The Biblioteca Ambrosiana is a historic library in Milan, Italy, also housing the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, the Ambrosian art gallery. Named after Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan, it was founded in 1609 by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, whose agents scoured Western Europe and even Greece and Syria for books and manuscripts. Some major acquisitions of complete libraries were the manuscripts of the Benedictine monastery of Bobbio (1606) and the library of the Paduan Vincenzo Pinelli, whose more than 800 manuscripts filled 70 cases when they were sent to Milan and included the famous Iliad, the Ilias Picta.

The Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, founded by Cardinal Federico Borromeo on September 7, 1607, was one of the first libraries to be opened to the public, thanks to the gesture of an illustrious patron. It was conceived by the founder as a center of study and culture: alongside the original Library -which today holds about a million printed volumes and 40,000 Greek, Latin, Vernacular and other Oriental languages manuscripts- he established also a Pinacoteca (Art Gallery) and a Fine Arts Academy.

In 1618, the Cardinal donated his collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures to the Institution: it is the original core of the Ambrosiana Art Gallery, which would be continuously enhanced in the following four centuries with several masterpieces of Italian and European art. However, he did not conceive of his Gallery as a mere exhibition of works of art, but also as an educational tool: in fact, in 1620 he founded a Fine Arts Academy, for the teaching of painting, sculpture and architecture. The Academy was re-founded in 2008; it is now dedicated to fostering the dialogue between diverse peoples and cultures and is organized into eight Classes for Borromean, Ambrosian, Far Eastern, Italian, Slavic, Near Eastern, Greek and Latin, African Studies.

During Cardinal Borromeo’s sojourns in Rome, 1585–95 and 1597–1601, he envisioned developing this library in Milan as one open to scholars and that would serve as a bulwark of Catholic scholarship in the service of the Counter-Reformation against the treatises issuing from Protestant presses. To house the cardinal’s 15,000 manuscripts and twice that many printed books, construction began in 1603 under designs and direction of Lelio Buzzi and Francesco Maria Richini. When its first reading room, the Sala Fredericiana, opened to the public on 8 December 1609 it was, after the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the second public library in Europe. One innovation was that its books were housed in cases ranged along the walls, rather than chained to reading tables, the latter a medieval practice seen still today in the Laurentian Library of Florence. A printing press was attached to the library, and a school for instruction in the classical languages.

Constant acquisitions, soon augmented by bequests, required enlargement of the space. Borromeo intended an academy (which opened in 1625) and a collection of pictures, for which a new building was initiated in 1611–18 to house the Cardinal’s paintings and drawings, the nucleus of the Pinacoteca.

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Cardinal Borromeo gave his collection of paintings and drawings to the library, too. Shortly after the cardinal’s death, his library acquired twelve manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci, including the Codex Atlanticus. The library now contains some 12,000 drawings by European artists, from the 14th through the 19th centuries, which have come from the collections of a wide range of patrons and artists, academicians, collectors, art dealers, and architects. Prized manuscripts, including the Leonardo codices, were requisitioned by the French during the Napoleonic occupation, and only partly returned after 1815.

On 15 October 1816 the Romantic poet Lord Byron visited the library. He was delighted by the letters between Lucrezia Borgia and Pietro Bembo (“The prettiest love letters in the world”) and claimed to have managed to steal a lock of her hair (“the prettiest and fairest imaginable.”) held on display.

The novelist Mary Shelley visited the library on 14 September 1840 but was disappointed by the tight security occasioned by the recent attempted theft of “some of the relics of Petrarch” housed there.

Among the 30,000 manuscripts, which range from Greek and Latin to Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopian, Turkish and Persian, is the Muratorian fragment, of ca 170 A.D., the earliest example of a Biblical canon and an original copy of De divina proportione by Luca Pacioli. Among Christian and Islamic Arabic manuscripts are treatises on medicine, a unique 11th-century diwan of poets, and the oldest copy of the Kitab Sibawahaihi.

The library has a college of Doctors, similar to the scriptors of the Vatican Library. Among prominent figures have been Giuseppe Ripamonti, Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Giuseppe Antonio Sassi, Cardinal Angelo Mai and, at the beginning of the 20th century, Antonio Maria Ceriani, Achille Ratti (on November 8 1888, the future Pope Pius XI, and Giovanni Mercati. Ratti wrote a new edition of the Acta Ecclesiae Mediolanensis (“Acts of the Church of Milan”), Latin work firstly published by the cardinal Federico Borromeo in 1582<. the building was damaged in world war ii with loss of archives opera libretti la scala but restored and underwent major restorations artwork at pinacoteca ambrosiana includes da vinci a musician caravaggio fruit raphael cartoon school athens institution cardinal federico borromeo entrusted scientific cultural activity to college doctors presided over by prefect who according rules promulgated archbishop milan carlo maria martini is appointed archbishop. collegio dei dottori biblioteca had happy fate supported wise established founder which ensured its continuity also establishing congregation conservatories providing it adequate resources. were originally planned for up twelve ecclesiastics flanked four lay doctors. engines research teaching study must have been members three colleges that should carried out coordinated action: professors students. mission identity thus traced as literary artistic center excellence an interdisciplinary university character motto still force singuli singula. from the2008 foundation set offer financial support ever more numerous activities now expanded enhanced. library opening public ambrosian on december what born when galileo galilei wrote defined heroic immortal original patrimony included about prints manuscripts purchased all distant lands arabia china russia india japan among most valuable history culture science both western eastern. we can remember these: ilias picta century formerly owned gian vincenzo pinelli virgil belonged francesco petrarca containing frontispiece commentary servius illuminated simone kit al-hayaw miniated amr b. bahr al-gi chinese map giulio aleni fame attracted other exceptional donations such as: leonardo codes offered galeazzo arconati are kept national paris while atlantic code preserved wonderful museum manfredo settala. continued centuries allowing acquisition arab caprotti collection recent indologist enrico fasana italo-chinese institute vittorino colombo italian foreign institutions. since sala federiciana dell monumental sacristy bramante santa delle grazie series exhibitions culminating year expo gradually expose masterpiece genius entirety than drawings collected sheets codex atlanticus. first supporter subsequently patron accademia di san luca designed pope gregory xiii inaugurated rome zuccari having arrived he found academy there equal those florence rome. many mentors program giusto lipsio professor louvain ericio puteano palatine schools artists brueghel brill brothers. donated his paintings constituting initial nucleus works tiziano bernardino luini. design painting sculpture architecture took place june appointment masters giovanni battista crespi known il cerano andrea biffi fabio mangone directors respectively students nine number. today rooms allows admire masterpieces greatest european multi-year plan abroad including tokyo april-june newsletter academic has become intense s. montini then paul vi new statute direction monsignor marcora doctor ambrosiana. after further renewal intended sant founded merged dionigi tettamanziin single classes studies: borroma greek latin slavic near east far east. these last two comprise sections arabic armenian hebrew syriac studies asia different cultures area particular japanese indian. connection between director each class chosen college. assisted secretaries. publishes own miscellaneous volumes essays specific monographs general interest entire published sources studies. house ludwig pogliaghi lodovico belongs veneranda testamentary bequest same artist archaeological book collections. villa located end viale cappelle sacro monte varese reopened may src="!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d2798.313959227084!2d9.183599415557413!3d45.46347907910096!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x4786c6ac88b2ca9f%3A0xcc86bf5e7ffbd36e!2sAmbrosian%20Library!5e0!3m2!1sen!2s!4v1568207302106!5m2!1sen!2s" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">

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