Lodovico Pogliaghi came from an upper middle class Milanese family and enrolled at the Brera Academy at a very young age, where he successfully completed his studies in 1889. The lesson learned from Giuseppe Bertini, who taught painting, was crucial to his development, which took place in close contact with European academic culture. During the 1880s, he obtained important commissions for the artistic decoration of palazzi belonging to the Milan aristocracy, he executed religious works and launched on his career as an illustrator of historical subjects for the Treves publishing house in Milan. He made a name for himself on the Milan art scene following his appointment as teacher of decoration at the Brera Academy in 1890 and by winning the competition for the bronze doors of the Milan Duomo in 1895. As a leading exponent of an eclectic culture orientated towards a return to earlier styles, he devoted himself to an intense activity that saw him involved in all the major official works of the time, including as consultant for the Higher Department for Antiquities and Fine Arts and as a restorer. During the 1920s, while continuing to carry out his official duties, he gradually distanced himself from the art world, devoting himself mainly to Church commissions. In his maturity, from the mid-1880s onwards, he withdrew to the house-museum on the Sacro Monte of Varese, where he built up his collection of ancient art, shown alongside models of his own works in a striking arrangement with a historical slant.