Civiche Raccolte d'Arte Applicata in the Castello Sforzesco
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Museum of Decorative Arts

Sforza Castle

General information

After three years of study and research, and an entire year of restoration works, the Museum of Decorative Arts at the Castello Sforzesco has been completely refurbished - both in setting and in the choice of works on display - and was officially reopened on April 12th, 2017.

The Museum of Decorative Arts, unique in Italy for the quantity and variety of its collections and one of the most important of its kind in Europe, displays over 1300 works of art in ivory, metal, glass, ceramic and fabrics - from the Middle Ages to the Contemporary Age - relating the daily life of the upper classes and the aesthetic choices of the most important Italian, Europe and worldwide artistic centres.

The new exhibition layout not only focuses on the artistic qualities of the precious works on display, each singularly evaluated, but it also describes their intended use by means of a narrative of the social history and customs. It also highlights the importance of artistic objects as a mode of transmitting the innovations of taste, from one epoch to another and from region to region, along with the diffusion of the most famous models (for example the beautiful bronzes that reproduce the bust of Costanza Bonarelli by Gian Lorenzo Bernini or Christ between the Two Thieves, modelled on Michelangelo's work).

The ‘Mediterranean’ focus section is significant for its portrayal of the fertile dialogue between works originating from different shores of the Mare Nostrum, from the fourth to the sixteenth century, the new corpus of Renaissance and Baroque bronzes (Andrea Riccio, Giambologna, Stefano Maderno) and, in the Sala Castellana, the ‘Bellini Pezzoli Collection’ of contemporary glass with multimedia stations (45 works from 1950 to 2015, from artists such as Enrico Baj, Mario Bellini, Joan Crous, Klaus Moje, Roberto Sambonet and Lino Tagliapietra).

Amongst the many museum masterpieces, pride of place is given to the rare and precious Trivulzio tapestries that adorn the grand and evocative Sala della Balla: a full set of twelve tapestries dedicated to the months of the year, woven in Vigevano between 1503 and 1509 and designed by the famous painter Bramantino.

The Museum of Decorative Arts is part of the Civic Museums complex of Applied Art along with the Museum of Antique Furnishings and Wooden Sculptures. The furniture section, located on the second floor of the Corte Ducale, underwent renovation in 2004. Two renowned designers (Perry King and Santiago Miranda) were entrusted with the task of creating a striking way to present the evolution of furniture from the late Middle Ages to contemporary times. The section dedicated to furniture from the Sforza era is of great interest with the collection of Renaissance cabinets, including the exceptional Passalacqua cabinet, and the magnificent collection of furniture by Giuseppe Maggiolini: gaming and bedside tables, a pharmacy box, a writing desk and, above all, three beautiful coffers which document the evolution of this genre from Rococo to neoclassical style.

Don't miss

Don’t miss the Trivulzio Tapestries, woven in Vigevano between 1503 and 1509, to designs by the famous painter Bramantino.

Also noteworthy are the collections of Mediaeval pieces in precious metals, and the Ivory collection.

 

Useful details

The interiors of Cortile della Rocchetta and Corte Ducale dedicated to the Civic Collection of Applied Arts (or the Museum of Decorative Arts) comprise a number of sections: majolica and bone china, tapestries, glass, jewellery, ivory, furniture and wooden sculpture, weapons.

ACCESSIBILITY OF THE CASTLE MUSEUMS

  • A wheelchair user can independently access the museum entrance and visit all the exhibition rooms. The toilet facilities - equipped in compliance with regulations for persons with physical disabilities - can also be independently accessed.
  • Halls 9, 10-15-23, 24 are not accessible for wheelchair visitors.
  • Audio guides are available: press number 5 on the tactile keypad.
  • Music workshops are organized for visitors with cognitive impairment (Le voci della città). Reservations are required by phone and /or email.
  • Free entry for disabled visitors.
  • The museum is equipped with an audible fire alarm system.

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      • Ticket information

        € 5
        Reduced price: € 3
        This single ticket gives entry to all the Castello museums

        3 days ticket to the Civic Museums: € 12

        Free admission every first and third Tuesday of the month from 14:00 and every first Sunday of the month for the whole day

        Free admission: visitors up to the age of 18; high school students and accompanying teachers of school groups; tourist guides and tourist interpreters accompanying groups; disabled people and their carers; journalists; people with disabilities; scholars with special permission from the Museum management; officials of state and regional superintendencies; members of the ICOM.

        Admission with reduction: EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 25; University students and Fine Arts Academies; adults over 65 years

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