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It is the most important collection in existence of Italian XIX and early XX century art and includes over three thousand works, such as paintings and sculptures which bear witness of the history of collecting art and culture in Rome.

This collection of neo-classical and modernist art was first opened in 1881 and has been housed in the current building, designed by the architect Cesare Bazzani, since 1915. It has since become the largest collection of modern art in Italy housing over 5,000 paintings and sculptures.

The collection includes works from many of the major artistic figures of the XIX and XX centuries including Guttuso, Morandi, Goya, Blake, Renoir, Rossetti, Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Cezanne, Mirò, Paul Klee, Kandinsky and Klimt. There are also several works of contemporary art on display.