The museum, is located on the noble floor of the fortress of Novellara, and develops along thirteen exhibition halls, five of which are dedicated to Lelio Orsi, for forty years artist of the Gonzaga. Here his frescoes can be admired.
In the fortress there are also the marble fireplaces designed by Orsi himself and some of the original coffered ceilings as well as furnishings, ceramics, coins and pharmacy jars, which constitute a valuable collection of about 170 pieces, some dating back to the XVI-XVIII century. In the first room there are three fragments of frescoes dated 1280, coming from a destroyed local church. In the gallery of portraits there are eminent personalities of the dynasty: from Camillo I to Philip Alfonso; from Vittoria of Capua to Matilde d'Este.