The Pinacoteca Nazionale (National Picture Gallery), holding one of the most significant European art collections, was created in 1808 as the Academy of Fine Arts Gallery and became an independent museum in 1882.
The pictures housed in the museum date from the 13th to the 18th centuries. The most significant pictures of the Trecento are by Pseudo-Jacopino, Vitale, Simone dei Crocefissi, Jacopo di Paolo, Giotto and Lorenzo Veneziano, together with one of the richest Italian collections of 14th-century detached frescoes (for example, those from the Church of Mezzaratta).
The Renaissance section holds pictures by Vivarini, Francesco del Cossa, Lorenzo Costa, Pietro Perugino and Raphael, anticipating masterpieces by Parmigianino and Titian.
The extremely rich 17th-century section is formed of rooms dedicated to the Carracci, Guido Reni, Guercino, Domenichino and Alessandro Tiarini.
The visit ends with Emilian 18th-century painters (Crespi, Creti and Gandolfi).
The extensive collection in the Department of Prints and Drawings on the second floor is open to the public by appointment only.
The Pinacoteca Nazionale (National Picture Gallery), refurbished in the 1960s, is housed in the former Jesuit Novitiate, which since 1804 was the seat of the Academy of Fine Arts.
The celebrated Bolognese Ancien Régime Zambeccari Collection is housed in a detached seat of the gallery at Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande – decorated with the frescoes by Domenico Maria Canuti, Giuseppe Maria Crespi and Donato Creti.