The Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, together with the Fine Arts Academy is located in the building of the former Jesuitic Novitiate Convent and the Church of St. Ignazio, builded between 1728 and 1735 following the project of the bolognese Architect Alfonso Torreggiani. After the entering of the Napoleon army in Bologna (1796), and the soppression of many religious Orders, the Clementine Academy, with the new name of Fine Arts Academy, begins to collect the many artworks from the abolited orders, and their increasing number will lend to the moving of the collections from Palazzo Poggi, that became the seat of the Bologna uNiversity, to the nearby St. Ignazio Convent.

The entrance of the museum is located where was the original convent chapel: in the vault is still visibile the fresco with the St.Ignatius Glory, of the jesuit painter Giuseppe Barbieri, an Andrea Pozzo pupil.

In the inner court there is a sandstone Tank, realised by Francesco Morandi called the Terribilia in 1587, here transferred from the  e trasferita nel 1886 dal Giardino dei Semplici del Palazzo Comunale, in occasione dei lavori di costruzione dell’attuale Sala Borsa.