The “Courtyard of the Great Souls” has always been one of the places that most fascinate our visitors. For logistical reasons it is not possible to access it, but during the visit of the Pinacoteca you can admire it from above, from the loggias of the Galbiati wing.
We have therefore decided to start a new a series of videos dedicated to this fascinating place, so that you can appreciate it even more when you come back to visit us.
The courtyard was conceived by the prefect Giovanni Galbiati in 1932 and takes its name from verses 118-119 of canto IV of Hell, where Dante, in the limbo, is shown precisely the “great souls”, that is, the great poets, scientists and men of letters.
You can read Dante’s quote on the front wall of the courtyard, where you can also see what remains of a fresco by Aurelio Luini, son of the more famous Bernardino.
The prefect Galbiati wanted to gather here the statues of the “great spirits” of European culture, ancient and modern.
We find Plato, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Dante Alighieri, Alessandro Manzoni, Chateaubriand, Goethe, Shakespeare. Then there are Sandor Petöfi, a Hungarian writer, poet and national hero; Romanian intellectual Dimitrie Cantemir and Theophrastus Paracelsus, representative of Swiss culture.
Curious to know more about each of these characters? Keep following us, in the coming weeks we will present you one great soul at a time!
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