Museum of Modern Art of the twentieth century in Milan

Museo Novecento: history, exhibits, opening hours

Novocento Museum 1st floor

The Museo Novecento holds the largest collection of world masterpieces. And the Novocento Museum also has a panoramic view of the Cathedral.

History of the museum

The Museum of the Twentieth Century (Museo del Novecento) is located in the Palazzo dell’Arengario. Construction of the building began in 1937 in the era of Benito Mussolini.

The palace was designed by the architects Portaluppi, Magistretti, Muzio and Griffini. In 1999 it was decided to renovate the Arengario Palace to adapt the interior to the themes of the contemporary exhibition. Only the famous spiral staircase inside the glass tower was left untouched.

The Novecento Museum opened on December 6, 2010. It contains about 400 works of Italian art of the twentieth century. These include paintings, sculptures and spatial installations. The Focus hall has temporary exhibitions.

The museum’s most famous and acclaimed works are:

  • “Composition” by Kandinsky.
  • “The Artist’s Shit” by Manzoni
  • “Prodigal Son” by Chirico
  • “Nude” by Picasso
  • “The Girl Running on the Balcony” by Balla
  • “Still Life with a Mannequin” by Morandi
  • “Figure” by Cironi.

Halls and Exhibits

Museum Novocento exhibit

The Novecento Museum is divided into thematic halls through which you can trace the chronology of contemporary art. The higher up you go, the newer works you’ll see.

The first floor is dedicated to international avant-gardists. Works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Jacker, Matisse, Lagère hang here . As well as works by expressionists of the 40’s and paintings in the Arte Povera style of the 60’s.

The second floor is devoted to the Futurists. There is a rich collection of works by Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Carlo Carr, Ardengo Sofiti, Mario Sironi, Achille Fugni and Gino Severini.

Giorgio de Chirico, Morandi and Lucio Fontana are assigned separate rooms. Lucio Fontana’s work “Structure in Neon” is visible even from the street.

The third and fourth floors contain works by Burri, Cunellis, Group T, Merz and other artists.

Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC

In 2015, the museum acquired valuable pieces, thanks to private collectors Bertolini. They donated works by Daniel Buren, Joseph Koshut, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol to Novecento.

Find interesting tours of Milan’s museums here.

How to reach the museum

Address: Palazzo dell’Arengario, Via Marconi, 1 .

1. Take the Metro to the Duomo stop, on the yellow (M3) and red (M1) lines.

2. Take streetcars 2, 3, 12, 14, 16, 24, 27 to the Duomo stop, or take streetcars 15 and 23 to the Piazza Fontana stop.

Take bus line 54 to the Piazza Diaz stop.

Ticket prices and hours

Novocento Museum 2nd floor

Tickets cost: €5 for adults, €3 for concessions. On the website and at the ticket office there are categories of people for whom admission to the museum is free.

Opening hours:

Monday: 2:30pm – 7:30pm;

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday: 9.30 – 19.30;

Thursday, Saturday: 9.30 – 22.30.

The last visitors enter the museum one hour before closing time. Every day 2 hours before closing, and every Tuesday after 2 p.m., admission to the museum is free for all.

Gallery of Modern Art in Milan – a non-tourist museum with Picasso masterpieces

museum vojvodina novi sad

If you thought that in Milan only the Museo Novecento is responsible for contemporary art, you’d be very wrong! I think the 900 museum is also so popular because it’s right in Piazza Duomo. A little further away from the center is the Gallery of Modern Art in Milan, a beautiful palazzo with columns and a pretty garden.

You will see works by Van Gogh, Picasso and many other famous artists. The museum itself is not very big, but it is famous. Read about my impressions of my visit in this article.

1. A brief historical background

You might be surprised, but this palazzo has more than 50 halls with about 2,500 works of art. The collection is large, but the works of particular interest are:

  • Picasso;
  • Renoir;
  • Modigliani;
  • Monet.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, exhibits and photos

There is a special emphasis on the works of Italian masters, but you will also see paintings by foreign authors. Almost all of the works are from the XVIII-XX centuries.

modern art gallery milan

modern art gallery milan

By the way, there is a nice bar inside:

modern art gallery milan

Did you know that this particular mansion was presented to the French emperor in the 19th century, and it has been called “Villa Bonaparte” ever since.

Learn more about contemporary art in Milan on a cool tour of unusual Milan. It costs 160 euros for a group of up to 4 people. It’s a half-day guided walk, you’ll see the most interesting aspects of contemporary art, but the Gallery of Modern Art itself is not included in the tour. See the link for tour details.

The art collection at one point became prohibitive for the villa. Then some of it had to be moved to the town hall building in Piazza Duomo.

2. Useful information

2.1 Where is the Villa

Address: Via Palestro, 16

Location on the map:

2.2 How to get there

There are several ways to get there:

  • by subway to the stop Palestro .
  • You can walk from Park Indro Montanelli – the gallery is across the street from the park. After visiting the museum it is nice to walk in the park, you can buy food and have a picnic.
  • Take the hop-on/hop-off tourist bus. You get to the stop Porta Venezia (route B).

2.3 Visiting hours

The museum is open all days except Monday.

Opening hours are 9:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:30.

