A pinacotheca (Greek: πινακοθήκη) was a picture gallery in either ancient Greece or ancient Rome. The name is specifically used for the building containing pictures which formed the left wing of the Propylaea on the Acropolis at Athens, Greece. Though Pausanias (Bk. I., xxii. 6) speaks of the pictures "which time had not effaced," which seems to point to fresco painting, the fact that there is no trace of preparation for stucco on the walls shows that the paintings were easel pictures (J. G. Frazer, Pausanias's Description of Greece, 1898, ii. 252). The Romans adopted the term for the room in a private house containing pictures, statues, and other works of art.
In the modern world the word is often used as a name for a public art gallery, mostly in Italy (as "Pinacoteca"), as at the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, with others at Bologna, Siena, the Vatican and Turin, and also in Brazil (Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo) and other countries. At Munich the three main galleries are called the Alte Pinakothek (old masters), Neue Pinakothek (19th century) and Pinakothek der Moderne. At Hallbergmoos, nearby the Munich airport, there's the Pinakothek Hallbergmoos (20th and 21st century).
The Pinacotheca was located right by the Nike Athena temple and both are a must visit.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
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