The Estense gallery painting collections (closed for the earthquake) and Estense lapidary museum (open with free entrance)
Reduced price Euro 2,00 .
Since 1884 the Gallery has been housed in the Palazzo dei Musei, ex poorhouse, designed by the architect Pietro Termanini on commission of Francis III and completed in 1771.
Since the end of 1800 to date the collections, kept on the top floor of the building, have several times changed arrangement dictated by diversified exhibition formulas. From Adolfo Venturi, first curator of the Gallery, to Serafino Ricci, Roberto Salvini and Rodolfo Pallucchini to the most recent curators, only a part of the works could be exhibited to the public: still today, after the environmental transformation of the seventies, entire nuclei cannot be viewed for reasons of space.
At present, the rationally upgraded Gallery is equipped with all the tools and systems required to best preserve the works.
The picture gallery comprises paintings, drawings, objects, bronzes and medals which belonged to the ducal family and came to Modena when the court moved to the new capital. Depauperated in 1746 following the sale of one hundred masterpieces to the elector of Sassonia for the sum of one hundred thousand sequins, it was subsequently enriched with new acquisitions. Today it holds numerous masterpieces, gold oddments, tablets of the Flemish masters and Venetian and Emilian painting. Among other things stand out the bust of Francis I by Bernini, the portrait of the duke of Velasquez, the triptych of El Greco and the paintings of Correggio, Tintoretto, Veronese, Guido Reni, Guercino, Salvator Rosa among the most well-known.
Estense lapidary museum
In its specificity the Lapidary Museum is the most important in the regional framework for the quality of the exhibits. Established upon wish of the duke Francis IV d'Este in 1828, important artefacts from the city and territory were added with time, which with numerous exhibits of high historical and artistic value enriched the permanent exhibition located under the portico of the internal courtyard of the Palazzo dei Musei.