Longari Arte Milano was set up in Milan in the early 1950’s by Nella Longari, a historic and influential figure in the Italian antique world. The art gallery is still at its same central location in Via Bigli.
Primitive Italian sculpture has been the area, in artistic and antique terms, that has been of most interest to the gallery over the years. Apart from this particular area, the gallery has also specialised in illuminated fragments and works of art from the 13th to the 16th centuries. Mario and Ruggero, Nella’s sons, as well as her grandson, Marco, have kept this love and enthusiasm alive along with a passion for study and research in the field of art.
The gallery has long taken part in the most important exhibitions in Italy including, in particular, the Biennals of Florence, Milan and Rome, and is now involved in exhibitions on an international level. The annual exhibition, TEFAF in Maastricht, is a fine opportunity for everybody to benefit from a broader look at the world of art beyond the borders of Italy. Throughout its long history, Longari Arte Milano has worked with a whole host of important museums and institutions, as well as lending works of art to a variety of exhibitions all over Italy and abroad. In the 1970’s, the Vatican purchased a series of wooden sculptures that may still be seen today in different locations in the Holy See. More recently, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Cleveland Museum have purchased a part of the collection of Italian, medieval and renaissance illuminated fragments.
Among the exhibitions curated by the gallery we can cite the exhibition of wooden sculptures held at the Pirelli Centre in the 1970’s as well as the exhibition held in the gallery itself in Via Bigli entitled “From the Corradino Bible to Jacopo della Quercia. Sculpture and Italian Miniatures from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance”, in the mid-90’s and, lastly, the exhibition “A Crucifix from the 14th Century in Lucca – the Discovery of a Medieval Wooden Masterpiece”, in 2010, shown for a long period at Milan’s Museo Diocesano; all the exhibitions were accompanied by detailed catalogues.
Every year, the Spunti per conversare (“Ideas for a Conversation”) are published, dedicated to the gallery’s latest acquisitions and intended for the joy of collectors everywhere as well as for museums and art libraries.