Achille Bertarelli

Achille Bertarelli was born in Milan on November 12, 1863. After completing a degree in law, he started work in his father's company producing religious furniture, but soon fell in love with prints, which he started to acquire, collect and catalogue in his Milanese home in Via San Barnaba. The purpose of Bertarelli’s assembly of works was not so much to bring together printed materials of exceptional aesthetic quality, as to acquire the largest number of iconographic documents as a means of providing valuable testimony on historical figures, events and locations. Of particular interest to the founder of the collections were "Popular Prints", subdivided into "Sacred" and "Profane" at the institute, which still today provide a rare and precious window on all aspects of daily life and on the evolution of tastes and customs. Bertarelli, who called himself "a volunteer municipal employee ", continued in his research and study, generously increasing the collection until his death on May 20, 1938 in Rome. In that same year the Municipality of Milan decided to name the Print Collection after its founder, in recognition of the importance of the original donation and active cooperation lasting over thirteen years.

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