Despite the family
name, Borghese taste was anything
The exquisitely cultivated
Scipione not only advised his uncle
Paul V on artistic matters, but
with papal pin money amassed one of
the world's greatest private collections
of sculpture and paintings.
Later members of
the family added to the collection,
much of which has landed in the Louvre,
thanks to Prince Camillo Borghese,
who donated or sold a large portion
of it to his brother
in law Napoleon.
The Italian State
purchased what remained in 1902.
The ground floor
stars the Borghese’s marble men
and marble women; Scipione was the first
to discover precocious talent of Gianlorenzo
Bernini, and the sculptor produced many
of his earliest works for the cardinal.
These statuary groups
of mythological subjects date from the
early 1620s, before Bernini got
religion, and they break new ground,
for better or worse, in the contriyed
drama of their virtuoso figura serpentine
poses, each portrayed in the most
intense climactic moments of their stories
Looking at them,
you may think, as many have before you,
that Bernini was the Michelangelo of
in each room lent its theme to the
grand 18th-century decor of Prince
Marcantonio, who had a weakness
for brightly colored, mildly trompe
l’oeil ceiling frescos.
are prominently numbered, and begin
with the most notorious
where Canova's sculpture of Pauline
Bonaparte Borghese as Venus under a
ceiling portraying the Judgement of
When asked by an
acquaintance however she could have
posed nearly naked, Pauline replied
that it wasn't so hard because the artist
had a furnace in his studio.
neoclassical, Napoleon's sister is one
of Rome's spicier tomatoes (she
had the statue made shortly after marrying
Prince Camillo Borghese to
please him); but as saucy as she was,
she was minute-the statue is life sized
want to compare her breasts with the
cast in the Napoleon Museum.
In Room II
Bernini's David is about to discharge
his loaded sling, though his set look
of determination is mocked by
the playful putti of the ceiling frescoes.
is designed around another hot piece
of marble, Bernini's Daphne and Apollo,
the former in the act of turning into
a laurel tree to avoid the embraces
of the god.
the large Sala degli Imperatori
a chilly cynosure of 18th-century
design, the 17th-century alabaster and
porphyry busts of the emperors in perfect
chromatic accord with the precious marbles
of the floor, pillars, and ceiling,
all looking icily at Bernini's Rape
of Proserpina, the goddess struggling
in Pluto's arms, though perhaps
not as desperately as she might have
contains a replica of the famous
Hellenistic Hermaphrodite, the inspiration
of the Hermaphrodite Room.
features Aeneas and Anchises,
Carved by young Bernini with his
father Pietro; Aeneas is carrying
his father out of burning Troy,
while the older man clutches the
room, Room VII is actually
built around an archaic Greek statue
of a young girl.
contains the gallery's
finest ancient sculpture, the
dancing Faun, restored by Thorvaldsen.
Beyond this is the
Salone, crowned by a fresco of Marcus
Furius Camillus breaking the treaty
with the Gauls and a relief of Marco
Curzio leaping the abyss.
Set into the floor
are rather grisly 3rd-century AD mosaics
of gladiatorial scenes from Torronuova.
a bar in the adjacent portico if you
need liquid support at this point.
the treasure trove of paintings
upstairs will reopen. Among the celebrated
works are Raphael's Manneristic Deposition
, inspirited by Leonardo and Michelangelo
and filched with papal aid from a
church in Perugia; also his Lady
and the Unicorn, believed to a portrait
of his financeč Maddalena Strozzi;
Titian's Sacred and Profane Love,
the beautifully coloured , ambiguous
masterpiece of his youth, in which the
two women have the same face; Correggio's
melting, erotic Danae;
Madonnas by Giovanni Bellini, Perugino,
Piero di Cosimo and Caravaggio (the
latter with a serpent); here too, is
one of his most important early works,
the Boy with a Fruit Basket and
David with Goliath's head.
There are excellent
portraits by two masters of the genre,
Lorenzo Lotto and Antonello da Messina,
whose Italian gentlemen is a prototype
of the genre; and Dosso Dossi's mysterious
Circe, contemplating her next spell.
Among the sculpture,
don't miss Bernini's portrait busts
of cardinal Scipione Borghese
and Paul V, and his model for
the curly flowing equestrian statue
of Louis XIV, and Algardi's statue
of Sleep-aslumbering boy with a sleepy
OFFICIAL GUIDED TOUR
OF BORGHESE GALLERY
Book your tour
of Borghese Gallery and
skip the line: take advantage of
jumping the queue with reserved
tickets and enjoy your
to the public of
the Borghese Gallery,
has been greeted as the most important
event which has taken place in the art
world in recent years.
houses the personal collection
of Cardinal Scipione Borghese,
Pope Paul V's nephew, a preeminent
personality in his time, with a great
passion for art and with the means to
accomplish his projects.
is immersed in Rome's most beautiful
park, close to the city's historical
The Borghese Gallery
has maintained its prestige and its
works of art are exposed today
as they were in the past: furniture,
paintings and sculptures.
It is one of Rome's
richest and most interesting villas,
the Borghese Gallery and
houses a vast and diverse collection
of sculptures and paintings
produced by masters such as Bernini,
Canova, Caravaggio and
Your guide will lead
you through the gallery's breathtaking
rooms and reveal the secrets, stories
and techniques behind the masterpieces.
Among the gallery's paintings
we will see Titian's "Sacred
and Profane Love", Raphael's
"The Deposition" and "Young
Woman with Unicorn", Caravaggio's
"Madonna and Child with St. Anne"
(Dei Palafrenieri) and "Saint Jerome
We will admire sculptures
such as Bernini's "The Rape of Proserpina"
and "Apollo and Daphne"
and Canova's "Pauline Bonaparte".
In other words, don't
pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity
to admire such masterpieces, for which
we must be thankful to Cardinal Scipione
Then, only on request, you can go for
an enchanting stroll though the Villa
Borghese Gardens and enjoy the surprises
and tranquility of this Eden in the
heart of busy Rome.
The famous Villa
Borghese is a truly magical setting,
surrounded by vast gardens filled
with fountains, monuments
and diverse flora.
Duration: 2 hours
Borghese Gallery guided visit
Itinerary in Borghese
Room (St. Jerome, David with the
Head of Goliath)
(Apollo and Daphne, David)
Canova sculpture (Pauline Bonaparte)
Works by Raphael
(The Deposition, Lady with Unicorn)
Perugino (Madonna and Child)
Rubens (The Deposition)
(Sacred and Profane Love)
conducted in small groups (maximum
25 people) or private tour (V.I.P.
service) with an English-speaking
INFORMATION TO VISIT
When is Borghese
Gallery opend ?
At what time
Boghese Gallery opens ?
The gallery is
closed every Monday and is open from
9 AM to 7 PM.
This means you have
five two hour time slots to choose from
(you must leave the gallery at the end
of your two hour period):
09 AM. - 11 AM.
11 PM. - 01 PM.
01 PM. - 03 PM.
03 PM. - 05 PM.
05 PM. - 07 PM.
Walking tour of Villa Borghese Gardens
available on request (Villa Borghese
Gardens Casino dell'Uccelliera, Fontana
dei Puppazzi, Piazza di Siena, Tempietto
di Diana, Obelisco di Antonio and stunning
view over Piazza del Popolo)
Guided Tour of Borghese Gallery
- treasures of rOME - ART COLLECTIONS
IN rOME - TOUR IN ENGLISH OF vILLA
bORGHESE- PRIVATE TOUR OF VILLA
RATES PER PERSON
RATE PER PERSON IINCLUDING
TOUR GUIDE, RESERVATION
FEE AND TAX.
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