Housed in the Palazzo Brera, the Pinacoteca di Brera is situated in the centre of historic Milan alongside the Academy of Fine Arts. The present building largely dates from the 17th century, when it was constructed in Baroque style by architect Francesco Maria Richini. Originally a Jesuit college, from the mid-18th century, it was used to accommodate several of the city’s cultural and scientific institutions. The “Dialogues” hosted by the Pinacoteca tie in with the transformation of its rooms. Arranged chronologically across six centuries, their colour schemes are designed to reflect the various historical periods and assist in guiding visitors around and, perhaps more importantly, to emphasize the colour palette of each painting thereby enhancing its sublime essence.
The idea behind this restructuring, according to Bradburne, was “to give the existing collection more clarity. To make it easier to understand for the visitor. To give more drama, more emotional power”. For example, the 15th century is represented by ultramarine, the colour typically chosen to depict the robes of the Virgin Mary.