The Accademia Carrara is an art gallery and an academy of fine arts in Bergamo. The origins of the art gallery lie with the Count Giacomo Carrara, a wealthy collector and patron of the arts, who left a generous legacy to the city of Bergamo at the end of the 18th century. After the Count's death, in 1796, his properties were managed by a nominated commissary until 1958, when the Comune di Bergamo took over direct supervision. In 1810, a new building in the neoclassical style was constructed, the project being undertaken by the architect Simone Elia, a pupil of Leopoldo Pollack.
The museum has continued to augment its collections both with purchases and donations. As of 2006, it possesses 1,800 paintings dating from the 15th to the 19th century, and by artists including Pisanello, Botticelli, Bellini, Carpaccio, Mantegna, Raphael, Moroni, Baschenis, Fra Galgario, Tiepolo, Canaletto and Piccio.
Besides paintings, there are drawings and prints, bronzes and sculptures, as well as collections of porcelain, furniture and medals.
In 1793, at the same time as the public opening of his gallery, the Count Giacomo Carrara desired that drawing and painting courses be initiated in the same place. The school, which was located in the same building as the art gallery until 1912, now has its own premises nearby. Since 1988, it has been an officially recognized Accademia di Belle Arti (Fine Arts Academy).
In 1991, the modern art gallery Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAMEC) was opened on the opposite side of the road in a partially restored 14th-century monastery that had previously been used as a barracks. Presently, it has ten exhibition halls, on three floors. Since the purchase of the Gianfranco and Luigia Spajani collection in June 1999 the permanent collections have contained works by Italian and foreign artists of the 20th century.References:
The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.
The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr.