Museo d'Arte e Scienza

Via Quintino Sella 4
IT - 20121 Mailand
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Panorama of: Museo d'Arte e Scienza (c) by Museo d'Arte e Scienza. All rights reserved.


The itinerary on determining the authenticity of art and antiques is the feather in the Museum’s cap, unique and keenly wanted by its founder, the physicist Gottfried Matthaes. In 1990 he acquired this exhibition space situated in Milan’s inner city which, even today, remains the only example in the world of a museum dedicated to the important question of determining the authenticity of art. Each room deals with a basic theme, from painting on canvas and wood to excavated pottery, antique furniture, amber and ivory. The itinerary culminates in the splendid tapestry room, where visitors can admire rugs and tapestries of different crafting techniques and provenances, and learn to recognize the characteristics of authenticity. The section is also equipped with test stations with microscopes and magnifying glasses. There is also a special itinerary designed for kids.


In 2010, twenty years after its foundation, the Museum finally succeeded in giving the deserved space and importance to the Buddhist Art collection belonging to the Matthaes family, acquired in the early ’70s by the Museum’s founder during his countless trips to the East. A careful selection was made from among the numerous and remarkable items from Thailand, Burma, China and Japan to form the permanent exhibition entitled “East Asian Buddhist Art”, considered one of the finest Italian collections of Indochinese art.


Leonardo Citizen of Milan - Leonardo spent the twenty most active years of his life in Milan (1483-1499 / 1506-1513), where he carried out important activities as: an expert in military and industrial machines, engineer of navigable canals, painter, architect, sculptor and master of revels. The exhibition has been set up at the Museo d’Arte e Scienza just in front of the Sforzesco Castle, at whose court Leonardo da Vinci spent the most active and significant years of his life.

The Treatise on Painting - Leonardo da Vinci’s “Treatise on Painting” should represent an “ideal handbook” for artists and be an absolute best seller in the field of art, but this is not the case. In addition to being little understood and consulted because of its scant readability, it is often repetitive and difficult to interpret. The Museo d’Arte e Scienza has set out to make the “Treatise” more comprehensible, whilst using only the original words, without comments on or changes to the Master’s thoughts and theories, but limiting itself to arranging them by subject matter, reducing overly long texts, avoiding the numerous redundancies and illustrating the salient concepts. To this end use has been made, by way of exemplification, of art objects from different periods and provenance, as well as photos and reproductions of various kinds, exploiting Leonardo’s concept of “universal art” applicable to the entire world of art.


Around 1993 Gottfried Matthaes, physicist and director of the Milano Museum, broke the barrier of the datability of wood by chemical analysis. It was discovered that the displacement along the curve of the absorption peaks of certain molecules corresponded to the progressive increase in their age irrespective of temperature, humidity and place of origin. The Museum laboratory’s mission is to improve existing scientific methods and elaborate new methods for the ascertainment of the authenticity of art objects. The laboratory’s instruments and know-how for the determining of authenticity are the disposal of collectors, art experts, restorers, art galleries and museums.