Galleria Borghese : Michelin's recommendations
It was built in 1613, by Jan Van Santen (called Vasanzio here), for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, and is the typical example of a Summer residence for rich prelates. This one houses a superb collection, notably reduced from 1801 to 1809 by Prince Camille Borghese, Pauline Bonaparte's husband, who sold 200 sculptures, today exhibited at the Louvre in Paris. The collection was transfered in 1891 from the Borghese home to this "palazzina", which can only add to the charm of your visit.Basically, there are two highlights in this gallery: one in the sculpture section, a remarkable set of works by Bernini: David sculpted by the artist at the age of 21 is perhaps less serene than Michelangelo's. Apollo and Daphne catches the moment when the nymph changes into a bay tree, and in The Abduction of Proserpine, we already detect the future genius of this great sculptor. The other highlight is the room which exhibits six Caravaggio masterpieces and shows the change made in pictorial art by this bohemian and marginal artist, who produced extreme realism (see The Grooms' Madonna) and a use of light which crudely reveals shapes, thus producing striking effects. Among other masterpieces, there are three works by Raphael, a very expressive Man's Portrait by Antonello de Messina, work by a young Titian... and Pauline Bonaparte, seen as an indolent and sensuous Venus by the Neo-Classical sculptor Antonio Canova.
Opening hours :
- daily except Mon 8.30am-7.30pm (last admission 6.30pm) - closed 1 Jan, 25 Dec