Visiting the Borghese Gallery and Villa: Art at its finest

Visiting the Borghese Gallery and Villa: Art at it’s finest
Posted by: marianaveloso Category: Rome's Must-Sees Tags: , Comments: 0

Visiting the Borghese Gallery and Villa: Art at its finest

If your interests include art and culture, it is no secret that Rome is the place for you and one site that definitely won’t disappoint is the Borghese Gallery.

The gallery is an extraordinary location, a building created for display. Once inside the gallery, you will not believe the amount of ornamentation that went into this relatively small building. From the granite floors, to the painted walls, to the murals that look down on you from the ceiling, and the sculptures and paintings that fill every room to the brim, the gallery is the epidemy of a work of art. One of the best parts of attending the gallery is the comparably small crowds given the limited entrance slots.

ratto-di-proserpina borghese gallery

At the gallery, you can cast your eyes on pieces from famous artists like Bernini, Caravaggio, Raphael, and Titan, among others. The gallery was originally commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the pope’s personal secretary, in 1613 to house his wide collection of sculptures and paintings. The location was initially intended to be a “party villa” for the cardinal, but in 1903 the gallery and the villa surrounding it became open and accessible to the public.

The gallery is admirably known to have the greatest collection of works by Bernini in Rome. In the gallery, there are nine of the artist’s most famous works including the David, Aeneas and Anchises, the Rape of Proserpine, the Apollo and Daphne, and more. In his work, you can see how Bernini was a master of capturing realism and movement in a solid piece of marble, all of his sculptures are meant to be viewed in 360 degrees. As you pan around his masterpieces, notice how the god Pluto’s hands grasp Proserpina’s seemingly lifelike thighs and how Daphne magically becomes a tree in front of your very eyes. Viewing these pieces, it is not surprising that the cardinal admired Bernini’s work.

The cardinal was also a direct patron of Caravaggio; thus, at the gallery one can witness paintings by the artist like Boy with a Basket of Fruit and David with the Head of Goliath. Being a master of the Baroque, Caravaggio’s paintings will leave you wondering on the ominous use of light and dramatism. Such features are exactly why interpretations of these paintings are still leaving some critics guessing.

caravaggio paintings galleria borghese

Not only is the gallery stunning and full of awe-inspiring artistry, the villa surrounding the building is just as amazing. In the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world, the Villa Borghese is really a must see to admire the natural charm of the Italian landscape. From the lush greenery, peaceful music, and reflective waters of the Quartiere III Pinciano, there is no corner of the villa that does not feed your eye’s appetite for beauty.

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