Commissioned in 1790 by Count Ludovico Barbiano di Belgioioso, Villa Reale is a masterpiece of Milanese neo-classical architecture. The villa was designed by Leopoldo Pollack, whereas the poet Giuseppe Parini was entrusted with the task of composing the external decorative story, beautifully brought to life by the frescoes of Andrea Appiani. The villa, delineated on the street-facing side by a courtyard, faces out over the rear garden with a perspective marked by Ionic columns and pilasters, surmounted by a balustrade in the central part and by triangular tympana on the two projecting wings.
Internally, the Gallery of Modern Art is one of the city’s most important historical/artistic sites. It plays host to masterpieces of Neoclassicism, Scapigliatura, Divisionism and Symbolism. On the second floor are the wonderful Grassi and Vismara collections, which enrich the Museum with the works of famous international names including Manet, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse, Renoir and Rouault. Alongside the permanent collection, the GAM also organises temporary exhibitions on a cyclical basis.
The Museum offers free guided tours for the visually impaired. Guided tours and workshops for children may be requested; in addition, the park behind the building is exclusively set aside for children and their families.