The home of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli (1822-1879), one of the richest and most original Italian art collections, opened as a museum in 1881. The building houses a small but choice collection of Flemish and Dutch art. Today, the 25 paintings are displayed in the ‘Gallery of Foreigners’. The largest and most important work is the magnificent Last Supper altarpiece by the Master of Saint John the Evangelist (workshop of Dieric Bouts), dating back to the end of the fifteenth century. Works by Hans Memling, Justus Suttermans, Willem van Mieris and Lieven Mehus can also be found here.
The decorative arts collection includes four Renaissance-style tapestries (displayed in rotation), a pair by François Spiering and a piece by Nicolas Karcher based on a drawing by Giulio Romano, in addition to an exceptional nautilus shell engraved with figures taken from prints by Jacques Callot. Lastly, there is a considerable collection of textiles, lace and lace borders from Brussels.
Dr. Lavinia Galli, Curator (April 2022)