From March 1 2018, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana enhances its exhibition path with 72 Hindu ritual plaques depicting the divine warrior Virabhadra. The plaques have been recently acquired thanks to the donation of Milanese collectionists Giuseppe and Paola Berger, whose collection is considered to be the largest in the world regarding this Indian deity.

This new section on this fascinating culture, curated by Marilia Albanese, is fully in line with the cultural horizons opened by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, who, since the foundation of the Ambrosiana Library, had looked far beyond the borders of Europe.

The artifacts on display, dating from the seventeenth and the nineteenth century, witness the popular and cultured faith towards a Hindu pantheon deity, which spread above all during the reign of Vijayanagara, last splendid stronghold before the almost complete Muslim conquest of the country. Extending over much of Southern India and the Deccan, the kingdom of Vijayanagara lived between 1336 and 1565 two centuries of splendor and power, celebrated with wonder even by western travelers, until its annihilation by the coalition of neighboring Sultanates in the battle of Talikota.

The exhibits – statuettes and especially plaques in different metal alloys – testify the spread of the cult in the different social classes, from the tribal to the refined classical culture, with iconographic expressions that are very different, although adherence to tradition and refusal of any innovation imposed precise rules. Displayed in home altars and used in temple ceremonies, the plaques tell an ancient and transversal history of many cultures: the incarnation of divine wrath in the avenging knight who defeats injustice.

From March 1, 2018, Opening hours: da martedì a domenica, dalle 10.00 alle 18.00; chiuso il lunedì

Closed on Easter Sunday; open on Easter Monday

Admission ticket: Full: 15 €; Reduced: 10 €; Schools: 5 €; University students: 10 €

Info: tel. 02.806921

Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana Press Office

CLP Relazioni Pubbliche

Paola Varano, tel. 02 36 755 700;

Press kit and images on