on a project by the architects Portaluppi, Muzio, Magistretti e Griffini. The bas-relieves that adorn the facade of the building were sculpted by artist Arturo Martini.

The construction of the Arengario was put on hold during the second World War and it was finally opened in 1956 to host some of the offices of the Milan municipality.

The renovation of the Arengario was commissioned to the architect Italo Rota and in 2009 started the reconversion of the building into the Museo del Novecento.

The collection

The tour of the museum starts in 1902 with the masterpiece by Pellizza da Volpedo “Il quarto stato” (the Fourth Estate) the main symbol of Italian socialism.

The collection then focuses on artists belonging to the Futurism, the Italian artistic movement that was born at the beginning of the 20th century. Artworks by Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Fortunato Depero, Gino Severini, Carlo Carrà, Ardengo Soffici welcome the visitors of the Museo del Novecento on the second floor.

On the top floor of the museum there is the Sala Fontana, a room dedicated to the founder of Spatialism: Lucio Fontana. The room welcomes some of the most impressive artworks by Fontana like the “Concetto Spaziale” of the fifties and the ceiling itself is an artwork by the master.

The list of artists whose works are displayed in the museum includes: Piero Manzoni, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Paul Klee, Vasilij Kandinskij and Amedeo Modigliani.

The surroundings

The Museo del Novecento is right in the heart fo the city: Piazza Duomo. Catch the red line and get off at Duomo station. Once there take the chance to take a look at Palazzo Reale, the Galleria and, of course, the Duomo.

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