Marvel at Caravaggio’s, Bernini’s and Raphael’s works at Rome’s Borghese Gallery
The collection of the Galleria Borghese, which was defined as “the most beautiful collection in the world”, is still collected in the place that was created and designed for that collection – the Borghese Villa.
To get away from the crowds of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, head to the famous Borghese Gallery, built in 1613 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The Galleria Borghese houses the private collection of the Cardinal, who had a marvellous collection of precious works of art, both ancient and modern. The Cardinal’s private collection was created starting in 1607, who initiated a systematic acquisition of artworks, making it one of the largest ones at the time. The first collection was made up of paintings by Caravaggio, Tiziano and Raffaello while the collection of ancient sculptures, another fundamental element capable of giving an aura of ideal universality to the artistic collections, had been constantly enriched.
Inside the gallery, you will find a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculptures and antiquities. Scipione Borghese was an early patron of Bernini and an avid collector of works by Caravaggio. He was particularly interested in antique sculptures, but was also driven enough to patronise modern artists and was commissioned work by Caravaggio, Bernini, Domenichino and Rubens.
Walking inside the Borghese Gallery is a unique once-in-a-lifetime journey into the world of some of the most universal artists of all time, including 9 of Bernini’s most famous masterpieces – 5 of which cannot be moved: the Aeneas and Anchises, the Rape of Proserpine, the David, the Apollo and Daphne. As you move from one section to the other, marvel at Bernini’s details. A particular artwork to set your eyes on is Ratto di Proserpina, where the hands of the God touching Proserpina’s skin actually seem as if they are sinking into her flesh.
Apart from being exceptional for its splendid collection, the Galleria Borghese is perfect in the coherence of its decorative ensemble that implies antique marbles, inlays, mosaics, stuccoes and inserts.
Piazzale Museo Borghese, 5
Tue–Sun: 9am–7pm. Monday Closed
Reservation required (€2)