The Collection

A collection of inestimable value

The Cariplo Foundation possesses an art collection made up of paintings and sculptures spanning the period from the 1st century BC to the second half of the 20th century. The brief presentation is divided into three historical periods: Ancient, 19th century and 20th century.
While the items include sculpture in stone and wood from late antiquity and medieval times as well as Italian Renaissance and Baroque painting, particular excellence is shown in the field of 19th-century art from the region of Lombardy. Artists active in Milan during the 20th century are also well represented.

A collection built up over time

Initiated in the period after World War I, the collection developed through purchases of contemporary paintings and sculptures shown at the various Milanese exhibitions with a view to promoting and encouraging the work of artists operating in Lombardy, especially the younger generations. This policy continued also after the end of World War II, when it underwent substantial expansion through a programme of systematic purchases made at the annual exhibitions of the Società Permanente and the Angelicum exhibitions of religious art. The practice of making purchases at sales held by auction houses developed in the late 1960s. Considerably expanded through incorporation of the IBI collection in 1967, the Cariplo collections were recently taken over by the Foundation, which has increased its holdings still further through some major purchases. The portrait gallery of Cariplo presidents, comprising 19th and 20th-century paintings and sculptures of a good many key figures in the modern Italian economy, is also an important part of the collection.

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