2.4 The cost

The ticket costs 5 euros, but every day free admission after 16:30 and on Tuesdays after 14:00.

modern art in Milan

By the way, you can buy a museum card for 12 euros, which includes a visit to 10 museums in Milan, including the Gallery of Modern Art. Read more about the card in this article

Timetable and ticket prices:

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York

modern art gallery milan

modern art gallery milan

2.5 Official website

Official website:

3. Photo gallery overview

A walk through the halls of the gallery?

modern art gallery milan

Description of halls by floors of the Gallery:

modern art in Milan

After buying a ticket, we walk up the stairs:

modern art in Milan

The chandelier is impressive, as it is in all other museums in the world:

modern art in Milan

Of course, there is also a souvenir shop (you will see it after you pass all the halls, on the 1st floor:

modern art in Milan

You can buy something interesting about art history:

modern art in Milan

It was surprising that the museum has classes for schoolchildren:

Milan gallery

By the way, there are almost no tourists in the museum, apparently all the tourists in the first place visit the Duomo and the Sforza Castle, few people get to the Gallery.

The decoration of the ceiling is like in a real palace:

Milan gallery

3.1 The Gallery’s Famous Paintings

Works of great interest are:

  • Giovanni Segantini’s “Two Laundresses.”
  • Moze Bianchi “The Laundresses”;
  • Vincenzo Gemito “The Fisherman”;
  • Medardo Rosso “Motherhood”;
  • Umberto Boccioni The Dynamism of the Human Body;
  • Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo “The Fourth Estate.”

Milan gallery

There are halls devoted only to French masters – there are Gauguin, Renoir, Sisley, Van Gogh, Manet, Cézanne. The art gallery boasts very valuable works.

First come the halls with more or less classic works. These are Andrea Appiani – portraits:

modern art in Milan

Pelagio Palaggi, a painting of Don Ingazio Viggeni:

modern art in Milan

Francesco Fidanza, Fire at the Seaport, the colors are stunning:

modern art in Milan

And here’s a painting by Francesco Aiezza, “Valanza Gradenigo before the Inquisition.”

Milan gallery

Interestingly, the same painting hangs on either side of the door:

Milan gallery

The painting depicts very real events – a girl on trial for trying to save a lover convicted of treason. Among the inquisitors condemning her is the girl’s father, depicted in the center of the painting. The story takes place in the 17th century. Horror, of course, it’s hard to imagine such a thing nowadays.

Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, expositions and photos

Pencil sketches of this painting:

Milan gallery

A sketch of the next frame, it’s interesting to observe how the artist worked on the painting:

Milan gallery

Look, here the secretary at the desk is already depicted from a different angle, not as in the original idea:

Milan gallery

Giovanni Segantini’s depiction of the shadows from the lamp is very good:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

By the way, there are a lot of temporary exhibitions in the gallery – you can read about them:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

On the second floor, the museum staff gives out a handout about the most famous paintings, handy, especially for those new to art. The gallery’s best exhibits are described:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

Giovanni Sigantini’s Still Life:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

Here’s Van Gogh:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

And another of his paintings, Bretonchi:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery


modern art gallery milan

Picasso, Head of a Woman:

modern art gallery milan

3.2 Sculpture.

Lots of sculpture! Including traditional sculpture:

modern art gallery milan

modern art gallery milan

Does this statue remind you of anything? Her prototype is on top of the Duomo. I wonder how much it resembles the Statue of Liberty:

modern art in Milan

Busts and Statuettes:

Milan gallery

The children are very natural:

Milan gallery

“First Friend,” by Francesco Barzaghi, so cute:

Milan gallery

Do you recognize it? That’s Milan Central Station, that’s what it used to look like:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

And this girl embroiders:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

3.3 Unusual exhibits

Among the objects of modern art, you will also see such unusual exhibits – religious paintings. And also – interested in sculptures and statuettes of Buddha.

And suddenly we see Madonna and Child, and not just one:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

It was quite unexpected to find a sculpture of Buddha (18th-19th centuries) in the Milan Gallery, as if we had found ourselves in Thailand:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

And there are many hypostases of Buddha, a number of them:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

The interesting thing is that no two Buddhas are the same, they are all different – facial expressions, poses, details! These items are from China, dating back to the Qing dynasty:

Milan modern art gallery photo gallery

And here you can see the oriental carpets next to the paintings:

4. Conclusions

Interesting museum, but not really modern art (like in the Novecento Museum). The most famous are Van Gogh, Modigliani and Picasso. Nothing shocking or unusual. I think 1-1.5 hours will be more than enough. It’s very nice inside, though, and there’s a very nice park behind the museum building with ponds and gazebos. You can combine visits to several attractions and see the Natural History Museum, Indro Montanelli Garden and the Gallery itself at once. All are close by.

Museum of Fine Arts Houston, exhibits and photos

Who among our subscribers loves and who hates contemporary art galleries? Let’s count the votes, shall we? Write in the comments about your attitude. Which galleries would you recommend to visit?

Want to know some smart tricks – how to organize an interesting trip for affordable money? Look for the answer in the pages of our blog – we are ready to share our knowledge with our regular readers. And don’t forget to subscribe to updates on the blog.

By the way, if you are only going to Milan, but have not yet chosen a hotel, I suggest you look at the website search engine hotellook (there you can find the best deals from 40 booking systems) or choose a hotel directly through this form:

And I used airbnb service in Milan and stayed in this apartment – it was much cheaper and more convenient. If you also want to choose an apartment instead of a hotel, be sure to use our link – so you get a bonus (about 30 euros) and can save on your first booking.

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