The Galleria Estense

The Estense Gallery includes paintings, drawings, bronzes, and medals that belonged to the Duke’s family and which were brought to Modena when the Este court transferred to the new capital.

Significantly reduced in size in 1746 following the sale of one hundred masterpieces to the Elector of Saxony (a member of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire) for 100,000 gold sequins, the Gallery’s holdings were later augmented with new acquisitions. Today, the Gallery houses numerous masterpieces, including “gold background” paintings, works on wood panels by Flemish masters, and paintings from Venice and the Emilia area. Particularly important are the bust of Francesco I by Bernini, a Portrait of Francesco I of Este by Velázquez, a Triptych by El Greco, and paintings by Correggio, Tintoretto, Veronese, Guido Reni, Guercino, and Salvator Rosa, to name some of the best known.