Collections OnlinePinacoteca

Room I. 12th-15th cent.

Room II. 13th-15th cent.

Room III. 15th cent.

Room IV. 15th-16th cent.

Room V. 15th cent.

Room VI. 15th cent.

Room VII. 15th-16th cent.

Room VIII. 16th cent.

Room IX. 15th-16th cent.

Room X. 16th cent.

Room XI. 16th cent.

Room XII. 17th cent.

Room XIII. 17th cent.

Room XIV. 17th cent.

Room XV. 18th cent.

Room XVI. 19th cent.

Room XVII. 17th cent.

Room XVIII. 15th-19th cent.

The new Vatican Pinacoteca (Art Gallery) was inaugurated on 27 October 1932 in the building especially constructed by the architect Luca Beltrami for Pius XI. It was built in the nineteenth century Square Garden, isolated and completely surrounded by avenues, in a place considered suitable for assuring the best lighting conditions for both the correct preservation of the works and their optimum aesthetic enhancement. Thus the age-old question of the exhibition of the paintings, which were constantly moved around the Apostolic Palaces due to the lack of a setting that matched their importance, was solved. A first collection of only 118 precious paintings was created by Pope Pius VI around 1790. It was of short duration due to the fact that, following the Treaty of Tolentino (1797) some of the greatest masterpieces were transferred to Paris. The idea of an art gallery, understood in the modern sense as an exhibition open to the public, was only born in 1817 after the fall of Napoleon and the consequent return to the Church State of a large part of the works belonging to it, according to the directions of the Congress of Vienna. The collection continued to grow over the years through donations and purchases until it reached the current nucleus of 460 paintings, distributed among the eighteen rooms on the basis of chronology and school, from the so-called Primitives (12th-13th century) to the 19th century. The collection contains some masterpieces of the greatest artists of the history of Italian painting, from Giotto to Beato Angelico, from Melozzo da Forlì to Perugino and to Raphael, from Leonardo to Tiziano, to Veronese, to Caravaggio and to Crespi.