You are invited to a get-together with four ladies in Milan.
Straightforward? Yes. But there’s subtext too.
This being Milan, the ladies (meaning aristocracy) will certainly be wearing their absolute best… Milan is not called the fashion capital of the world for no reason, after all.
And just like any self-respecting Milanese event, externally it will definitely be understated and private. No showiness or public pomp whatsoever here. Yet at the same time, it will be thoroughly opulent and tastefully luxurious for those attending inside. Sure enough, Palazzo Poldi-Pezzoli is nondescript on the outside, but its interior is simply stunning. Despite the building’s age (and being bombed in WWII and then restored), the decor has been kept as it was when Sua Eccellenza (His Excellency) Count Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli died.
Unfortunately, the four ladies are no longer among the living either, nor do we know precisely who these nobildonne were. However, the Florentine Pollaiolo brothers immortalized them in the 15th century, and so they have luckily been with us ever since.
Complimenti to Annalisa Zanni, director of the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, who worked with the Met in NYC, the Uffizi in Florence, and the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin for years so the four Pollaiolo portraits of young ladies (each institution owns one) could get-together for the first time ever.
(This brilliant “get-together” lasts until February 16th, 2015, Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan.)