The Gallerie Estensi is an autonomous Government Cultural Institution created with the 2014 Ministerial Reform that redesigned the structure of the national museum system.
The Gallerie Estensi are made up of the following five institutions:
The Museum’s administration headquarters are located at the Galleria Estense in Modena. The Galleria Estense houses an invaluable collection of paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, drawings, coins and medals collected by the Dukes of Este in the course of centuries. Together these artworks give evidence to one of the oldest European dynastic collections, which entered the patrimony of the government of Italy at the time of the country’s unification. Part of the Duke’s collection is kept in the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, which houses many of the manuscripts and rare books originally part of the Dukes of Este’s Library. The original nucleus evolved into the current Biblioteca Nazionale. In addition to the Gallery and Library, the Palazzo dei Musei in Modena, also houses the Museo Lapidario Estense. The result of the enlightened policies of Duke Francesco IV d’Austria-Este, the Lapidario Estense brings together sepulchral monuments and epigraphic samples from Roman times up until the eighteen-hundreds.
Another facet of the dynastic heritage of the Dukes of Este is the Palazzo Ducale of Sassuolo. From the time of its creation, the Palace was the favourite suburban residence of the Este family. Francesco I oversaw its construction as well as the transformation of Modena into a baroque capital.
The collection of the Pinacoteca Nazionale of Ferrara is mostly composed of large altar panels. It is a precious testimony of the artistic milieu in the ancient capital of the Duchy under the House of Este. The Pinacoteca is located on the piano nobile of Palazzo dei Diamanti, the masterwork of Biagio Rossetti (1493-1503) situated at the heart of renaissance Ferrara.