The Bagatti Valsecchi Museum is a historic house museum that is the fruit of an extraordinary adventure of collecting at the end of the 19th century. The protagonists were two brothers: the barons Fausto (Milan, 1843-1914) and Giuseppe (Milano, 1845-1934) Bagatti Valsecchi. Beginning in the 1880s, these two undertook the refurbishment of their family home in the heart of Milan between via Gesù and via Santo Spirito. Their approach was strictly in the Neo-Renaissance style of the then popular trend of historicism. At the same time, they began to collect paintings and decorative arts of the 15th and 16th centuries in order to decorate their house and to create an ambiance inspired by princely Lombard homes of the 16th century. Fausto and Giuseppe were involved firsthand in the restyling of the mansion, and were the tireless creators of its splendor. Even though they had graduated with law degrees, they never exercised law, professionally. At the center of their interests was the restructuring of the family home, its decoration and the collection of art works destined for it. In these surroundings, they matured expertise that they put to use even as much appreciated dilettante architects, often at the service of other noble families with which they shared goals and life style. If the decoration of their home between via Gesù and via Santo Spirito was for the two brothers their tireless common activity, the rest of their time was passed between activities imposed on gentlemen of their rank of the day. The administration of their possessions was flanked by involvement in numerous charitable institutions, participation in the lively everyday life of Milan, trips in Italy and abroad and the practice of equitation and other imaginative sporty passions, such as going up in air balloons and riding velocipedes. United and close, the two brothers had, in fact, very different personalities: Fausto, brilliant and worldly, and Giuseppe, more reserved and inclined to quiet domestic life. It is to Giuseppe that the family continuity is owed thanks to his five children born of his 1882 marriage with Carolina of one of Milan’s most ancient, important and powerful noble families: the Borromeo. After the death of Fausto and Giuseppe, the Bagatti Valsecchi family home continued to be inhabited by their descendents until 1974. In that year, Pasino, one of Giuseppe’s children by then in his seventies, decided to erect the Bagatti Valsecchi Foundation to which he donated the patrimony of art his ancestors had collected. At the same time, the mansion was sold to the region of Lombardy with the clause that the historic displays on the first floor were to be preserved “as is” in order to preserve the unbreakable tie between the “container” (the spaces) and the “contained” (the furnishings and art collections), which is the distinctive trait of the Bagatti Valsecchi collecting efforts. Twenty years later, in 1994, the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum was opened to the public.