Pinacoteca Nazionale, the National Art Gallery of Bologna, is a museum in
Bologna, Italy. It is located in the former Saint Ignatius Jesuit novitiate of
the city's University district, and inside the same building that houses the
Academy of Fine Arts. The museum offers a wide collection of Emilian paintings
from the 13th to the 18th century and other fundamental works by artists who
were in some way related to the city.
The collection of paintings began
in 1796 and had its first nucleus in the works coming from churches and
monasteries which were abolished by the Napoleonic administration. In 1808 the
collection was moved to the present location, the former St. Ignazio Monastery
in via Belle Arti. After Napoleon's fall in 1815 the Picture Gallery got almost
all the paintings that were moved from the city to Paris and Milan by the
Napoleonic administration. By the middle of the 19th century a lot of important
works of art were added to the collection because the religious orders were
abolished and the newborn Italian State became the owner of a great quantity of
their art treasures.
Other enlargements were made in 1878, with more than
40 thousands of printings and thousands of drawings, and in 1884, with the
acquisition of the Zambeccari paintings collection. After the First World War
the institution activity flourished again: not only other works were added to
the collection but also a restoration and reorganization of the exhibition rooms
was planned. With the reoganization of the collection the Picture Gallery became
one of the most important galleries in Europe, not only as far as the Baroque
Bolognese painting is concerned.