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Charterhouse Museum

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Opened to the public for the first time in 1911 and then closed for half a century, the Museum of the Charterhouse of Pavia contains works from the monastic complex or which are closely associated with it. The Museum has two main sections. The ground floor houses the plaster cast gallery with about 200 plaster casts of relief work on the facade, the cloisters as well as the tomb of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who founded the Charterhouse in 1396. The upper floor contains vestments, paintings and original sculptures which for reasons of the historical evolution of the complex and its conservation have lost their original setting or function. Among these treasures there is the great altarpiece by Bartolomeo Montagna and wood paintings, fragments of polyptychs, by Ambrogio Bergognone and Bernardino Luini. The upper floor also has a collection of 17th and 18th century portraits of the Visconti and Sforza families, patrons of the monastery. The Museum is located in what were once the reception halls of the Ducal Palace of the Charterhouse (XV – XVI century). A visit to the Museum gives the visitor an opportunity to admire the splendour of rooms like the oratory and the end wall of the plaster cast gallery, painted by the Fiammenghini brothers, and the study on the upper floor which is frescoed with grotesque decorations from the second half of the 16th century, in which scenes from the Bible and Roman history mingle in a masterly illusion of perspective.