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Self-Portrait in a Group of Friends

Francesco Hayez , 1827

Dipinto con cinque persone in abbigliamento d'epoca, ognuna guardando in diverse direzioni, espressioni serie, stile ritratto di gruppo, colori naturali.

A symbol of nineteenth-century Milan, this painting, among the masterpieces of European portraiture of the time, is not only a self-portrait, but rather a true cultural manifesto. Painted by Francesco Hayez when Milan was experiencing the great ferment of Romanticism, the work is the Romantic response to the famous Self-portrait with Felice Bellotti, Gaetano Cattaneo and Carlo Porta (Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera), made between 1805 and 1810 by Giuseppe Bossi and considered to be the most emblematic image of Neoclassical Milan.
While the characters surrounding Bossi have not been identified with certainty, here we know their names: Hayez is depicted in the center of the painting, wearing a painter’s cap and round glasses, surrounded by four friends. Recognizable in the group, starting from the left, are the painters Giovanni Migliara, Pelagio Palagi, Giuseppe Molteni, wearing a top hat, and the writer Tommaso Grossi, Alessandro Manzoni’s great companion, the only one without a hat.

Data Sheet


Francesco Hayez, 1791-1882



Material and technique

oil on canvas


32.5 cm × 29,5 cm


Riccardo Lampugnani donation, 2001

Inventory number

Murano Glass Room

The room was the bedroom of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli and houses both the collection of archaeological objects and the collection of Murano glass, about two hundred pieces purchased largely by Gian Giacomo himself and initially kept in the Studiolo Dantesco. The Murano Glass Room was severely damaged by bombing in ’43: the lacunar ceiling, the frieze frescoed by Luigi Scrosati and the fireplace, also by Scrosati, were lost. The beautiful doors carved by Giuseppe Ripamonti and some furnishings were saved.


The Museum hosts over 300 paintings. Among them, many Italian works from the Renaissance: masterpieces from Tuscany (Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Pollaiuolo), Lombardy (Luini, Boltraffio, Solario) and Veneto (Bellini, Mantegna). Important is also the group of 18th century Italian painting (Guardi, Canaletto, Tiepolo, Fra Galgario). In the collection, there are mainly portraits and small size paintings.

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